Experts

We have spokespeople and expert researchers available for interviews and comment on a wide range of topics relating to environment and development. You can find details about the IIED experts who are available for comment below. If you would like to interview anyone, please contact our media team in the first instance.

Principal researcher, Climate Change; team leader, global climate change governance

Achala Abeysinghe is an expert on legal issues in international climate change negotiations. She is currently legal and technical adviser to the chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Her interests are in equity and fairness issues in climate change, the national legislative and policy frameworks on climate change and climate change adaptation, and financial mechanisms under the UNFCCC regime. She heads the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) workshops programme for vulnerable developing countries, and is a lead author of the chapter on Climate Resilient Pathways in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Achala Abeysinghe is principal researcher and team leader of global climate law, policy and governance team at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). At IIED, She also heads the training and support programme of the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi).

A lawyer by training, she has also been working as the legal and strategy adviser to the chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for past six years. Her work currently focuses mainly on issues related to compliance, transparency and NDC under the UNFCCC and national legislative frameworks on climate change.

In 2015, Achala was nominated as one of the top 15 female climate champions in the world in a list compiled by the University of Massachusetts. Earlier this year, she was recognised as one of the 'good 100' of 2015 by the good100 magazine that captured 100 individuals in the world who are improving the world through their work.

She was a lead author of the chapter on Climate Resilient Pathways in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Speaks English and Sinhalese (Sri Lanka)

Senior fellow, Climate Change

Simon Anderson's current research looks at the effectiveness of climate change adaptation. His areas of expertise include agriculture and agro-economic systems, as well as policy analysis, programme management monitoring and evaluation.

Speaks English and Spanish

Senior researcher, Shaping Sustainable Markets

Sarah Best's current work focuses on energy access and renewable energy, productive uses of energy, and on citizen engagement in policy and debates on energy and mining. She has expertise on pro-poor and inclusive business models, civil society advocacy for change, and a range of energy and extractives issues. Her current research is focused on East Africa.

Speaks English and Spanish

Director of Communications

Liz Carlile is an expert on research communications. A key focus of her work is lobbying for support to improve research communications through networking and publishing.

She was recently invited to the role of communications reviewer on the UK Department for International Development's mid-term reviews of research consortia. She is the communications lead in the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation initiative (ESPA), and is communications reviewer for the ESRC/DFID research programme. She has also acted as a consultant on communications strategy for a range of development and research organisations, and was a founder of Panos Pictures.

Speaks English

Senior researcher, Natural Resources

Seth Cook's current work focuses on sustainable agriculture and food systems, as well as China-related projects.

His areas of expert knowledge include natural resource management, agriculture, energy and ethnographic research methods. He has worked in China on programmes that promoted sustainable development and environmental good practice. 

Speaks English and Chinese (fluent)

Principal researcher (law and sustainable development), Natural Resources; team leader, legal tools

Lorenzo Cotula is an expert in law and development. He works on international investment law, human rights, land rights and legal issues related to "land grabbing",  as well as the political economy of natural resource investments. He leads IIED's work on Legal Tools for Citizen Empowerment – a collaborative initiative to strengthen local rights and voices in natural resource investments. He has extensive experience in low-income countries in Africa and Asia.

Speaks Italian, English and French

Director, Human Settlements

David Dodman is an expert on climate change vulnerability and resilience in urban centres. His current work focuses on understanding the nature of urban risks, and the way in which daily hazards, major disasters and climate change can affect low-income urban residents. He is working with local organisations, international agencies and universities to build the resilience in urban communities and cities. 

He has expertise in urban governance for adaptation, urban livelihoods in the context of climate change and community-based environmental management. His work has a particular focus on eastern and southern Africa and Southeast Asia.

Speaks English

Senior researcher (biodiversity), Natural Resources

Phil Franks is an expert on the social dimension of natural resource management and conservation, with a particular focus on better understanding and applying social equity principles in this context.

He is currently working on the development of low-cost methods for assessing the social impacts of protected areas and protected area governance, conservation-development linkages, and social and environmental safeguards for REDD+, the international effort to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. He has extensive experience in Africa, Nepal, Southeast Asia and South America.

Speaks English and French

Principal researcher, Climate Change; team leader, climate resilience, productivity and equity in the drylands

Ced Hesse is an expert on the livelihoods of dryland areas, particularly pastoralism. His work focusses on delivering devolved financial mechanisms to access and manage climate finance, enabling community prioritisation of funds, resilience planning, and developing M&E systems for tracking the impacts of adaptation. He is currently working on mainstreaming climate adaptation into local government planning in Kenya, Mali, Senegal and Tanzania. 

