Who we are

Observatory Steering Group

Guyo Malicha Roba: Guyo is Head of the Jameel Observatory, based at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi. He is a natural resources scientist and livestock market specialist. Before joining ILRI, he worked for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis. At IFAD, he designed, supervised and supported livestock development, value chains and natural resource management programs. At the IUCN’s Global Drylands Initiative, he provided technical leadership on programme development, project implementation support and contributed to the strategic growth of the programme. Guyo comes from the Borana pastoralist community in Northern Kenya and brings personal and technical insights to his work with dryland communities.

Alan Duncan: Alan provides overall leadership for the Observatory. He holds dual roles as Professor of Livestock and Development at the University of Edinburgh and Principal Research Scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Following many years at the Macaulay Institute (now James Hutton Institute), he moved to Ethiopia in 2007 to work at ILRI where he developed a portfolio of research for development projects on livestock systems in developing countries. Alan is interested in societal, economic and institutional barriers to improved livestock productivity. He has developed several participatory approaches to livestock feed improvement including the widely used Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST).
Claire Walsh: Claire is Associate Director of Policy at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). She works with policymakers and researchers around the world to share insights from randomized evaluations and promote evidence informed policy to reduce poverty and fight climate change. Claire is the Project Director for J-PAL’s King Climate Action Initiative, which  works together with governments, NGOs, and companies to catalyze the scale-up of solutions that reduce carbon emissions and carbon co-pollutants, build vulnerable communities’ ability to adapt to climate change, and increase access to affordable energy. She previously led J-PAL’s Innovation in Government Initiative that harnessed evidence to improve public policy. Prior to joining J-PAL in 2012, she worked to improve the quality of education and employment opportunities for youth in East Africa.
Geoff Simm: Geoff is Chair of Global Agriculture and Food Systems, Assistant Principal, and Director of the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of Edinburgh. The Academy is an interdisciplinary hub of researchers, teachers and students seeking evidence and learning for sustainable, ethical food systems for healthy people and a healthy planet. Geoff’s background is in research, education, industry and policy engagement on sustainable farm animal breeding and sustainable agri-food systems. Prior to joining the University in 2016, he held a variety of leadership roles in SRUC and its predecessors.
George Richards: George is the Director of Community Jameel, an independent, global organisation advancing science to help communities thrive in a rapidly changing world. Prior to becoming Director in 2020, George led strategy for the organisation from 2015, and was head of heritage programmes at Art Jameel, the arts and culture organisation, with responsibility for initiatives in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and beyond, sustaining traditional cultural practices, supporting architectural preservation, and digitally recording heritage.
Isabelle Baltenweck: Isabelle leads the Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods program at the International Livestock Research Institute. She is an agricultural economist with more than 15 years of post-doctoral experience in smallholder value chains in Africa, as well as South and Southeast Asia. She has wide experience in adoption and impact assessment studies, looking particularly at farmers’ decisions to adopt newly introduced technologies in order to understand the drivers as well as the livelihood impacts. She has increasingly sharpened her skills in gender and social equity research, looking at how women’s and men’s needs and capabilities are different in terms of accessing and using technologies and practices. Isabelle’s research also explores institutional arrangements, such as innovation platforms, hubs, or contract farming, that link value chain actors.
Joanne Grace: Jo is the Head of Hunger Reduction and Livelihoods at Save the Children UK. Prior to joining Save the Children, Jo held various posts including Director of Programmes for the Aga Khan Foundation in Mozambique and Team Leader for Rural Livelihoods Research at the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit. Jo is a development professional committed to poverty reduction, climate resilience, gender equality, and the achievement of children’s rights. Her work focuses on gender-sensitive food security and livelihoods in climate vulnerable contexts, leading high performing teams, leading programme design and strategy development, as well as the design and management of action-oriented rural livelihoods research aimed at influencing policy and practice. She also has considerable experience of nutrition and social protection programming and policy.
Uzma Sulaiman: Uzma is Associate Director for Community Jameel where she leads Community Jameel’s engagement with the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Community Jameel, Uzma spent six years at Save the Children, leading the organisation’s Middle East partnerships team and developing its strategy. Before joining Save the Children, Uzma led communications for a social enterprise in South Africa that focused on access to education for remote communities. Uzma started her career as a journalist working for BBC World and was instrumental in creating UNESCO’s first World Radio Day, celebrating the power of radio in journalism.