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Enabling the Business of Agriculture

Meet the Team


Daniela Behr

Daniela specializes in land use regulation. Prior to joining, Daniela was a research fellow at the University of Konstanz, Germany, a visiting scholar at George Washington University, and has worked as a specialist for human rights and gender with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in Tanzania. Daniela studied political science and public administration in Konstanz, Madrid, and Toronto. She holds a PhD in political science with a focus on political economy from the University of Konstanz. With a regional emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa, Daniela’s research focuses on customary institutions, (good) land governance, rural development, and the effectiveness of legal regulations. She is fluent in German and conversant in Spanish and French.


Rong Chen

Rong specializes in agricultural finance. She is also involved in country-level or regional agricultural finance diagnostics as well as policies on digital finance. Previously, Rong worked in the Doing Business project, co-authored the Doing Business 2013 and 2014 reports, and led the data analysis for the Doing Business in g7+ (fragile and conflict affected countries) report. 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 fellow at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland. 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. She speaks Chinese.


Raian Divanbeigi

Raian is program manager for the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project. Prior to joining the team in 2013, 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.


Edna Massay Kallon

Edna specializes in the regulation of veterinary medicinal products and animal feed. 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 coordinates production of the Enabling the Business of Agriculture reports. 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 French and Russian.


Maksat Korooluev

Maksat specializes in agricultural mechanization. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, 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 specializes in seed systems. Prior to joining the team, Jean-Philippe worked on business regulations for the World Bank’s Doing Business report and its regional editions. Before joining the World Bank Group, he worked as an attorney 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.


Nina Paustian

Nina specializes in land use regulation. Recently she was detached to the Malaysia Country Office to lead the data collection efforts in the region as well as to advance the research agenda. Prior to joining the World Bank Group in 2012, she worked with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) as an advisor on public finance to the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany and specialist in regional tax harmonization and trade facilitation in Tanzania and Burkina Faso. Nina studied business administration in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, and Reims, France, and holds an MPA degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


Samjhana Thapa

Samjhana currently works on the operationalization of the Enabling the Business of Agriculture indicators into World Bank projects and policy dialogues. Earlier, Samjhana worked on the Agribusiness Indicators Program, a research project focused on 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.


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 specializes in agricultural markets issues. From October 2017 to 2018, Yucheng was a core team member of World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work. Prior to EBA, she had professional experience with the World Bank Doing Business Project, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York, and an investment management company in Beijing. 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.