MEG GEDDIS, MIB
Areas of expertise: subsistence agriculture, industrial hemp farming, cooperative business development, food security, microfinance, and international business operations and strategy. Geographically specific to West and East Africa, and the United States.
Meg is a Master of International Business, an International Development and Food Security specialist, and an experienced industrial hemp farmer and operational strategist with over 2,000 acres of land and 140 farmers under her personal direction in a single season. She is currently based in Rwanda working with One Acre Fund to support smallholder farmers in the hybrid maize seed production sector.
Upon graduating from the University of South Carolina with dual degrees in Business Administration and Marketing, Meg joined the United States Peace Corps and served as a Community Economic Development Advisor in Benin, West Africa from 2015-2017. Meg’s work with the Peace Corps focused primarily on the fields of food security and sustainable agriculture. Meg facilitated the establishment of numerous women’s microfinance associations and developed training programs on nutrition, maternal/child health, value-added income generation, and financial literacy. She also worked intensively with youth groups on numerous educational, entrepreneurial, and social initiatives, and with regional farmers to promote best practices and provide education to optimize sustainable agricultural practices.
After Peace Corps, Meg earned her Master’s degree in International Business (MIB) from her alma mater and the leading university for International Business studies in the country, the University of South Carolina. This experience has armed Meg with an exceptional perspective on the economics and politics of food supply chains and transnational business, along with skills in research, global trade data analysis, and large dataset visualization. As an Economics Team Researcher for the Stockholm Treaty Lab, Meg put these skills to practice through analysis of Nordic countries’ environmental policy in the construction of a model international treaty to fill the current policy gap and boost green investment.
During her graduate studies, Meg operated as Project Team Lead and Translator for the USDA Food for Progress Millet Project with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) CLUSA. Meg led and conducted extensive stateside research on the Senegalese millet value chain and national agricultural policy. Her fieldwork in Kaolack, Senegal expanded upon this research and focused predominantly on the evaluation of millet point-of-sale kiosks in order to assess the efficacy and provide recommendations for ownership models, governance structures, sustainable funding streams, and improved capacity building for actors along the value chain.
Meg then moved to Denver, Colorado to work with Spirit of the Sun (a local nonprofit focused on the empowerment of Native/Indigenous communities and youth) and The Women’s Bakery (a nonprofit centered on East African women’s empowerment through access to gainful employment). These experiences further expanded upon Meg’s experience in rural economic and nonprofit development through skill attainment in comprehensive nonprofit operational strategy, Salesforce, fundraising, and marketing.
Since March, Meg has owned and operated her own consultancy, Lean Green Consulting, LLC, and has hired and actively managed approximately 140 farmers at 7 organic, non-GMO hemp farms across the country. In addition to the multi-faceted nature of her role, from SOP development to visioning and scaling, she has worked hands-on at each farm to plant, cultivate, and harvest hemp plants, exceeding 2,000 acres nationwide.
Meg is thrilled to bring Jake Meyers and Molloy Sheehan onto her team as they join forces to stimulate knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and innovation within the fields of International Development and Food Security.
Areas of expertise: climate adaptation, applied social science, project design & implementation, program evaluation, digital storytelling, food security, natural resource management, wildlife conservation, livelihood development. Regional expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia with additional field experience in South America and the Pacific Islands.
Jake is an experienced development practitioner, applied social scientist, and digital storyteller with international research and field experience in over 15 countries.
Jake graduated from Washington & Jefferson College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and is a second-year Master’s of Development Practice student at the University of Arizona. During his undergraduate career, Jake conducted environmental research projects through a combination of semesters abroad, fellowships, and independently designed research projects in the Galapagos Islands (ecotourism and development), South Africa (great white shark conservation; semester abroad), China & Japan (sustainable practices in the auto industry), and across several Southeast Asian nations (researched how Buddhism, Catholicism, and Islam shape environmental perspectives; studied abroad in Cambodia & Vietnam).
