Our people

Meet the On Think Tanks team. It is made up of a growing network of core staff plus trainers and associates and supported by an international Advisory Board.

The team

  • Cristina Bacalso

    Consultant

    Cristina is an independent research consultant, with a specialisation in public policies for adolescent and youth development, youth participation, and advocacy. She has over 14 years of experience in policy, research, and advocacy, including 5 years as the Research Coordinator for Youth Policy Labs, a global think tank specifically focusing on youth, and most recently, Adolescent Evidence Synthesis and Policy Advisor for UNICEF Innocenti. Her experience includes providing evidence-based strategic and policy advice on adolescents and youth for UN agencies (ex. UNICEF, UNDP SG Envoy on Youth), international NGOs, and national governments.

  • Andrea Baertl

    Director of Research and Learning

    Andrea is a social psychologist with an MSc in Wellbeing and Human Development from the University of Bath, UK. She has experience in research, research communications, capacity building for NGOs and think tanks, and corporate social responsibility. Her research focused on education, wellbeing and development at the Group for the Analysis of Development in Peru, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and the University of Bath. Before joining OTT, Andrea worked at the Evidence and Lessons from Latin America programme, where she oversaw the impact of the work of partner research centres in Africa and Latin America.

  • Louise Ball

    Associate

    Louise is a communications specialist, with 10 years’ experience in the research and non-profit sector. She is the communications and research uptake lead for the four-year Global Challenges Research Fund project Drugs & (dis)order at SOAS University of London. Prior to this, she worked at the Overseas Development Institute’s Research and Policy in Development programme, working on strategic communications for policy engagement, and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute. She co-authored a toolkit on monitoring, evaluating and learning from communications, a Research Excellence Framework impact toolkit, and 10 things to know about how to influence policy with research.




  • Orazio Bellettini

    Consultant

    Orazio is a social entrepreneur and policy expert. He co-founded and directed Grupo FARO and Fundación FUEGOS (an Ecuadorian civil society organisation promoting health and wellbeing through multisectoral collaboration). He is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Mason Fellow (2004), Ashoka Fellow, and, since 2008, a member of AVINA’s sustainable development leaders network for Latin America. Orazio has led, coordinated and promoted diverse networks and collaborative spaces at the regional, national and local levels: the Iniciativa Latinoamericana de Investigación para las Políticas Públicas, the Confederación Ecuatoriana de Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil - a coalition of more than 100 Ecuadorian Civil Society Organisations with the aim of facing collectively challenges shared by citizen organisations in Ecuador, and MANPANOR, the Mancomunidad Pacífico Norte de Manabí, a common-wealth formed by four Ecuadorian Municipalities, as well as private sector and civic organisations, to promote innovative projects for economic recovery after an earthquake that hit the northern coast of Ecuador four years ago. He is author of several studies on the relationship between research and policy, the role of think tanks in developing countries and collaboration around knowledge production. As a member of the cohort of the Think Tank Initiative’s grantees, Orazio proactively engaged with organisations in Africa and Asia and supported the first steps of a think tank network in Africa.

  • Nicolás Braguinsky Cascini

    Consultant

    Nicolás is a story-teller, videographer, video editor, and photographer. He works as a consultant for different international organisations, companies, think tanks, and NGOs to enhance their strategic audio-visual communication.

  • Eva Cardoso

    Programme Manager

    Eva has solid experience in managing international research projects and is very familiar with the think tank sector. She was the programme administrator for the Overseas Development Institute’s Research and Policy in Development programme. Since then, she has supported On Think Tanks (OTT) in a number of roles. is the OTT School coordinator and has worked on several OTT projects including the Data Visualisation Competition and the OTT Exchange. For OTT Consulting, Eva oversees financial and contractual management; supports operations, governance and planning; and manages event and workshop logistics.

  • Caroline Cassidy

    Associate

    Caroline is a strategic communications advisor who focuses on communicating evidence and ideas, policy engagement and behaviour change. She previously set up and led the strategic communications unit at the UK based think tank, ODI. Over the last 15 years, Caroline has worked with governments, academic institutions, funders, NGOs and think tanks in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North and South America. This includes advising teams and management on how to embed communications better in their external strategies and support staff internally. She is also an experienced trainer and mentor. Previous clients include the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Institute for State Effectiveness, the World Health Organization and the University of Nottingham. Caroline is also the author of multiple toolkits, guides and blogs. She speaks French, Spanish and Russian.

