Team Bios

Mr. Usman Qazi

Mr. Usman Qazi is a community development, human rights and humanitarian relief worker from Pakistan. He has studied engineering from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan and Economics and Management of Rural Development from Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, UK. Mr. Qazi I have about seventeen years’ experience of working in the field of sustainable community development, capacity building and humanitarian response. He has worked on various projects funded by The World Bank, The Netherlands Government, Department for International Development (UK),The Asian Development Bank and the United Nations. Mr. Qazi is a fellow of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) International and a member of Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief, an international coalition of professionals working in humanitarian relief.

Susan Jane Fairhurst Long

Ms. Long has a background in commercial strategy, industrial economics and manufacturing. She has experience in both carrying-out projects in developing countries, including working with Vietnamese Ministries, and working for European Private Equity and corporate clients.

She holds a BA and M.Eng. in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Cambridge and a M.Sc. in Industry, Trade and Development from the University of Manchester, UK. She began her working career with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ strategy group in London before moving into the development sector with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. She has worked in HQ and in field offices in Vietnam and Kenya, principally in building national capacity in industrial diagnosis and trade competitiveness analysis, but also on diverse projects including writing a syllabus on Japanese management techniques suitable for rural SMEs and market analysis and supply chain development for bamboo handicrafts. In addition she is working on establishing an ‘Ethical Fashion Design and Dress-Making business’ as an entrepreneur.

Ms. Safiya Aftab

Safiya Aftab has graduate degrees in Economics from Quaid e Azam University, Islamabad and the London School of Economics and Political Science; and Public Administration from Harvard University. She has been the recipient of both the Overseas Development Assistance Shared Scholarship Scheme (ODASSS) scholarship for graduate studies in the UK, and the Fulbright scholarship for studies in the US. Ms. Aftab has had varied professional experience, including permanent staff positions with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the UN World Food Program (WFP), consulting, and in research with the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute. Ms. Aftab’s research interests include the analysis of growth and poverty, fiscal and financial reform and public service delivery, and competitiveness issues.

Ms. Shirin Gul

Ms. Gul has a Master of Science degree in Anthropology and graduation with concentration in international development. She has more than 8 years of program management experience which includes financial management, Governance, Environment, Education and Gender with various national and international organizations which includes the United Nations Devlopment Programme. She advises development players on management of multi-donor basket funds and projects. Her expertise in program development includes the context of emergency (earthquake, conflict response and flood response) focusing on governance infrastructure, rule of law, service delivery, and social protection. She has strong analytical and written communications skills, evidenced by publications in national and international fora, and extensive social and political economy analyses for new programs, as well as policy briefs for officials in the government and at HQ level.

Mr. Shamel Azmeh

Shamel Azmeh is an economist and consultant with specific interest in areas around: global value chains, sourcing relations, competiveness, industrial upgrading, trade policy and the geography of the world economy, and labour issues within global value chains. He holds a Masters degree in Globalisation and Development from the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IDPM) at the University of Manchester. Currently, he is working on his PhD thesis at IDPM in which he is studying Asian Apparel Firms in the Middle East & North Africa, focusing on the cases of Egypt and Jordan.

Beside his academic work, Mr. Azmeh has worked with a number of internationial organizations including the European Commission (EC), where he worked as an Economic Assistant in their delegation to Syria, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNDIO) where he contributed to a project on the competitiveness of the Palestinian economy, and other regional bodies.

Mr. Nana Yaw Yankah

Nana Yaw Yankah is policy development and implementation advisor for the UN sustainable livelihood project in Ghana. He has academic background in Business Administration as well as Development Finance from the University of Manchester, UK. Mr. Yankah has helped establish a government policy implementation unit within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, member of the Technical Working Group on ‘putting aid on budget’. He has been instrumental in the Public Financial Management Sector Working Group and has been coordinating the implementation of the UN sustainable livelihood project. Mr. Yankah has academic and research interest in global and regional issues in the subject area of food security, livelihoods, aid coordination, and issues in development finance.

Ms. Hanna Denecke

Hanna Denecke holds a M.Sc. in Economics from the Universitaet Hamburg, Germany and a M.Sc. in Development Economics and Policy from the University of Manchester, UK. Currently, she is working as a research assistant at the Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany where she is completing her PhD. Her fields of interest/expertise are labor economics, development economics and applied microeconomics with a special focus on empirical work. Besides academic achievements, Ms. Denecke has worked with GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) on a study on the Bangladesh Labor Law and international labor standards. She also gained work experience in the private sector as a marketing assistant.

Mr. Ahsan Abbas

Mr. Abbas holds M. Phil in Economics from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He has more than 9 years of experience of research and analysis in several public and private sector organizations. Mr. Abbas is adept in theoretical as well as applied economics with emphasis on quantitative analysis. He has practical knowledge of econometric and CGE Modeling with Application in the area of economic development and planning at both national and international level.