Peer Collaborators 2016

Omotayo Alli

Omotayo Alli
Legal Administration & HR Professional, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Tayo Alli is a broadly skilled administrator with a track record of success in revamping organizational structures and effectiveness. She is well-known for her innovation in maximizing limited resources and finding additional funding sources to implement much-needed programs. With her impressive academic credentials and training, coupled with her unwavering focus on meeting the needs of internal and external stakeholders, Tayo inspires positive change in the most challenging of circumstances.

Dr. Garth Heutel
Assistant Professor of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Garth Heutel is an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He studies energy and environmental policy, behavioral economics, public economics, and the economics of nonprofit organizations. His research has been published in the Journal of Public Economics, The Economic Journal, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Review of Economic Dynamics, and elsewhere. He earned his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, and he was previously a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University.

Theresa Wicklin Gillespie
Professor, School of Medicine, &, School of Nursing, Emory University

Dr. Gillespie has 30 years of experience in clinical oncology, including direct patient care. For 14 years she developed and led the clinical trials programs at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, conducting prospective therapeutic and cancer control studies. As director of health services research at the Atlanta VA Medical Center for 10 years, she built and directed a program targeting chronic conditions including cancer and investigated key outcomes including mortality, morbidity, HRQOL, and costs.Dr. Gillespie’s research involves multiple cancer types, encompassing clinical, health services, and population-based investigations. Her breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer studies have been funded by multiple NIH institutes, AHRQ, CDC, American Cancer Society, Department of Defense, and the Avon and Movember foundations, and have focused on informed decision-making, measurement of quality and guideline concordant care, cancer disparities (including racial, socioeconomic, and rural/urban undeserved), risk communications, and the intersection of technology, patient comprehension, and outcomes.

Dr. Gladys Francis
Assistant Professor, World Language and Cultures, Georgia State University

Dr. Gladys M. Francis’ research involves Francophone Studies; Theory and cultural Studies, African and African Diaspora Studies; Visual and Media Studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She explores (rural/urban) resilience, race and ethnicity, gender-based violence, trans-cultural violence, individual and collective trauma and social cohesion – in France, the French Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Francis counts various invited lectures and interviews across the globe to present her scholarship. She also has a record of presentations at numerous prominent national and international conferences dating back to 2000.

Kenya D Kirkendoll
Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Georgia State University





Chris Wells
Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget

I am from South Carolina, where I attended Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. There I received my Bachelors of Science in both Political Science and Mathematics before furthering my education with my Master’s in Public Administration from Augusta State University (Augusta, Georgia). My career started off as a high school math teacher before moving into government where I have worked as a Budget/Policy Analyst for both the State of Georgia and South Carolina. In these roles, I have had the opportunity to research both budget and public policy and make recommendations for efficient and effective government. I never thought I would be able to work in a field where I use my educational background in math, political science, and public administration; but in my current role as a Policy Coordinator within Georgia’s Office of Planning and Budget and previous roles as a budget/policy analyst, I am able to use my entire educational background. I enjoy every aspect of my job, the people I meet, and the ability to present sound ideas to leaders of Georgia, citizens, and fellows in the Young African Leaders program.

Anupama Avishamitra
Director of Mitigation, Office of Georgia Capital Defender






Gia Compton
Diretcor of Legal Affairs, Department of Community Health, Georgia

Gia Compton is the Director of Legal Affairs for the Department of Community Health, Office of Inspector General, where she reports directly to the Inspector General and counsels on litigation, health care law, privacy, investigations, legislation, data mining, and utilization review.  In this role, Ms. Compton is a key strategist for regulatory and policy compliance and is developing best practices for detecting fraud and waste in health benefit plans that covered over 640,000 state employees, teachers, school system employees and retirees in 2015.Ms. Compton’s expertise in strategic business development and legal affairs management is critical to driving data and trend business develeopment. Prior to her current role, she served as Division Chief, Healthcare Facility Regulation, where she oversaw the Operations, Nursing Home, Personal Care Home, and Healthcare sections. Charged with running the state survey agency and managing compliance monitoring projects, she overhauled the division’s infrastructure to build succession planning, equalized salaries, and developed the state’s plan for utilizing $20 million in Civil Money Penalty (CMP) funds to improve the quality of care and quality of life in nursing homes.

