Meet our Visiting Distinguished Faculty

Prof . Erin McCandless

Erin McCandless is an Associate Professor in the School of Governance at Witwatersrand University in South Africa and a Research Associate with the German Development Institute. A widely published scholar and policy advisor, she has near three decades of experience working on and in conflict affected settings, broadly on issues of peacebuilding, statebuilding, development and
resilience – and their intersections. Professor McCandless is author of more than 100 publications, including several influential, policy-shifting United Nations reports, and she is a founder and former Chief Editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development. Her current research is focused on forging resilient social contracts, and the role of social cohesion, in countries affected by conflict, fragility and fraught transition, building upon a multi-country research and policy dialogue project that she directed from 2015-2018.

Prof. Abu Bakarr Bah

Prof. Abu Bakarr Bah is a full Professor of Sociology at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and Faculty Associate at the Center for Nonprofit NGO Studies. He served as Coordinator of the Global Connections Pathway program at NIU. Bah is also Editor-in-Chief of African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review (ACPR) published by Indiana University Press and African Editor for Critical Sociology. He was also Senior Fellow at the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Bah is a globally renowned scholar of peace and conflict.

Prof. Anke Weisheit

Anke Weisheit is an Agricultural Engineer with a Masters Agricultural Science and Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ARTS) with experience in tropical agriculture, value chain development and agri-business in Eastern and Southern Africa. Currently, she is a Co-founder and Chair Innovation and Business Management of the Pharm-Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine Centre (PHARMBIOTRAC) at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda.
Anke is also an External Expert to the European Commission Horizon 2020, a Member of the Governing Council of the Sub Saharan Open University (SSOU). She has researched and consulted for the United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, World Health Organization, World Agroforestry Centre, and German agency for International Cooperation among others.

Prof. Douglas Yates

Douglas Yates is Professor of Political Science at the American Graduate School in Paris (France).and co-director of the Anglo-American law program at CY Cergy Paris University.He recently published the fourth edition of the Historical Dictionary of Gabon (Rowman Littlefield, 2018), which brings the political affairs of this French-speaking, oil- rich, equatorial African country up to date since the accession to power of Ali Bongo, eldest son of Omar Bongo, who died in 2009 after the publication of the third edition.

Prof. Yates is an established country expert who has been researching and writing about Gabon since 1993 with his doctoral dissertation at Boston University, later published as The Rentier State in Africa: Oil-Rent Dependency and Neo-Colonialism in the Republic of Gabon (Africa World Press, 1996). Since then, he has taught and directed graduate research on African politics at the American Graduate School in Paris and has consulted for the State Department and Defense of the United States government as well as non-governmental organizations, private international investment firms, African studies centres, and European development agencies. Yates is the co-author (with Marquette University’s David Gardinier) of the previous edition of the Historical Dictionary of Gabon (2006) and has also authored the annual chapter on “Gabon” for Brill’s Africa Yearbook since its creation in 2004.

Dr Holly A Ritchie

Based in Kenya, Dr. Holly Ritchie is an independent consultant, academic (PhD) and social entrepreneur, with over 22 years of international experience. She takes a special focus on gender, culture and institutions in ‘fragile’ economic development.
As a part-time academic, Holly is a Research Fellow at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), part of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), and a Research Associate at the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa (CFIA). Her PhD (Cum Laude, Best PhD Erasmus University 2013) focused on (grassroots) women’s enterprise in Afghanistan, cultural norms and institutional change (published with Routledge 2016).  Her academic research and consulting work have looked in particular at (poorer) women’s enterprise participation in marginalized, conflict and refugee settings. She focuses on social inclusion/integration in business, value chains and technology, and
looks ahead to social outcomes from economic and technological empowerment. Post-doctorate research (2014-present) has investigated Somali and Syrian women refugees and economic engagement in fragile displacement contexts in urban Kenya and Jordan. Recently, she has explored refugee links to ICTs, culture and digital inclusion.

Dr. George Atisa

Dr. George Atisa is an associate professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas USA. He has a Ph.D. in Public Affairs and an MSc in Environmental Studies both from Florida International University. He also has an MA in economics from the University of Nairobi. His research interests cut across public administration, environmental conservation and economics.
He has published in the:  journal of International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Journal of Water Resources Management, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Journal of Environment, Development and Sustainability and the Handbook of Human and Planetary Health – Springer, World Sustainability Series. Before coming to academia, Dr. Atisa worked for World Wildlife Fund (WWF International), Lutheran World Federation, CARE USA and International Rescue Committee. He has good experience in programs design, planning and implementation. His current research looks into barriers to wholistic development in the Sub-Saharan Africa.