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Meet the Team

The Enabling the Business of Agriculture team consists of following experts shown in alphabetical order below.


Rong Chen

Rong joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in February 2014. Previously, Rong worked in the Doing Business project (2013 and 2014 reports) on debt enforcement and investment climate in fragile and conflict affected countries. Rong holds a Master of Public Administration degree with concentration on Economic Policy and Sustainable Finance from Cornell University and a Bachelor's degree on Liberal Arts from Renmin University of China. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she worked as an investment consultant for a US Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and as a research analyst at International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Switzerland. She speaks Chinese.



Dariga Chukmaitova

Dariga joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project in August 2014, where she works on the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) topic and on contributors’ relations. Prior to joining the team, Dariga worked with the Human Development and the Financial and Private Sector Development Vice-Presidencies, Europe and Central Asia (ECA). She started her career at the World Bank by working for the Doing Business project and assisted with Registering Property indicator. Before joining the WB, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), GWU and has obtained more than eight years of both professional and academic experience while working in Washington, DC and Kazakhstan/Central Asia. Dariga holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Department of Politics & Policy of the Claremont Graduate University (CGU), Claremont, CA, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) Monterey, CA. She is fluent in English and Russian, as well as conversational in Kazakh.



Davida Connon

Davida joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project in September 2014. Before joining the group, Davida worked as an international trade lawyer with a global law firm, both in Geneva and Washington, DC. Davida has expertise in WTO dispute settlement and negotiations, FTAs and bilateral trade issues, SPS, customs, and trade remedies, particularly in the fields of energy, the environment, and agriculture. Previously, she interned with the WTO Appellate Body, the European Commission’s WTO legal team, and another prominent law firm in Geneva. Davida holds an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, and an LL.B. degree in law from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Her native language is English and she is conversant in French.



Raian Divanbeigi

Mr. Divanbeigi joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in October 2013. He currently leads the work on land regulation and conducts research on structural change. Prior to joining the team, Mr. Divanbeigi focused on business regulation at the World Bank’s Doing Business unit. Before joining the World Bank Group he worked as an economist for ActionAid International and the Italian government where he advised on policy coherence and aid effectiveness. Mr. Divanbeigi holds a master's degree in Development Economics and a bachelor's degree in Economic Development and International Cooperation from the University of Florence. He also holds a diploma in multidimensional poverty and inequality measurement from Oxford University.



Soha Eshraghi

Soha joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in September 2014, where she currently works on the Fertilizer topic. Prior to joining the World Bank, Soha worked with public health development organizations such as Microclinic International, where she analyzed programs and health curriculum. Previous to that, she worked at Uganda Village Project where she was in charge of monitoring and evaluating health and sanitation programs. She holds a degree in Political Science, with a focus on comparative politics and International Development, from the University of California, Berkeley.



Pilar Fernandez

Pilar joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project in January 2016, where she leads the Markets topic. Previously, she served as minister counselor for economic affairs at the Embassy of Colombia in Washington DC, where she engaged U.S. government agencies and other stakeholders to advance bilateral trade and investment. Prior to this, she worked as an economic advisor to the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, a non-profit organization that works to improve the competitiveness and well-being of over 500,000 Colombian coffee farmers and their families. Pilar holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in Economics from Universidad de los Andes (Colombia).


Bill Garthwaite

Bill joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project in June 2015, where he leads the development of indicators for Access to Water. Before joining the World Bank Group, he worked as an international legal consultant for FAO, the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), UNIDROIT, and UNITAR. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from MIT, and a J.D. and LL.M in International and Comparative Law from Cornell University.



Arnau Gallard-Agusti

Arnau joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in February 2013. Prior to joining the team Arnau worked at the IFC’s Investment Climate Department, was head of Venair’s Middle East office in Dubai and worked for the Catalan Government’s trade office in Cairo. He also worked for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Plan International Guatemala, and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. He holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, a bachelor’s degree in Politics from the University of York, UK and an IB diploma from UWC Swaziland. Arnau speaks Spanish and Catalan, and is conversant in French and Arabic.