Udaiyan Jatar
Founder and CEO, Blue Earth Network 

Udaiyan Jatar (U.J.) is the CEO of Blue Earth Network, a fully integrated Transformation Agency created with the True Purpose© of unleashing the full potential of change-makers to transform businesses, society and the planet. Blue Earth Network works with change-makers in organizations ranging from Fortune 100s to Start-Ups, Nonprofits and Government. U.J. has led global businesses like the $400 million joint venture between Coca-Cola and Nestle and launched many products across 6 continents. His innovation career spans 20 years in companies like Coca-Cola, P&G and Grey where he led the launches of numerous global brands. He teaches at BGI and co-leads the pioneering Certified Professional Innovator program at GSU’s Robinson College. He serves on various boards including the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

Dr. Solomon Okosun
Associate Professor and Director, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Georgia State University

Dr. Solomon Okosun is currently an Associate Professor for the School of Public Health at Georgia State University (GSU). He received his doctorate from The University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health and has over 25 years of experience in public health. Dr. Okosun is a chronic disease epidemiologist who is an internationally recognized expert in the epidemiology of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Dr. Okosun’s research in diabetes, hypertension, obesity and insulin resistance syndrome has provided an understanding of the epidemiology of these diseases. His work on the role of abdominal obesity in explaining racial/ethnic variations for cardiovascular diseases has furthered understanding of lipid biology.

Carol Caines
Training and Communications Manger, Ethics and Compliance Office

Carol works within the Ethics and Compliance Office of The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia as a Training and Communications Manager. In this capacity, she has direct accountability for the Company’s global online Ethics and Compliance Training Program as well as the Office’s website and publication content. In her role, she effectively manages various client and vendor partnerships on behalf of the organization. Carol also serves as the Company’s Ethics and Compliance Committee Secretary overseeing the proper administration of critical materials pertaining to Code of Business Conduct case matters. Within the realm of her diverse accountabilities, Carol also facilitates the Company’s Policy Standards Committee meetings comprised of an array of cross-functional Subject Matter Experts.

Jairo Garcia
Director, Climate Policies and Renewables at City of Atlanta

Dr. Jairo Garcia is the Director of Climate & Renewables at the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Dr. Garcia performs sustainability analysis and reporting, and studies and develops innovative policies and educational programs to track and implement community-wide energy, water, waste, and climate related initiatives. He also evaluates worldwide sustainability best practices, and provides recommendations to meet the Mayor’s goal to make Atlanta a top tier sustainable city. Dr. Garcia has a vast experience in climate, renewables, sustainability metrics, and sustainability education. Dr. Garcia worked as a research assistant for the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York City, and his teaching experience includes two teaching assistant positions at Columbia University, a faculty adjunct and thesis advisor position at Concordia University, and an instructor position for the UCLA-Extension program in Global Sustainability. Dr. Garcia holds an engineering degree, a Master of Science degree in Management of Technology, a second Master of Science degree in Sustainability Management, and a Doctoral degree in Educational Technology and Sustainability.

Dr. Pierre Nguimkeu
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Georgia State University

Dr. Nguimkeu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Georgia State University. His research interests are in Econometric Theory, Applied Econometrics, Statistics, and Development Economics.  He received his PhD from Simon Fraser University in June 2012. He also received a Master’s degree in Economics from University of Montreal, a Master’s degree in Statistics from ENSEA of Abidjan, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Dschang. His research and studies have been funded by several grants including the Lindau-Nobel Council,  the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Centre for Interuniversity Research in Quantitative Economics (CIREQ), the European Development Fund (EDF), and the French Cooperation Fund (FAC). He currently teaches Statistics and Econometrics at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.  He also serves as Economic Adviser to the Cameroon Council of Business Managers and Professional Associations (GICAM).

