The CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Macours has accepted the position of Chair of SPIA, effective October 1, 2017. Karen, who is well known to many of you, is an associate professor at the Paris School of Economics and researcher at French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). Her research focuses on the micro-economic constraints to agricultural productivity and rural poverty reduction. Much of her current research involves the evaluation of programs addressing rural households’ productive and human capital investments and related measurement questions in Sub Sahara Africa and Latin America. She is an affiliate of CEPR and JPAL Europe. She received her MS in Agricultural Engineering from the K.U. Leuven and her PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Karen was appointed following a competitive international recruitment process. She will succeed Doug Gollin, who has served as Chair of SPIA since 2012. Doug welcomed news of the appointment, saying, “I am delighted to be handing over the leadership of SPIA to Karen Macours. She is an outstanding development economist who has displayed a longstanding commitment to understanding the processes and impacts of agricultural technology. Karen will bring fresh perspectives and insights to SPIA, and I am confident that she will help SPIA to build the evidence base on the impacts of CGIAR research. It has been an honor to serve as Chair of SPIA for the past five years, and I am grateful to have had this opportunity.”
As Chair of SPIA, Karen will serve as an ex officio member of the ISPC Council. “I very much look forward to welcoming Karen onto the ISPC," said Maggie Gill, Chair of the ISPC. "At the same time, we will greatly miss the professional and conscientious inputs which Doug has provided over the last 5 years.”