Graham Hamley

Graham joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project in December 2015, where he supports the development of indicators for Access to Water. Before Joining the World Bank Group, Graham worked as a legal consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the University of Edinburgh, and as a project manager at CDP. Graham’s areas of expertise include corporate climate change policy and veterinary legislation, with a primary focus upon animal health. He holds an LL.B. in law from the University of Dundee, and an LL.M. in Global Environment and Climate Change Law from the University of Edinburgh.


Sarah Iqbal

Sarah Iqbal is the Program Manager of the World Bank Group’s Enabling the Business of Agriculture project. She joined the World Bank Group in 2008, where she first worked with Doing Business before moving to develop the Women, Business and the Law indicator set. She provides guidance on how to develop and scale legal and regulatory indicator sets, and how the legal environment influences economic outcomes. Sarah is interested in the intersection of law and development issues. Prior to joining the World Bank Group she practiced civil litigation and criminal defense, and is a member of the California Bar. She holds a BA in English Literature and History from the University of California, Berkeley, an MA in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a JD concentrating in International Law from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She speaks Hindi and Urdu.


Edna Massay Kallon

Edna joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in August 2013 where she leads the livestock topic. Prior to joining the team, Edna worked with the Corporate Executive Board, a best practices research firm for Fortune 500 and 100 business companies, the World Bank Group’s Independent Evaluation Group on private sector project evaluations and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization with the Iraq country office. Edna holds a master's degree in International Relations and Economics with a degree focusing on finance and development from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.



Marina Kayumova

Marina joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in February 2015. She leads the development of indicators for information and communication technology topic. Prior to joining the team, Marina was a Research Fellow at George Washington University. Previously she worked for GSM Association in London and European Parliament in Brussels. Marina has experience in research and emerging economies. She holds a Master of Philosophy in Innovation, Strategy and Organization from the University of Cambridge, UK and a Master in Advanced European Studies and International Relations from the European Institute, France. Marina is fluent in English, French and Russian.



Sana Khan

Sana joined the Enabling of Business of Agriculture project in March 2017 and is currently working for the Seed topic. Prior to joining the World Bank, Sana was an Innovation Analyst at the Ministry of Agriculture in British Columbia, Canada. In this role she was able to produce deliverables outlining the impact of government funding in agribusinesses, which is currently being used by Economists at the Central Government of Canada. She has a MBA degree from University of Victoria in Canada and almost five years of agribusiness experience in both private and public sector. Sana comes from a diverse background as she has previously worked in Dubai, London, China and Canada in various consulting capacities. She is also an online volunteer with the United Nations (UN) and has worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a research volunteer. Sana is fluent in Urdu and Hindi, with basic knowledge of Arabic.


Maksat Korooluev

Maksat joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in May 2016 where he leads the Agricultural Mechanization topic. Prior to joining the World Bank Maksat worked with the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) as a team leader for regional trade facilitation program in the Kyrgyz Republic. He advised public sector institutions and focused on building foreign trade Single Windows, support to national quality infrastructure and quality management systems for SMEs. Maksat also has experience with retail banking sector in Kazakhstan. Maksat holds Master’s degree in Public Policy from University of Maryland (USA) and Bachelor’s degree in Economics from American University in Central Asia. He is fluent in English, Russian and Kyrgyz.


Jean-Philippe Lodugnon-Harding

Jean-Philippe joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project in December 2014. He currently leads the work on Seed regulations. Prior to joining the team, Jean-Philippe worked on business regulations within the World Bank’s Doing Business report and its regional editions. Before joining the World Bank Group, he worked as a private practice lawyer in several global law firms in Paris, focusing on the financing of infrastructure and energy projects in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. He holds a LL.B (hons) from Sheffield Hallam University, a master's degree in business and competition law from Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne University and a master's degree in banking and finance law from Paris Panthéon-Assas University. Jean-Philippe is admitted to the Paris bar. He is fluent in French and English.