Elton Davis
Senior Program Analyst, Senate Budget and Evaluation Office

Elton Davis has enjoyed a broad-based career encompassing both public and private sector contributions. He is currently serving the State of Georgia General Assembly as a Senior Program Analyst in the Senate Budget and Evaluation Office. In this position he provides budget development, analysis and program evaluation support for the Community Health and Transportation areas of the state budget. In performing these duties, he coordinates activities with multiple offices and organizations including other State Senate staff, state agencies, Governor and House staff, and numerous public advocates.

Chapelle Davis
Assistant Vice President, Supervision and Regulation Division, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Chapelle Davis is an assistant vice president in the supervision and regulation division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.  In this capacity she is responsible for the applications and enforcement functions of the department’s risk and analysis group.  Previously, she had oversight of the division’s administration function, staff professional development, and crisis communication planning and implementation. She also served as a member of the Bank’s District Diversity Steering Group. Ms. Davis joined the Bank in 1980 as an assistant examiner trainee and was promoted to examiner in 1984.  She was promoted to her current position in 1991 and has been responsible for a variety of areas throughout the division since that time.  Her experience includes bank and bank holding company applications processing, information technology examinations, operations risk examinations, and commercial bank examinations. She has served on the board of directors of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation YMCA, Atlanta, Georgia.  A native of Sandersville, Georgia, Davis is a graduate of the business school at Emory University with a business administration degree, with a major in accounting.  She is a certified public accountant in the state of Georgia and completed the executive development program at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. 

William Lambe
Senior Community and Economic Development Adviser, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

William Lambe is the senior community and economic development adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He specializes in community development finance and has written and spoken on topics ranging from rural development finance, public-private partnerships, tax credit finance, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), and the EB-5 immigrant investor program. Prior to joining the Atlanta Fed, Lambe was director of CED programming at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government, where he carried out research and advised local governments on public-private partnership structures to attract private investment into distressed real estate. He has published numerous articles and a book, Small Towns, Big Ideas: Case Studies in Small Town Community Economic Development. In 2015, Lambe was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship to travel and study public-private finance in China. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Atlanta Center for Leadership class of 2016. He holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master of public policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

Daniel Gordon
Chief Operating Officer, City of Atlanta

As Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta, Daniel Gordon directly manages and oversees all city operating departments and related agencies including Aviation, Police, Fire, Corrections, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Planning and Community Development, Public Works, Watershed Management, Human Resources, Procurement, Information Technology, Sustainability and Enterprise Assets. Gordon brings over 15 years of management experience to the position.

Carla Berg
Associate Director of Population Sciences, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Dr. Berg is responsible for the strategic growth of population sciences activities at Winship. Population science studies in cancer examine patterns and behaviors relating to cancer prevention, detection and treatment.Dr. Berg received her PhD in clinical health psychology from the University of Kansas, completed her residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in behavioral medicine, and then completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Medicine.Her research primarily focuses on two general areas: 1) tobacco control among special populations, specifically adolescents/young adults and clinical populations; and 2) cancer survivorship. She has expertise in developing and testing interventions involving technology-based approaches, behavioral counseling, and pharmacotherapy, among other modalities and methods. She is also interested in health communication and social marketing.

Matt Malament
Director of Innovations and Performance, City of Atlanta

Matthew Malament has previously held positions such as Director, Budget Performance and Innovation for the City of Atlanta and Management for Citywide Performance of Atlanta. He was also a commercial execution manager for the Coca- Cola company.  He delivers improvement and growth through strategic analysis, structured innovation, process improvement, and skill-building. He focuses on organizations’ externally-facing goals and seeks to deliver improvements that support them. He believes that any true improvement can be measured and consistently uses data and analytics to build the case for change and measure its impact on operations.

Matthew Bartleet
Deputy Director, Budget and Performance, City of Atlanta

Matthew Bartleet is 32 years old and originally from New Zealand. He has been based in Atlanta for the past four years and is the Deputy Director at the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Innovation Delivery & Performance. He has a Master’s degree in Economics from Massey University in New Zealand and he was previously a senior policy analyst at the Ministry of Economic Development in New Zealand.