After graduating, Jake served in the Peace Corps as an Environmental Action and Food Security Advisor in Benin, West Africa. Jake implemented a variety of projects including a malaria prevention program in five preschools that successfully prevented and treated cases of malaria in 300 children under the age of 5 in collaboration with the CDC and USAID under the umbrella of the President’s Malaria Initiative, the construction of a community food security center that introduced food transformation technologies, a household rabbit raising project funded by the Feed the Future Initiative that introduced this practice at the community level, and a commune-wide Let Girls Learn campaign that featured a Women's Day March with over 500 female high school students.
After his time in the Peace Corps, Jake conducted research on climate change adaptation strategies in a flooded forest in Cambodia as a Fulbright U.S. Student researcher and Visiting Researcher with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Cambodian Ministry of Environment.
As a Master’s of Development Practice student and Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow, Jake worked with the Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division during his first year in the program. Jake worked with a team of investigators and administrators tasked with strengthening the agency's ability to strategically target employers who frequently violate the labor rights of both citizens and immigrants/refugees working in the greater Tucson area.
In the Master’s of Development Practice program, Jake conducted his practicum in Kenya as a graduate research fellow with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi where he assisted ILRI’s lead Climate Adaptation Scientist under their Programme for Climate-Smart Livestock Systems. Also in Kenya, Jake was employed as a Field Manager and Research Assistant for a large-scale Urban Food Security study where he managed a team of enumerators to collect information from 1,000 households and key-informants in the Mt. Kenya region.
Currently, Jake is employed with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. As a Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow, Jake is creating a statistical model to measure the non-profit community’s willingness to collaborate in Southern Arizona through a large-scale online survey using techniques derived from the field of ecosystem services valuation.
Jake is also a skilled digital storytelling and won a National Storytelling Competition with Planet Forward. He now works as a Correspondent with this digital storytelling project based out of the Center for Innovative Media at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. Jake is an innovative and determined development practitioner and researcher with a strong background in (1) project design, implementation, and evaluation, (2) applied social science and climate adaptation research, and (3) digital storytelling and communication for project outreach and community impact.
Areas of expertise: health system capacity building, nutrition, non-communicable diseases, research methods, survey design and analysis, exercise interventions, reproductive health, professional development programs, and program design for descholarized youth. Regional expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.
Molloy Sheehan is a Fulbright-funded public health researcher and health systems strengthening professional, with a passion for chronic non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention. Her mission in life is to make it easier for people to be healthier.
Molloy studied kinesiology, nutrition, and global culture at the University of Virginia, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 2015 and a Master’s in Exercise Physiology in 2016. For 2 years during graduate school, Molloy worked directly with over 60 patients at a hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation center using nutrition and exercise prescriptions to improve patient outcomes.
Upon graduating, Molloy worked as a Rural Community Health Advisor in Peace Corps Benin from 2016-2018. There, she created projects with community members designed to improve the health outcomes of vulnerable populations.
Many of her projects focused on improving reproductive health access and education, resulting in a 25% reduction in unplanned pregnancies in her community during her service. She spearheaded the first camp in Peace Corps Benin exclusively taught in local language for descholarized youth. She also worked on gender equality projects as the National Professional Development Program Coordinator, where she directed grant-funded mentorship and internship programs, coordinating with several international NGOs, 60 host families, and 90 student leaders (75 young women).
Noticing that many people in her community suffered from the same diseases she saw working at a cardiac rehabilitation center, Molloy innovated projects designed for NCD prevention. She implemented weekly hypertension monitoring groups, hypertension and diabetes education, and a sports group for mothers, breaking gender boundaries in a conservative Muslim community.
Following her work in the Peace Corps, Molloy used her qualitative and quantitative research skills as a Research Analyst at the Atlantic Media Company. She interviewed thought leaders and conducted surveys about artificial intelligence, technology modernization, and policy outcomes, publishing several articles and reports.
She is currently the Principal Investigator of Fulbright-funded research in Togo. As chronic disease rates are largely unknown in West Africa, Molloy hired, trained, and led a team to gather data about NCD risk factors using household sampling. She collaborates with the Togolese Ministry of Health and WHO on strategies for leveraging her results to create change that matters.
Molloy’s interests include nutrition, public health policy, social determinants of health, and primordial and secondary cardiometabolic disease prevention. She hopes to devote her career to preventing chronic disease and reducing health disparities.