Wisambi Loundu

Wisambi joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in June 2016, where she supports the development of indicators for the Finance topic. Prior to joining the team, Wisambi worked most recently as a Policy Analyst in the International Relations division of the U.S. Export-Import Bank where she served as technical expert on OECD Arrangements Guidelines on Officially Supported U.S. Export Credits. She’s also worked as Junior Professional Associates (JPA) in the Operations and Strategy team of the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network (SDN) Vice President Office. Prior to joining the Bank, Wisambi worked as Senior Research Associate in the Capital Markets Group at Cambridge Associates- an investment consulting firm in D.C. area. She holds a Master of International Business from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and B.A in French Studies from Bryn Mawr College.


Elaine Panter

Elaine joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project in March 2017, and currently leads the gender indicator. Before joining the group, Elaine led a World Bank project on equality legislation and economic inclusion of minorities. Previously, Elaine worked as project manager of a human rights research institute at the Johns Hopkins University. Elaine has expertise in international human rights law, development economics, women’s rights, access to justice, discrimination law, trafficking in persons and corporate social responsibility. She  worked as teaching assistant at Beirut Arab University in Lebanon and interned with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade Section. Elaine holds an LL.B. and LPC degrees from the University of Law in London, a MA in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, SAIS and a degree in International Relations from the University of Bologna. Her native languages are English and Italian and she is conversant in French and Spanish. 


Esperanza Pastor

Esperanza joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project in October 2015, where she works on the Accessing Financial Services topic. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she worked as a lawyer in Spain specializing in commercial and private law. Esperanza holds a Law degree from University of Murcia in Spain. She is a LL.M. in International Legal Studies candidate at American University Washington College of Law with a focus on Business, Arbitration and Trade and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the UNED University. Esperanza is admitted to the Spanish bar. Esperanza is fluent in English, French and Spanish, conversant in German and speaks basic Portuguese.



Nina Paustian

Nina Paustian joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team as a Private Sector Development Specialist in February 2014. She recently moved to the Malaysia Country Office to lead the data collection efforts in the region as well as to advance the research agenda. Previously, Nina worked on the Paying Taxes indicator of the Doing Business project. Prior to joining the World Bank Group in 2012, she worked with the German Development Cooperation as an advisor on public finance to the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany and Tanzania, with a focus on regional tax harmonization and trade facilitation. She has also worked with the International Trade Center in Geneva on trade competitiveness and non-tariff measures.



Sara Savastano

Sara is Senior Economist. She joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture in January 2016 to develop the land indicators. She now leads the research agenda of the project. She is assistant professor in economics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata currently on leave. After working, from 2001 to 2005 at the Development Research Group of the World Bank, she served as an Economist at the Public Investment Evaluation Unit of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance until 2008. She is secretary general of ICABR, the International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research. Her research focuses on land policies and institutions, rural development, agriculture efficiency and productivity, technology adoption. She has been consultant to FAO, World Bank, IFPRI, UNIDO; Enam, Ambrosetti s.r.l., , Alpetunnel GEIE,; Italian Ministry of Labor. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.


Aleks Schaefer

Aleks joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project in May 2017, where he works on the livestock topic. Aleks has worked on several national and international legal cases involving agricultural regulatory issues, including two class action lawsuits against a major biotechnology firm, U.S. anti-dumping, countervailing duty, and antitrust proceedings, and an Australian civil dispute concerning international derivatives trading. He has taught courses on international agricultural development and policy and has conducted field research in Malawi and Burkina Faso. He holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. In January 2018, Aleks will join the Royal Veterinary College, University of London as a lecturer (assistant professor) in agribusiness.


