Our advisory board

On Think Tanks' Advisory Board provides high level intellectual and strategic guidance to the team. Its members are leaders in the world of think tanks, globally and in their own regions. All members of the Advisory Board participate in their personal capacity.

The team

  • Norma Correa

    Professor, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

    Norma is an anthropologist specialising in public policy and development with 15 years of professional experience in rural and urban research, management and senior management, technical consultancy and university teaching. She is Professor and Researcher of the Academic Department of Social Sciences and the School of Government and Public Policy at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). She has won a number of academic research scholarships and awards at national and international level. Her research interests include: social innovation, economic inclusion, inequalities and gender.

  • Priyanthi Fernando

    Executive Director, International Women's Rights Action Watch-Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP)

    Priyanthi has a Masters Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. A social development and communications professional with over 30 years of experience both in Sri Lanka and overseas, she has worked in the areas of technology, infrastructure and poverty. She has worked in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Yemen, the UK and Australia and has led several organisations: the Centre for Poverty Analysis, an independent Sri Lankan think tank; the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development, a specialist global network and the Sri Lanka country programme of Intermediate Technology Development Group (now called Practical Action), the Sri Lankan arm of an international NGO. Early in her career she worked with the Lanka Mahila Samiti, a grassroots women's organisation in Sri Lanka and more recently served on the Boards of several other civil society organisations including the Women and Media Collective, Sri Lanka. Priyanthi has been passionate about issues of justice and about fighting structural inequalities relating to gender, access to technology, poverty and livelihoods.

  • Ruth Levine

    Programme Director, Global Development and Population, Hewlett Foundation

    Ruth is the Program Director of Global Development and Population at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Ruth is an internationally recognized development economist and expert in global health, education and evaluation. Since 2011, she has led the foundation’s team responsible for grantmaking to improve living conditions in low- and middle-income countries, and to advance reproductive health and rights in developing countries and in the United States. Previously, Ruth was a deputy assistant administrator in the Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning at the U.S. Agency for International Development. In that role, she led the development of the agency’s evaluation policy. Ruth spent nearly a decade at the Center for Global Development, as a senior fellow and vice president for programs and operations. She helped shape the center’s approach to reduce global poverty and inequality, conducted independent research and devised new policy solutions. She also designed and evaluated health and education projects at the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. Ruth is the author of scores of books and publications on global health policy, including “Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health,” and co-wrote the report, “When Will We Ever Learn? Improving Lives through Impact Evaluation.” She holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Cornell University and a doctorate degree in economic demography from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Lawrence MacDonald

    Vice President, World Resources Institute (WRI)

    Lawrence leads the design and implementation of strategic communications plans and activities that help to make WRI’s big ideas happen. A development policy communications expert and former foreign correspondent, he works to increase the influence and impact of the Institute’s research and analysis by leading an integrated communications program that includes online engagement, media relations, events, and government and NGO outreach. He is responsible for strengthening communications capacity across the Institute, including in Washington and in the growing international offices. Before joining WRI in October 2014, Lawrence worked for 10 years at the Center for Global Development (CGD), a Washington, DC, based think-and-do tank, where he was part of a small leadership team that earned the Center an international reputation for turning ideas into action to promote shared global prosperity. Before joining CGD Lawrence worked as a senior communications officer at the World Bank where he provided strategic communications advice to chief economists, coordinated the preparation of research publications, created the World Bank Research web site, and was founding editor of the Bank's Policy Research Report series. Before that he worked for 15 years in East and Southeast Asia as a reporter and editor for The Asian Wall Street Journal, Agence France Presse and Asiaweek Magazine, during which time he lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, and Manila.

  • Simon Maxwell (CBE)

    Senior Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

    Simon Maxwell is a development economist, who has worked internationally since 1970. He worked for ten years overseas, in Kenya, India and Bolivia, then for fifteen years at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, latterly as Programme Manager for Poverty, Food Security and the Environment. In 1997, Simon became Director of the Overseas Development Institute, the UK’s leading independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues. In 2009, he became a Senior Research Associate of the ODI. From 2001-5, Simon was President of the Development Studies Association of the UK and Ireland. In 2007, he was made a CBE, for services to international development.

  • Jill Rutter

    Programme Director, Institute for Government

    Jill Rutter leads the Institute for Government's work on better policy making and arm’s length government. She is an experienced former senior civil servant, having worked in HM Treasury, Number 10 and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). Her work includes studies on how governments make policy, general Civil Service issues including minister-Civil Service relations, governments and sustainable development, and government and business. Jill is co-author of the Institute’s work on making policy better, policy success and innovation in policy processes as well as how to manage relationships with arm’s length bodies.

  • John Schwartz

    Founder and Managing Director, Soapbox

    Having built Soapbox up from a freelance design practice to a thriving communications agency, John divides his time between running the business, checking the quality of its outputs and keeping his hand in as a designer. John began his career in publishing, running Politico’s bookshop and imprint before becoming publishing manager and designer at the IPPR, where he began developing his approach to policy communications. He studied philosophy and politics at the University of Warwick.

  • Stephen Yeo

    Independent Consultant and On Think Tanks Adviser at Large

    Stephen has had extensive involvement in building capacity for policy research and analysis in Sub-Saharan Africa, along with experience in monitoring and evaluation, in particular of policy research networks and policy influencing projects. He is currently involved in the evaluation of the International Growth Centre (IGC).

  • Xufeng Zhu

    Professor, Tsinghua University

    Xufeng ZHU is currently Professor and Associate Dean at the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University. His research interests involve the policy process, think tank and expert involvement, Science & Technology policy, environment and climate policy, and public governance in transitional China. He is the author of The Rise of Think Tanks in China, Expert Involvement in Policy Changes, and China's Think Tanks: Their Influences in the Policy Process, and has published over twenty English articles in Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration, The China Quarterly, Policy Sciences, Public Management Review, Administration & Society, Asian Survey and other international journals. He serves as Regional Editor of Asian Journal of Political Sciences and editorial board memberships for other six international journals.

The contributors