  • Hannah Caddick

    Consultant

    Hannah is a freelance editor, proofreader, wordsmith and content manager, specialising in writing for impact. She is a professionally trained and highly experienced editor, and an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. Hannah’s background is in cross-channel editorial and publishing, with a generous sprinkling of brand and design, strategic communications and research-to-policy. For almost a decade, she has worked with charities and not-for-profits – particularly in development, human rights and equality. Some of her previous and current clients include: the World Resources Institute, Overseas Development Institute, International Bar Association, International Institute for Environment and Development, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, The Association of Commonwealth Universities, and Scope UK, among others.

  • Ajoy Datta

    Senior Associate

    Ajoy has 16 years of experience in international development with a focus on improving policy influencing and decision-making practices. He worked as a researcher at the Overseas Development Institute’s (ODI) Research and Policy in Development programme and remains an ODI associate. His interests include: 1) understanding the political economy of policymaking processes at global, national and sub-national levels; 2) supporting government institutions, think tanks, networks and aid organisations to contribute to changes in policy and achieve impact; 3) supporting these organisations to learn and change themselves in the face of complexity and uncertainty; and 4) evaluating the extent to which projects, programmes and policy actors contribute to changes in outcomes and impacts. His work has primarily taken him to sub-Saharan Africa (including Ghana, Zambia and Kenya), South Asia (including India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka), and Southeast Asia (including Indonesia and Vietnam). Ajoy leads OTT Consulting project development and implementation.

  • Leandro Echt

    Consultant

    Leandro works in the policy and research field. He engages with think tanks, researchers, NGOs and public agencies interested in linking evidence with public decisions – particularly in developing countries– through capacity building, mentoring and consultancy activities, including evaluation of programmes and organisational assessments. His work is complemented by research initiatives. He is also the general coordinator of Politics & Ideas. Previously, he was the coordinator of the Influence, Monitoring and Evaluation Program at the Argentinean think tank Center for the Implementation of Public Policies promoting Equity and Growth. He is Argentinean and is currently based in Florida, United States.




  • Marília Ferreira da Cunha

    Communications officer

    Marília is a communications consultant working in the development of strategies, its implementation, and the production of content for several platforms. She is also a researcher, and information designer, passionate about good stories and how to tell them, and interested in international relations, (visual) communication, design, data visualization, and culture. Marília is digital communications officer at OTT, founder of Global Diplomacy, and a volunteer at Data Science for Social Good Portugal.

  • David Gomez Alvarez

    Consultant

    David is a management and public policy specialist with 25 years of professional experience. He has a post doctorate in development planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a doctorate in Public Administration from the University of New York (NYU), a master's degree in Public Policy from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Bachelor in Politics and Public Administration by El Colegio de México (Colmex). He has been a consultant for several international organisations such as UNDP, IDB, UN-Habitat and the World Bank. He has held several high-level positions in the public sector. He is currently a research professor at Universidad de Guadalajara, executive director of Transversal think tank, as well as a member of the Citizen Participation Committee of the Jalisco State Anti-Corruption System. He is a political analyst and editorialist in the media.

  • Marcos González Hernando

    Consultant

    Marcos González Hernando is an affiliated researcher at the University of Cambridge, senior researcher at FEPS-Think-tank for Action on Social Change, and managing editor at Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory. He is interested in the political sociology of knowledge production, economic debates, the history of the social sciences, and the relationship between experts, elites, and public policy. In 2019 he published his book British think tanks after the 2008 economic crisis.




  • Simon Hearn

    Associate

    Simon is an independent consultant with 15 years’ experience in international development and evaluation. He specialises in monitoring and evaluating research impact, policy influence and advocacy, particularly with the use of Outcome Mapping. He is co-author of the RAPID Outcome Mapping Approach and has written extensively on topics including advocacy assessment, civil society engagement, networks, knowledge management and communities of practice. He is a research associate with the Overseas Development Institute and the coordinator of the Outcome Mapping Learning Community.

  • Carolina Kern

    Associate

    Carolina has over 15 years’ experience working for development and humanitarian organisations, helping them to design, manage and raise the profile of projects and programmes. She has excellent skills in policy analysis, research and communications, and has worked for bilateral donors, the United Nations and think tanks. Carolina spent seven years at the Overseas Development Institute where she worked as communications manager. She is now an independent consultant based in Tunisia after working as a communications and policy advisor to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in South Sudan, and managing projects for Australia's aid programmes in Kenya, Sudan, and South Sudan. She currently works for a range of clients including the World Bank with a focus on public health - especially health systems and financing.