Randi Mason Manager,
Economic Development, Invest Atlanta

Randi Mason is an accomplished economic development professional with experience developing strategies to promote job creation and investment. Her expertise is in fiscal analysis and government relations, with additional skills in program management, market research, trade mission planning, project management, grant writing and budgeting. She specializes in incentive design and negotiation. Additionally, she has experience working with numerous industries including: manufacturing, film/entertainment, financial technology, life science, technology, incubators, professional services, call centers, banking, food processing and tourism.

Vanessa Ibara
Chief of Protocol, Mayor’s Office of International Affairs

Vanessa is originally from Caracas, Venezuela and has enjoyed living and working in France, Germany, Mexico, Peru and the United States. She moved to Atlanta from Miami to pursue her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in International Business at Georgia State University’s Robison College of Business.Over the course of the last 5 years, Vanessa has consulted and supported international companies with their market entry strategies for international trade organizations such as ERAI (Entreprise Rhone-Alpes International), the French Embassy Trade Office and private organizations such as VGH International Gmbh and YER USA Inc. Vanessa currently work’s for the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs as Chief of Protocol, where she supports international trade and investment, promotes protocol usage, and increases the visibility of Atlanta’s international footprint. Vanessa is fluent in French, Spanish, English, and basic German. She brings experience in a variety of fields including the energy, environment, technical textiles, industrial equipment, and human resources.

Henry Ikwut-Ukwa
Transportation Director, Atlanta Beltline Inc.

In this capacity, Dr. Ikwut-Ukwa will lead the effort to implement the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine transit loop with the Atlanta Streetcar crosstown network, as well as the implementation of Atlanta BeltLine 46-miles of complete streets and accompanying elements of the Connect Atlanta Transportation Plan and the Streetcar System Plan. Ikwut-Ukwa joins ABI bringing over 15 years of professional experience in transit operations, transportation planning and policy development, project and program management, and engineering design. Prior to joining ABI, Dr. Ikwut-Ukwa served as the Manager of Planning and Development with the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) in Birmingham, Alabama where he worked on the City’s successful TIGER 7 grant application for a 15-mile Bus Rapid Transit corridor project.Before his tenure with BJCTA, he was the Principal of a private consulting firm, Consul Company.

Felix Rioja
Associate Professor, Director of Master’s Program, Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Felix Rioja specializes in international macroeconomics, economic growth, and financial economics. He has written articles on the effects of public infrastructure, education, and pensions on economic growth and welfare. He has also written on the effects of the financial system on growth, poverty reduction and inequality. His research has been published in leading journals such as Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of International Money and Finance. Professor Rioja has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank and on policy advisory projects for Brazil, Jamaica, and Russia. He served as the Director of the Ph.D. in economics program from 2003 to 2008. He has been interviewed and quoted by various news media, including CNN.

Robert Buschman
Senior Research Associate with the Fiscal Research Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Robert Buschman is a Senior Research Associate with the Fiscal Research Center. His research interests include corporate and personal taxation, public expenditures, macroeconomic policy, history of economic thought, and economic history. Prior to joining the Andrew Young School, Bob worked for several years in corporate banking and corporate financial management. Bob holds a BA in Economics from Duke University, an MBA in Finance from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, and a MA and PhD in Economics from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

Stephen Kay
Center Director, Atlanta Federal Reserve’s Americas Center

Stephen Kay is the center director of the Atlanta Fed’s Americas Center. His research focuses on political economy and public policy in Latin America. His articles on pension reform in Latin America have appeared in the Journal ofComparative Politics, Foreign Policy Journal, Journal of Aging & Social Policy, Journal of European Social Policy,Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, International Social Security Review, Latin American Politics and Society, Social Security Bulletin, and the Atlanta Fed’s Economic Review. Dr. Kay is a coeditor of Lessons from Pension Reform in the Americas (with Tapen Sinha, Oxford University Press) and an author of Social Security in Latin America: Pension Reform and the Challenge of Universal Coverage (with Carolina Felix and Tapen Sinha, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). He has testified twice before committees of the United States Congress on pension reform in Latin America. Dr. Kay received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California and his doctorate in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles.