Dr Basundhara Bhattarai
Dr Basundhara BhattaraiSenior Gender and Environment Specialist
Dr. Basundhara Bhattarai is the Director of IFSD, based in Sydney, Australia. She has extensive experience in research, policy and development practice in Australia and the Himalaya region, focussing on gender and social inclusion aspects.
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Dr Jagadish Timsina
Dr Jagadish TimsinaSenior Agricultural Sciences Advisor
Dr Timsina is a globally respected agricultural scientist specialising on agronomy, soil management and agroecosystems sustainability. He has a wide range of experiences in Australia and a number of countries in Asia. He is an editor of Agricultural Systems journal.
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Dr Hemant R Ojha
Dr Hemant R OjhaPrincipal Advisor
Through the past 20 years of research, development practice, and innovation, Dr Ojha has championed deliberative governance, equitable development, natural resources management, and community empowerment. He is focussing on building inclusive climate resilience across Asia and the Pacific.
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Prof Rodney J Keenan
Prof Rodney J KeenanCo-Chair, Ecological Sciences - IFSD High Level Reference Group
Prof Rod Keenan has a global reputation on ecosystem sciences, forest management and resilience. He has a B. Sc. (Forestry) from the Australian National University and a PhD in forest ecology from University of British Columbia.His current research spans a broad crossection of environment, including forests and climate change, forest ecosystem services, and forest and environmental policy.
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Professor Anthony Zwi
Professor Anthony ZwiCo-Chair, Social Sciences - IFSD High Level Reference Group
Prof Zwi was the first Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at The University of New South Wales, and is now Professor of Global Health and Development in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He seeks to enhance the use of different forms of evidence in health and development policies and to build links between humanitarian relief, development agencies and academic institutions.
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Professor Andrea Nightingale
Professor Andrea NightingaleCo-Chair, Environmental Governance - High Level Reference Group
Prof Nightingale is Prof of Sociology and Human Geography at University of Oslo. Her academic interests include socio-natures, feminist theory, critical development studies, and methodological work on mixing methods across the social and natural sciences. She has influenced global adaptation thinking as a political process.
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Professor Timothy J. Finan
Professor Timothy J. FinanSenior Advisor - International Development and North American Partnerships
Prof Finan has a global reputation in anthropology of development practice. He has extensive experience of providing expert analysis to USAID programs across Asia, Africa and the Latin America. He blends anthropological theory with development practice to solve problems of development in the Global South. He is the founder of a Masters program on Development Practice at the University of Arizona, where he has been on the faculty since 1981, when he joined the then Bureau of Ethnic Studies (BER) as a research associate. He has maintained an active research program in Brazil over the last 20 years, and has worked as a development anthropologist in 34 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
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Prof Jeff Camkin
Prof Jeff CamkinSenior Fellow - Water Policy and Management
Jeff Camkin has 30 years’ experience in water, fisheries and agriculture governance, resource allocation, stakeholder engagement, research, and education. He is presently Adj. Prof. at UWA’s Institute of Agriculture and Griffith University’s International Water Centre, honorary lecturer at the Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany) and University of Algarve (Portugal), and an international water and sustainability consultant. With qualifications in applied science and natural resources law, roles in government, academia, NGOs, and the private sector, along with experience in Asia, Africa, Europe, America, and the Pacific, Jeff has a well-rounded understanding of natural resources and sustainable development. He founded World Water Policy Journal and he remains Editor-in-Chief.
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Prof Ben Muok
Prof Ben MuokSenior Advisor - Climate Change and Biodiversity, and East Africa Partnerships
Prof Ben Muok has worked for over 20 years in research in management of natural resources, renewable energy, science technology innovation, environmental conservation, sustainable development, forestry, climate change adaptation and mitigation, energy access and food security in Africa. He holds a Post-doc in Bioenergy and Climate Change from University of Edinburgh; PhD from Kyoto Prefectural University (Agriculture). He is a member of the East African Community (EAC) Bioenergy Advisory Group, the advisory body for the East African Community Secretariat on bioenergy policy issues. He was involved in the development of the Economic Community of West Africa States Bioenergy Strategy for Western Africa. He has published widely.
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Dr Samsul Huda
Dr Samsul HudaSenior Fellow - Climate Change and Agro-Ecological Resilience, and India Partnership
Dr Samsul Huda is an agroclimatologist and Associate Professor in the School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University. He has developed and applied a framework to address climate variability towards maximising opportunities and minimising crop production risk in a number of countries. His model of innovation involves engaging directly with stakeholders, policy makers, government agencies, farmers and agribusiness. For the past five years, he has been working on wheat-based systems across different states of Australia where Qatar has invested US $ 500 million for their food security; and on fresh vegetables (cucumber, squash, and tomatoes) in both open field and greenhouse conditions in Qatar.
Mr Suresh Pokharel
Mr Suresh PokharelSenior Fellow - Pacific Islands Resilience (Honorary)
Mr. Pokharel has been working in the field of international development, mainly in humanitarian context for more than 15 years. He has worked in more than 20 countries, in Africa and Asia Pacific including in Australia and has extensive experience of policy design and planning and implementing humanitarian and development programs. He is currently working with the National Emergency Management Office, Government of Tonga in his capacity as Senior Specialist, Institutional Capacity and Disaster Risk Management. Mr. Pokharel is currently completing his PhD at Monash University, Australulia in Urban Resilience Building and holds bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and Masters in Rural Development from Tribhuvan University Nepal.
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Dr Tamas Wells
Dr Tamas WellsSenior Fellow - Political Economy and Myanmar Specialist
Tamas Wells is a Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at University of Melbourne, where he teaches in public policy and international development. His research focuses on meanings of democracy, governance and accountability in Southeast Asia and the role of international aid agencies and civil society organisations. He worked as an aid and development adviser and consultant with various NGOs including Save the Children, including seven years living and working in Myanmar. Tamas has been active in developing stronger connections between academics and practitioners and policymakers in the field of aid and development and is the editor of the PK Forum, an online discussion forum on aid and development in Myanmar.
Dr Noemi Gonda
Dr Noemi GondaSenior Fellow - Monitoring, Evaluation, and Development
Dr Gonda is a researcher and development practitioner. Her research, development, and evaluation activities are underpinned by convictions for justice, sustainability and equity. Noémi holds two engineering degrees in agriculture and a Master of Science in tropical agriculture and development. Her PhD research (Hungary/Austria) was on gender and climate change in Nicaragua. She has managed monitoring development projects in national and international NGOs in Central America, West Africa, and Eastern Europe. She also served for five years as a regional coordinator of French NGO Agronomes et Vétérinaires sans frontières for Central America. Her most recent monitoring and evaluation activities include CGIAR and IDRC projects.
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Dr Jagannath Adhikari
Dr Jagannath AdhikariSenior Fellow - Migration, Livelihoods, and Agrarian Change
Dr Jagannath Adhikari is an international expert on agrarian change, migration and development. He was recently a Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University. He did his PhD in 1995 from Australian National University and M.Sc. on Rural Development in 1987 from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. He has worked and taught in Nepal, Heidelberg University (Germany), Kyoto University (Japan) and Australian National University (Australia). He has advised many Nepali and foreign students doing research on Nepal and has a long experience in the field of agriculture and food security. He led a well known policy research institute in Nepal. He has published over 50 articles, books and research reports. He has also published media pieces including on The Conversation.
Dr Ramesh Sunam
Dr Ramesh SunamSenior Research Fellow - Social Inclusion, Livelihoods, and Agrarian Change
Dr Ramesh Sunam is currently an International Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Tokyo. Dr Sunam earned a PhD from The Australian National University (ANU) in 2015. His work focuses on international migration, poverty, rural transformation, food security, and human dimensions of environmental change. Ramesh has extensively published in leading international journals. He has carried out various assignments with international agencies.
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Dr Uttam B Shrestha
Dr Uttam B ShresthaSenior Research Fellow (honorary) - Himalayan Ecology and Climate Change
Dr Shrestha worked as a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He has a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA and has two masters’ degrees, one in Geographic Information Technology from Northeastern University, USA and the other in Botany from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dr. Shrestha worked at Harvard University, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Maine, and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), USA.
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Dr Jay Dhungel
Dr Jay DhungelSenior Research Fellow - Agriculture and Water Management
Dr Dhungel conducted PhD is in subsurface drip irrigation, which addressed aeration in crops with different rooting systems and soil types. This project investigated the effect of air injection (aeration) in crop physiology, water use efficiency, yield quantity and quality. He is also trained in systems thinking in agriculture and rural development through his Master of Applied Science degree from Western Sydney University. He has also obtained Bachelor of Agriculture from the prestigious Rampur Campus of Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He has published his research in various Journals.
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Dr Mom Bishwakarma
Dr Mom BishwakarmaResearch Fellow - Social Justice and Development
Dr Mom Bishwakarma is currently a Lecturer at the University of Tasmania, Sydney Campus and Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP), Australia. Dr Bishwakarma received a PhD from School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Sydney (Usyd) in 2018. His PhD research focused on political transformation and social justice. He undertakes cross-disciplinary research into social and political change, social policy, social inequality, social justice and development. Dr Bishwakarma has recently published a book entitled “Political Transformation in Nepal: Dalit Inequality and Justice” from Routledge, UK. He has published several peer-reviewed articles in international journals.
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Dr Prativa Sapkota
Dr Prativa SapkotaResearch Fellow - Climate Change Adaptation and Social-Ecological Resilience
Dr Sapkota holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia. In her PhD research, she used interdisciplinary approach to examine community institutions, social marginalization and adaptive capacity in community forestry user group in the middle hills of Nepal. She completed her M.Sc. in Environmental Forestry from Bangor University, Wales, M.Sc. in Agricultural Development from University of Copenhagen and B.Sc. in Forestry from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has worked for academia and NGOs. Her work experience includes teaching, conducting research, developing and implementing programs in thematic areas of natural resource management, GESI and climate change adaptation.
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Dr Sakuntala Devkota
Dr Sakuntala DevkotaResearch Fellow - Agricultural Economics
Dr Sakuntala Devkota obtained PhD degree in Agricultural Economics from Kyungpook National University, South Korea in 2009. In her PhD research, she applied autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model to forecast export and import of agricultural products (Tea, Coffee & Ginger) in Nepal. She has master’s degree in economics from Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 2001. Dr Devkota has published several peer reviewed journal papers on agricultural trade and have co-authored two textbooks for college level students of Nepal. Her areas of interest are international trade of agricultural products, international trade of high value food commodity and food value chain analysis, with a focus on South Asia and Australia.
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Dr Chirangivi Bista
Dr Chirangivi BistaResearch Fellow - Education and Development
Dr Bista has expertise in Business and Socio-Economics Research and Analysis. He has made significant scholarly and professional contributions in the area of poverty reduction, migration, health, and small and micro enterprise sectors in Nepal, Vanuatu, and Australia. He is highly experienced in project development, costing and budgeting, and formulating and implementing risk management plans. he is also an experienced in training, organizing and facilitating team development, as well as ensuring the coordination with multi-level stakeholders in education and development sector. He has undertaken in-depth research of vocational and tertiary education.
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Dr Binod Chapagain
Dr Binod ChapagainHonorary South East Asia Advisor
Dr Chapagain brings over 15 years of international development experiences, particularly on gender, migration, capacity development and community forestry processes. He has worked for various development programs funded by bi-lateral missions, including DFID, DFAT, NORAD, SDC, SIDA & USAID in South and Southeast Asia. Since early 2015, based in Bangkok, he has been working in the Southeast Asia region, earlier for the Center for People and Forests (also called RECOFTC) and currently for USAID funded Green Invest Asia Program. The USAID program supports medium and large size businesses to catalyze private finance for sustainable agriculture and forest. He has completed PhD on gender and migration from Australia.
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Dr Mani R Banjade
Dr Mani R BanjadeNepal Program Advisor
Dr M R Banjade is a social entrepreneur, researcher and academics. He was the executive coordinator of ForestAction Nepal. He recently served as a senior researcher at Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) which is based in Bogor, Indonesia. He is currently the Principal NIMS College Nepal where also teaches research methodology, sociology of development, and public policy. He completed PhD on deliberative governance and community development from Australian National University in 2013. He has championed social learning and deliberative approaches to resources governance in Nepal. He is also a co-founder of Future Himalaya Institute, based in kathmandu, Nepal.
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Anusha Ojha
Anusha OjhaContent Editor and Communication Assistant
Anusha is a Business student studying at UNSW and has a knack for writing in a compelling and engaging way. She has experience in writing quality website content for small businesses in Sydney. Anusha is responsible for editing content and managing the content schedule of IFSD. Her key areas of expertise include undertaking extensive research on a wide range of topics, writing summary reports, editing and proofreading, designing creative posters and organising virtual team coordination.

Anusha is also passionate about social change, especially gender equality and climate change. In the future, she aspires to be someone who is able to use her knowledge and skills to make a meaningful social impact on the world. She lives by the motto, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”

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Kaustuv Raj Neupane
Kaustuv Raj NeupaneProject Planning and Strategy Officer (South Asia focal point)
Mr Kaustuv Raj Neupane is the Project Planning and Strategy Officer, responsible to develop projects, strategic partnerships, and consultancy services in South Asia. His area of expertise include sustainable water management, water policies and urban resilience.
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