The MDP faculty comes from across University of Arizona departments, schools and colleges, and from professional and institutional partners (eg, TANGO International). The program faculty members and staff have extensive international experience and are recognized as both scholars and practitioners.
Core Faculty and Management
Dr. Katherine Snyder is the MDP Director. With a PhD in Anthropology, Professor Snyder has over a decade of experience living and working in several African countries. Her work has focused on political and social change, agricultural development and community-based natural resource management. She has worked in fisheries, water management, pastoralism and tropical agriculture focusing on institutional analysis, governance, and farmer decision-making. An anthropologist by training, she has worked in multidisciplinary teams with ecologists, economists, soil scientists, agronomists, foresters, hydrologists and rangeland managers to design solutions to challenges faced by rural smallholders in Africa.
Dr. Tim Finan is Co-Founder of the MDP program and a Research Anthropologist and Professor of Anthropology in the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) within the School of Anthropology. For 15 years, he was the Director of BARA, during which time BARA’s engagement in development research became firmly established. Dr. Finan has worked in applied development as researcher and practitioner for over 30 years, and his field experience spans across most African countries, Latin America, South and East Asia, and the Near East. He has extensive, ongoing research programs in Northeast Brazil and Bangladesh. His principal interests lie in environment and social interactions, adaptation to climate variability and climate change, governance, and food security. His recent publications have focused on the role of governance, particularly participatory institutions, in building resilience to climate change. He teaches development and global change at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Stephanie Buechler is a core faculty member of MDP. Her research focuses on natural resource use under changing environmental conditions in rural, peri-urban and urban settings. She has conducted research in Guanajuato, Sonora, Chihuahua and Zacatecas, Mexico; Tucson, Arizona; Hyderabad and Uttarakhand, India; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and La Paz, Bolivia. Dr. Buechler is currently or has recently conducted research on people's perceptions of the international wastewater treatment plant in Rio Rico, Arizona; on women's experiences with renewable energy in their homes and with large-scale projects in urban and rural Arizona and, with Mexican colleagues, in Zacatecas, Mexico; social, environmental and economic sustainability of community gardens for low-income populations in Tucson, Arizona; and women's strategies in the context of climate and water resource challenges in kitchen gardens in San Ignacio, Sonora, Mexico.
Dr. Raymond Smith is the MDP Assistant Director. Dr. Smith joined the MDP Program after spending more than 20 years in New York City, where he was on the adjunct political science faculties at Columbia and NYU.He continues to be an Adjunct Associate Professor with the NYU Center for Global Affairs, teaching human rights and politics. Dr. Smith has also worked extensively on the international HIV/AIDS epidemic, including as: a researcher and administrator at the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at the Columbia University Medical Center; as a founding member of the Program for the Study of LGBT Health; and as associate director of a fellowship program for emerging community leaders in HIV prevention and gender equity in South Africa. In 2017, he completed an LL.M. (master of laws) in international human rights law at the University of Essex in the UK, where his work included a project with the World Health Organization (WHO). His prior degrees include a Ph.D. in political science and an interdisciplinary M.A. in international relations, and he is also currently writing a book for Routledge (2019) entitled Extending the Aegis: Human Rights and Vulnerable Populations.
Faculty in the Field of Development
These faculty members, drawn from programs throughout the University of Arizona, conduct teaching and research relating to development practice. Courses taught by these faculty are regularly available to MDP students.
Dr. Sapana Doshi is Assistant Professor in the School of Geography and Development. She received her PhD in Geography from the University of California-Berkeley. Her current research is on redevelopment-induced displacement in Mumbai, India, with a focus on grassroots mobilization in informal slum settlements. Dr. Doshi's forthcoming publications address questions of gender, ethnic identity, empowerment, and sustainability in development interventions that engage the participation of low-income urban residents in the Global South. Prior to entering academia, she spent six years working as a development practitioner in non-governmental organizations including Oxfam UK, Catholic Relief Services and the Independence Community Foundation. Her work included implementing and evaluating drought relief and sustainability projects in rural Northeastern Brazil, assessing the impacts of micro-finance institutions targeting women in Nepal, and supporting the efforts of non-profit groups in affordable housing and economic development in the New York metropolitan area.