  • Michael Kleiman

    Associate

    Michael is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of MediaTank Productions, a production company that specialises in public policy content. Michael’s feature documentaries include Web (2013), which won the Audience Award at the 2013 Doc NYC Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize at the 2014 Atlanta Film Festival, and The Last Survivor (2010), which premiered at the 2010 Oxford Film Festival where it was named Best Documentary and won the Audience Award for Best Film before going on to play over 250 venues around the world. Michael’s short films have been featured in The New York Times, Wired, and AOL. Michael was named a Fulbright Scholar by the US State Department. He received a Master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA in Cinema Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.




  • Julie LaFrance

    Associate

    Julie holds a master’s degree in international business economics from Aalborg University in Denmark and an undergraduate degree in Business from Catawba College, North Carolina. She worked at the Think Tank Initiative until mid-2019. Throughout the 7 years working with think tanks in Latin America, Africa and South Asia, Julie engaged directly with many think tanks to help them set their organizational objectives. Through a process of self-reflection and assessment, organisations developed annual workplans to chart progress towards their organizational objectives. Through various capacity building initiatives that she led in the role of Senior Program Specialist, Julie provided suggestions, alternatives and options for strengthening various dimensions of their organisational performance. As a trusted advisor and sounding board, Julie provided strategic guidance to many executive directors, board members and senior management on approaches for organisational reforms.

  • Dena Lomofsky

    Associate

    Dena is a development sociologist with over 20 years’ experience in the field. She has an honours degree in Industrial Sociology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and a MA in Social Development from the University of the Western Cape. She has a special interest in participatory processes and building learning organisations. Dena has been working in the area of policy influence since 2010 and compliments her work with think tanks and research organisations by working with community development organisations and governments. Dena lives and works in South Africa, and is a managing member of Southern Hemisphere, which she co-founded in 2000. Dena is a skilled researcher, evaluator, trainer and facilitator. She specialises in applied research and evaluations; capacity building; programme design and planning; organisational strategy; and the design of monitoring, evaluation and learning systems.

  • Enrique Mendizabal

    Founder and Director

    Enrique is an independent policy entrepreneur. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Until December 2010, he worked for the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) where he headed the Research and Policy in Development programme. At ODI he co-founded the Outcome Mapping Learning Community. Enrique is the co-founder of Politics & Ideas, the Peruvian Alliance for the Use of Evidence, and the Premio PODER al Think Tank Peruano del Año. Since 2016, he has organised an annual Evidence Week in Latin America. Enrique worked as adviser to the Multiparty Commission for the Bicentennial of Peru's Independence at the National Congress. He lives in Lima.

  • Marcela Morales

    Associate

    Marcela has seven years of experience in conducting policy-oriented research, designing, and implementing international development initiatives for think tanks in the Global South. She has experience designing and implementing research methodologies and working with intercultural and multidisciplinary teams across topics such as gender, education, sustainable development, and south-south cooperation. Before joining OTT as an associate, Marcela worked at Southern Voice, a global network for think tanks in the Global South. She also collaborated with Grupo FARO, where she implemented a south-south cooperation initiative to share knowledge and experiences between Latin America and Africa. Marcela is also a co-Founder of the Ecuadorian Network for Women in the Sciences, a civil society initiative that promotes the participation of women in the sciences. She has an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, an MA of Intercultural Conflict Management from the Alice Salomon Hochschule and a BA in International Relations from the Catholic University of Ecuador.

  • Andrea Ordoñez

    Associate

    Andrea is Director of Southern Voice, a network of think tanks devoted to bringing research from the global South to international debates on the development agenda. She co-edited the book Southern Perspectives on the Post-2015 International Development Agenda, which compiles research on diverse development issues by researchers in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Her work focuses on improving links between researchers from the global South with their counterparts in the global North, strengthening the presence of Southern researchers in international debates and fostering better knowledge systems to support sustainable development. She was previously research director at Grupo FARO, a think tank in Ecuador. Andrea has developed research projects for the public sector and carried out institutional and sectoral assessments for numerous international organisations. She is an economist by training and has a strong interest in how to carry out research and policy analysis to inform policy.

  • Erika Perez-Leon

    Director of Communications and Engagement

    Erika has over twelve years’ experience managing creative teams and delivering complex communication and marketing campaigns for NGO, charity and for-profit clients in Africa, Latin America and the US. Her work includes brand development and implementation for editorial and consumer goods clients, along with information, education and communication materials, behaviour change campaigns and branding for urban and rural community programmes on education, health, gender, and market development. In 2015, she worked on the Ebola crisis response in Sierra Leone as part of the International Rescue Committee’s communications team.

