Our people

Meet the OTT team. It is made up of a growing network of core staff plus associates and consultants.

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

    Coordinator, On Think Tanks

    Andrea is the coordinator of the On Think Tanks programme.She 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

    Director of Communications

    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.

  • 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.




  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Michael Kleiman

    Consultant

    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

    Consultant

    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. Erika currently works with OTT's partners Soapbox and Espacio Público.

  • 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.

  • Annapoorna Ravichander

    Consultant

    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.

  • 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

    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.

  • Emily Hayter

    Associate, Evidence use

    Emily has fourteen years of experience in international development, working at the intersections between research and public sector governance. Before joining OTT she spent seven years at INASP, where as a Senior Programme Specialist she headed a strand of work on research and evidence systems for policy and practice. She has led and managed projects with government bodies, parliaments, think tanks, universities, consultancy firms and multilateral agencies. She has also written, consulted and facilitated workshops on evidence use in policy and programming for diverse clients and networks predominantly in Africa and also in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Her interests include adaptive and politically responsive programming, capacity development and organisational change.

  • Lauren Sarruf Romero

    Digital Communications Officer

    Lauren is a Social Communicator with a focus on Communication, Development and Culture. During her career, she has worked in communications management for different organisations. She has the ability to design and implement strategic communication plans, and create and deliver internal and external communication strategies. She also has competencies in the creation of digital content, planning of marketing communication strategies and management of social media.

  • Stephanie Nicolle

    Research and Learning Officer

    Stephanie is an experienced Research Analyst based in Sri Lanka, where she has focused on improving evidence use to shift public understanding of policy matters concerning social justice. She previously worked at a leading Sri Lankan think tank on the nexus between media and politics. During this time, she led South Asia’s first media ownership mapping initiative with Reporters Without Borders and is the youngest Research Lead in the Media Ownership Monitor global project. She has also written and reviewed publications for multilateral agencies and universities, consulted for civil society organisations, and conducted workshops and specialised briefings on the shortcomings in policy formulation and implementation, and public sentiment and policy processes. She is keen to support think tanks with responding to changes in the policy environment by strengthening think tank capacities, developing reflective practices and building partnerships.

  • Luis Orlandi

    Growth Manager

    Luis is international cooperation, public policies and fundraising specialist. He has more than 15 years of experience in the international arena developing his career in Argentina, Italy, Belgium and Spain. Luis was the International Cooperation and Public Affairs Director and International Cooperation Coordinator of one of the leading think tanks of Argentina, CIPPEC. He has extensive experience in international funding, public affairs and creating strategic alliances and partnerships. Luis has an MBA from the Bologna Business School, a Master in International Relations from the University of Bologna and an International Business Bachelor from Lujan's University Argentina.

  • Jessica Correa

    Programme and Project Manager

    Jessica has a bachelor's degree in International Relations. She has more than five years of professional experience in administrative and management roles in the private sector, think tanks, and civil society. Jessica has project design and management skills and quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills. As a Programme and Project Manager at OTT, she works across all areas of operations, projects, contracts, and financial management. She also supports governance and planning and manages event and workshop logistics.

The contributors