Jeanne Downen, Vice-President of TANGO International, has 30 years of experience in the design, management, implementation and evaluation of international development programs. Her areas of expertise include program and country office management, food and livelihood security, local capacity building, refugee/displaced persons programs, post-conflict transition, urban programming, HIV and AIDS, governance, training and facilitation, and strategic planning. During her NGO career, she held several senior management positions in CARE headquarters, including Regional Manager for East Africa, Director of the Partnership and Household Livelihood Security unit, Acting Director for the Program Assistance and Development group, and Acting Director for the HIV/AIDS unit. Jeanne also has 10 years of experience in country office management in south Asia and east and southern Africa. Jeanne holds a Masters of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and a BA in Political Science from the College at Brockport, State University of New York. Jeanne has working experience in over 30 countries, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Timothy R. Frankenberger is the president and founder of TANGO International. He has an M.A. in Anthropology degree from the University of Kentucky. He was a Research Associate at the University of Arizona (Office of Arid Lands Studies) from 1986-94, then the Senior Livelihoods Advisor at CARE/International from 1994-2000. He founded TANGO in 2000, and the organization recently completed its 1000th development project. Frankenberger is a development leader internationally known for his expertise in food security and livelihood systems and he has worked with dozens of UN, bilateral, and NGO organizations.
Dr. Laura Lopez-Hoffman is an Assistant Research Professor of Environmental Policy at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and an Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Studies at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Arizona. Much of López-Hoffman’s work focuses how the ecosystem services approach can improve natural resource governance. In addition, she and others are working on strategies to increase stakeholder resilience when faced with loss of ecosystem services due to abrupt climate change. López-Hoffman is also very interested in the ecology and policy of managing transboundary systems. With colleagues at the USGS and UNAM, she has been studying how migratory species facilitate the sharing of ecosystem services between the United States and Mexico, and approaches to protecting migratory species. In addition, with colleagues across North America, she is investigating strategies to make transboundary conservation efforts more adaptive to climate change.
Mark Langworthy is currently the Vice President of TANGO International. Dr. Langworthy took his PhD from Stanford University and spent 12 years on the faculty of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Arizona. While on the faculty, Dr. Langworthy taught the Economic Development course at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Langworthy has worked extensively as a development practitioner through the Francophone and Lusophone world, and has co-authored a book on Cape Verdean agriculture (Waiting for Rain: Agriculture and Ecological Imbalance in Cape Verde). His specialization is in field surveys, statistics, and quantitative methods.
Dr. William Mannan is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment and chairs the Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program. He received his B.A. degree in Biology from Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana, in 1974, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Wildlife Ecology from Oregon State University, Corvallis, in 1977 and 1982, respectively. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in the SNRE, and his research interests focus on the relationships between animals and their habitats in urban and forest environments, and animal behavior as it relates to habitat use. He leads a long-term research project that examines the dynamics of a population of urban-nesting Cooper’s hawks.
Dr. Stuart Marsh is the Associate Director of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Professor and Chair of the Arid Lands Resource Sciences Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program, and Professor in the School of Geography and Development. He is currently involved in a broad range of research designed to assess surface environmental conditions utilizing advanced remote sensing and geographic information system technologies. These research efforts have been designed to enhance our abilities to employ these technologies to address the impacts of land use and land cover change and environmental degradation, particularly in the arid and semi-arid lands of the world. Active research projects have focused on discrimination of invaded and native vegetation species sites using multitemporal remote sensing, understanding anthropogenic impacts when estimating biomass in semi-arid environments, estimating the impacts of grazing and fuel-wood management on soil-carbon, biophysical characterization and management effects on semi-arid rangelands using Landsat satellite data, evaluating post-wildfire vegetation patterns, and characterizing the spatial structure of endangered species habitat using geostatistical analysis.
Dr. David Quanrud is an Associate Research Scientist in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona. Dr. Quanrud holds a Ph.D. in hydrology from the University of Arizona and joined the Arid Lands Studies office in 2002. His research interests encompass water reclamation and conservation issues with a current focus on fate of emerging trace organic contaminants in engineered and natural treatment systems. Recent work has examined the presence of wastewater-derived trace organics in the Santa Cruz River and Tucson Basin aquifer, and the fate of pharmaceuticals, flame retardants, and endocrine disrupting compounds in sewage sludge during wastewater treatment and land application of biosolids. He teaches wildland water quality at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Donald C. Slack Dr. Donald C. Slack is Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Watershed Management and Eco-Hydrology at the University of Arizona. He also holds the Cecil H. Miller, Jr. and Cecil H. Miller, Sr. Families Dean’s Chair for Excellence in Agriculture and Life Sciences. He served as Head of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from 1991-2009. He is a registered professional engineer with expertise in on-farm irrigation management, irrigation system design and management, project design and watershed engineering and management. His activities have focused on improving the efficiency of water use in irrigation systems by introduction of improved on-farm water management practices and improved irrigation systems and technologies. He also has expertise and experience in Watershed Management and Erosion Control Engineering. Dr. Slack has a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Kentucky. In 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Agricultural Engineering from Khon Kaen University in Thailand. Dr. Slack has lived or worked in 24 countries in South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Central Africa and Latin America.