  • Paola Pereznieto

    Consultant

    Paola has over 17 years working in the field of social policy and international development, building experience in the management of international development projects, and conducting policy research and evaluations for a range of clients (governments, UN agencies, IFIs and INGOs). She has supported policy engagement efforts to promote evidence-based policy and planning and has provided capacity building to researchers and practitioners in developing countries. She has strong expertise in the design and use of quantitative, qualitative, participatory and mixed methods for research and evaluation.

  • Cristina Ramos

    Research officer

    Cristina holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Florida (USA) and a masters’ degree in Political Science from the Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia). She is a social scientist with extensive experience designing and implementing research projects, mostly on issues of migration and gender. She has conducted policy-oriented research as part of a variety of institutions, from academic settings to small local NGOs and larger international organisations. She has recently served as a consultant for ICRAF and FAO in Kenya on projects examining the impacts of migration from rural areas, including planning and conducting fieldwork in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Cristina currently lives in Mexico City.

  • Zuleyka Ramos

    Programme Manager

    Zuleyka is a programme manager at Universidad del Pacífico's Research Centre in Peru, which hosts On Think Tanks. Zuleyka manages the grant from the Hewlett Foundation.

  • Annapoorna Ravichander

    Associate

    Dr Annapoorna Ravichander is executive director of the Public Affairs Foundation in Bengaluru, India. She holds a PhD in history and is a corporate communications expert with over 25 years’ experience in developing action-oriented communications strategies for global organisations. Drawing on her own experience, she now provides training and advice on media and communications to think tanks and other organisations. She has published articles in journals, newspapers and newsletters. She has also coordinated publishing books in her capacity as associate editor and coordinator. Her core skills include editing, communication and training. Until 2016, she was head of the Communication and Policy Engagement Team at the Center for Study, Technology and Policy in India. Annapoorna has been a recipient of the Rotary Award for Exemplary Services in 1999, Vadodara, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal from 1985-86 and UGC Fellowship from 1984-1988.

  • Melanie Rayment

    Consultant

    Melanie is a design strategist and social designer. She uses design-led practices to approach complex social issues in a cross-sector way, and works with organisations to enhance their problem-solving capability and guide strategic change in a human-centred way. She co-designs policy, interventions, services, change and engagement programs to achieve public impact and the organisation’s mission. Melanie has 15 years’ experience in both the private and public sector. Her commercial experience includes working with global brands and agencies, and during her time with the ‘big four’ management consultants across Sydney, Tokyo, and London, Melanie applied design to large-scale organisational, customer, and industry challenges. She has spent time as a university teacher in design for social impact and worked at the University of Technology Sydney in a transdisciplinary approach with citizens, governments, and NGOs to co-develop mission-based approaches to social innovation across an array of policy issues.

  • Belissa Rojas

    Consultant

    Belissa is an international development expert with 20 years of strategic advisory, business transformation, strategic planning, and impact management and measurement. She has worked for multilateral organisations, government agencies, and private sector consulting firms in North America, Europe and Latin America. Belissa specialises in developing business strategies, transforming strategy definitions into actionable plans, and operationalising solutions. At the IDB Invest, Belissa was responsible for driving the design and implementation of the impact measurement and management (IMM) system. She is now working with OTT to explore and encourage greater involvement of think tanks in the impact investing sector.

  • Fletcher Tembo

    Consultant

    Dr. Fletcher Tembo is a governance adviser for Transparency and Accountability to improve economic development and service delivery in Malawi (TRACTION), a five-year programme funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by the Palladium Group, CARE International and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). He is also an Independent consultant specialised in Applied Political Economy Analysis (PEA), issue-based programming, social accountability, and innovative monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks for governance projects; and harnessing the opportunities coming with new technologies to enhance accountable governance. He was Director of the Making All Voices Count Programme covering 12 countries in Africa and Asia focusing on using new technologies to enhance accountable governance. He was a Senior Research Fellow at ODI from 2006 to 2013; and was a Senior Economic Justice Adviser at World Vision UK from 2002 to 2005. Fletcher is currently an adviser at the Accountability Research Centre, based at the American University in Washington DC.

  • Stephen Yeo

    Associate and advisory board member

    Stephen has had extensive involvement in building capacity for policy research and analysis in sub-Saharan Africa. He also has significant experience in monitoring and evaluation, in particular of policy research networks and policy influencing projects. Stephen is also a member of On Think Tanks' Advisory Board.

The contributors