He is also interested in the design and delivery of policy-oriented training based on experiential learning, and is working on mainstreaming knowledge of dryland livelihoods into university curricula in Ethiopia and Kenya. 

Speaks English and French

Senior fellow, Climate Change

Saleemul Huq is an expert on the links between climate change and sustainable development, particularly from the perspective of developing countries. He was the lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Sustainable Development in the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and was the lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Mitigation in the IPCC's fourth assessment report. 

His current focus is on supporting the engagement of the Least Developed Countries in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is researching the least developed countries' vulnerability to climate change and the impact of adaptation measures. He is also the director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh.

Speaks English, Bengali and Hindi/Urdu

Principal researcher, Climate Change

Nanki Kaur's areas of expertise include managing finances for climate adaptation and mitigation, the institutional dimensions of natural resource governance, and pro-poor development. Her current work is focusing on assessing the political economy of adaptation measures, international climate change negotiations, and adaptation planning in Nepal and Ethiopia.

Speaks English, Hindi and Punjabi

Principal researcher, Natural Resources

Duncan Macqueen is an expert on locally controlled forest farm enterprises which collectively help to secure the multiple values of forest landscapes. His work looks at governance reforms that can support such enterprises, including measures affecting tenure, market access, technical extension and organisational development.

He is currently researching organisational structures for business and policy representation that can best serve the needs of local forest farm producers.

Speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish (basic)

Director, Natural Resources

James Mayers is an expert on sustainable forestry, rural livelihoods and the governance of natural resources. He is currently working on improving governance and justice in relation to forestry and natural resource use. He is on the steering committee of the Forests Dialogue, an international programme that aims to encourage collaborative action on high-priority issues facing the world's forests.

Speaks English, Spanish and French

Principal researcher and team leader (biodiversity), Natural Resources

Dilys Roe's work focuses on pro-poor conservation: strategies for linking biodiversity conservation with poverty reduction and social justice. She also works on pro-poor tourism. She previously co-ordinated IIED's Evaluating Eden initiative, a global review of community-based wildlife management. 

Speaks English and French (basic)

Senior fellow, Human Settlements; team leader, urban poverty and local organisations

David Satterthwaite is a senior fellow at IIED and visiting professor at the Development Planning Unit, University College London. Two recent books co-authored with Diana Mitlin were Urban Poverty in the Global South; Scale and Nature (2012) and Reducing Urban Poverty in the Global South (2013). Both were published by Routledge.

He was a co-ordinating lead author of the chapter on urban adaptation in the Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and he is currently working with other IPCC authors on a book on how cities can combine development and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Speaks English

Principal researcher, Natural Resources; team leader, water

Jamie Skinner is an expert on water governance, especially in arid lands. His work has a particular focus on managing the social and environmental dimensions of large dam projects. He also looks at how to manage multiple benefits from water.

He is currently managing the Global Water Initiative programme for West Africa. This programme aims to improve water management for sustainable agriculture and food security across five countries: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal.  

Speaks English, French and Spanish

Chief economist, Shaping Sustainable Markets

Paul Steele is an economist specialising on the linkages between environment, climate and poverty reduction. He has more than 20 years' experience working for international organisations, including the United Nations Development Programme, the European Union, the World Bank and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as well as the UK and the Sri Lankan governments. 

Speaks English

Principal researcher (agriculture and biodiversity), Natural Resources

Krystyna Swiderska's areas of expertise are traditional resource rights and biodiversity governance. She is also researching the potential role of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in climate change adaptation. 

She currently working on the protection of the traditional knowledge, bi-cultural heritage and customary law of indigenous and local communities. She is also researching access to genetic resources and the equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources (as set out by the Nagoya Protocol). Her work has a particular focus on India, China, Peru, Kenya and Panama.

Speaks English, French and Spanish

Senior fellow, Climate Change

Camilla Toulmin is an economist with particular expertise on dryland Africa. Her work has combined field research, policy analysis and advocacy. Her interests include building alliances with those on the frontline of sustainable development and land rights in Africa. Her current work focuses on climate change, property rights, global governance and natural resources.

Speaks English and French

Principal researcher, Shaping Sustainable Markets; team leader, small-scale and informal enterprise

Bill Vorley is team leader for IIED's work on small-scale and informal enterprise, with particular expertise in agribusiness, agrifood systems, informal markets, smallholders and inclusive business. He is currently researching small-scale farming in formal and informal markets, market structures and the future of family farming and sustainable commodity production and trade.

Speaks English