Louise Scura

Lou is the Practice Manager of the Global Engagements Unit of the Agricultural and Food Global Practice, where she is responsible for Strategy and Operations as well as overseeing the Agriculture global practice’s engagements in key global partnerships, including the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project.  Lou has a PhD in Agriculture and Natural Resource Economics.  She joined the World Bank in 1994, and has spent more than half of her career in World Bank Country Office-based positions in Africa and East Asia, including as Country Sector Coordinator for Agriculture/Rural Development and Natural Resources in Jakarta, and cross-GP integrative positions as SD Sector Leader in Addis Ababa and SD Program Leader for Southeast Asia in Bangkok.


Samjhana Thapa

Samjhana Thapa joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in January 2013 and currently works on the operationalization of EBA indicators into World Bank’s projects and policy dialogues. She used to lead the EBA water topic. Prior to EBA, Samjhana worked on the Agribusiness Indicators Program, a precursor of EBA which was a research project focused in Africa that generated indicators and produced country studies that assessed the enabling environment for agribusiness. Previously, Samjhana worked as a consultant in the Bank and with UN agencies, where she undertook policy and operational reviews of agriculture projects. She has also worked in the World Bank’s country office in Nepal. Samjhana holds an MBA from the University of Bridgeport, CT and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Maryland, MD, USA.


Tea Trumbic

Tea joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in November 2012. She serves as project coordinator and used to lead the development of the regulatory indicators for access to markets topic. Prior to joining the EBA team, Tea worked for the Doing Business project leading the work for the Paying Taxes and Getting Credit indicators. Tea's work has focused on regulatory framework analysis of the business environment in several countries globally, including extensive work on Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Tea also worked at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Croatia and the International Monetary Fund. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University and a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics. Tea is fluent in English and Serbo-Croatian and is conversant in French.


César Chaparro Yedro

César joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in September 2013. He currently serves as a project coordinator, mainly focused on methodology and data-related aspects. He used to lead the Transporting Agricultural Goods and the Access to Markets topics. César joined the World Bank Group in May 2007. He was the topic leader for the Employing Workers indicator in the Doing Business project (2007-2011) and worked with the Investment Climate Department (2011- 2013), providing technical assistance to client Governments on business regulations and competition reforms, both economy-wide and in specific sectors, such as transport, public procurement, retail and agribusiness. He holds a law degree and an economics degree from Carlos III University in Spain and spent one year of his studies at the University of Perugia in Italy. César obtained a master's degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Belgium and is a PhD candidate in Economics. Prior to joining the World Bank, he practiced European and antitrust law at Garrigues law firm and worked as the legal advisor to the Colgate-Palmolive Company. He is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Italian.


Farbod Youssefi

Farbod is Program Coordinator with the Global Engagements Unit in the Agriculture and Food Global Practice. Before joining the World Bank, he spent the last decade working with several organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Food Logistics Organization, The Postharvest Education Foundation, with international assignments in Cape Verde, Kenya, India, Ghana, Egypt, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, among others, mainly on post-harvest processes and small farmer market linkages with agricultural businesses. Farbod worked with the horticultural export industry in Chile advising transnational companies, primarily on postharvest management and the introduction of best practices. He has worked in the private sector, specifically as a senior manager of a Latin American based company on ICT and learning. Farbod obtained his M.Sc. in International Agricultural Development and his Ph.D. in Integrated Crop Physiology at the University of California at Davis. He went on to direct the University’s international development programs in agriculture, food systems and nutrition for 7 years. He is fluent in both Spanish and English.


Yucheng Zheng

Yucheng Zheng joined the Enabling the Business of Agriculture team in November 2012. Previously, Yucheng worked for the Doing Business project on the Dealing with Construction Permits indicator. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she had professional experiences with United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and a global investment management firm. She holds an MPA degree in Finance and Economic Policy from Cornell University, and a bachelor's degree in Economics and Korean Studies from Peking University. She speaks Chinese and is advanced in Korean.