Dr. Tauhidur Rahman is an Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Arizona. Currently he is a visiting professor of Environmental Law and Economics at University of Oslo, Norway. Rahman received his PhD from the School of Economics Sciences at Washington State University, Pullman in 2004. He has been a consultant to the World Bank and the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) at United Nations, and served on an advisory panel of the National Science Foundation. His primary fields of interests are development economics, health economics, and environmental economics. His past researched has studied the issues of sensitivity, aggregation, decomposition, and distribution in the measurement of human well-being; the economics of child labor; and food security. Some of his current research works are on affirmative action policy, social capital, and gender empowerment in India; child and elderly health; health externality of hygiene and sanitation behavior; empirics of crime; and environmental regulations and their compliance.
Dr. Douglas Taren has more than 30 years of experience conducting international health research and training students in international health. His studies and teaching experiences in maternal and child have been conducted in Latin America, Asia and Africa with funding from USAID, CDC, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. His research has focused on the interactions between parasitic diseases and nutritional status, food security, vertical transmission of HIV with breastfeeding, and methods to assess and distribute vitamin A for night blind pregnant women. Furthermore, Dr. Taren has been involved with developing a variety of innovative curricula for medical education and public health practitioners. Dr. Taren received an NIH award to evaluate an integrated nutrition curriculum for medical education. He was also the director of a series of Perinatal Epidemiology Courses taught at the Costa Rican National Institute for Teaching and Research in Nutrition and Health. He was the principal investigator of a USAID grant to create a certificate program in public health in conjunction with El Colegio de Sonora and has served as an expert resource the micronutrient unit at the World Health Organization.
Dr. Marcela Vásquez-León is an associate professor in the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology and in Latin American Studies. Dr. Vásquez-León has her PhD from the University of Arizona and has been on the faculty at Arizona since 2003 where she teaches development in Latin America. Dr. Vásquez-León has worked with fishing and farming communities throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and Colombia. Her research has included major studies of the role of agricultural cooperatives in Paraguay, Colombia, and Brazil; fair trade exchange of agricultural commodities; impacts of climate change on agricultural livelihoods, and the political ecology of small-scale fishing.
Dr. Paul Wilson is University Distinguished Professor in Agricultural and Resource Economics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Professor Wilson has lived and/or worked in nine countries as a result of his Peace Corps, USAID, NGO, consulting, and research experiences. Dr. Wilson's current development research centers on mixed method approaches to impact assessment, and on the role of trust and entrepreneurship in economic development. Professor Wilson has published his research in Economic Development and Cultural Change, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Land Economics as well as many other professional outlets.
Dr. John Ehiri is Director and Professor, Division of Health Promotion Sciences, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH), University of Arizona. His research and teaching focus on social and behavioral aspects of public health, and on global maternal, child and adolescent health. He has over 20 years of research, teaching, and service experience in global health. He served as Assistant Professor of International Health, and Director of the Master of Community Health program at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (1999-2002). He also served as Primary Health Care (PHC) Program Manager in Eastern Nigeria for seven years. In addition to planning, implementing, and evaluating public health programs for remote rural communities, he trained various cadres of health workers at the national and state government levels, including environmental health officers, community health officers, community extension workers, and medical records technicians. Dr. Ehiri provides technical assistance on various aspects of global health to United Nations and bilateral agencies. He has supervised students’ field projects in over 20 countries. Currently, he is a Technical Advisor to the World Health Organization and Chair, Knowledge Translation & Policy Group (KTPG) of the Food-borne Disease Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) - a WHO Initiative to estimate the global burden of food-borne diseases.
Dr. Diana Liverman is the co-director of the Institute of the Environment at The University of Arizona and a Regents Professor in the School of Geography and Development. She is also affiliated with Oxford University as a visiting professor of Environmental Policy and Development and senior research fellow in the Environmental Change Institute. Her research focuses on the human and social dimensions of environmental issues including environment and development, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, environmental change and food security, and climate policy and governance. She is known for her work on climate vulnerability and on environmental issues in Latin America. Her recent publications include edited books on environment and food security and on climate change, articles on the governance of adaptation, carbon offsets, and planetary boundaries, and an award winning textbook on world regional geography.
Diane Austin, Anthropology
Laura Bakkensen, Government and Public Policy
Elizabeth Baldwin, Government and Public Policy
Alex Braithwaite, Government and Public Policy
James Buizer, Natural Resources and the Environment
Joel Cuello, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Kacey Ernst, Public Health
Larry Fisher, Natural Resources and the Environment
Kevin Fitzsimmons, Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences
Anna Josephson, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Jeffrey Michler, Agricultural and Resource Economics
William Mishler, Government and Public Policy
Paul Schuler, Government and Public Policy
Jose Soto, Natural Resources and the Environment
Doug Taren, Health Promotion Sciences
Peter Waller, Biosystems Engineering
Rod Wing, Plant Sciences