Melissa Leach - Curriculum Vitae#

Experience and Interests:

Melissa Leach FBA is Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex which under her leadership ranks Number 1 for Development Studies (QS World University Rankings 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019). As an anthropologist she has thirty years of long-term ethnographic research experience in West Africa, speaking four local languages. Her interdisciplinary, policy-engaged research links sustainability, environment, health and gender, with particular interests in local knowledge and power, and she has initiated and led many internationally-collaborative research and policy programmes.

Educational qualifications:

  • 1990 PhD Social Anthropology, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
  • 1987 MPhil Qualifying Examination, Social Anthropology (distinction), SOAS
  • 1985 BA (Hons) Geography, class I* (distinction), University of Cambridge\

  • April 2014 - Director, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
  • August 2000 - Professorial Fellow, IDS
  • May 1990 - Fellow, IDS

Selected external roles:
  • Strategic Coherence of ODA Research (SCOR) Board, Independent member
  • International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food)
  • UK ESRC International Development Advisory Group
  • Stockholm Environment Institute Science Council
  • Future Earth, Vice Chair of Science Committee, 2012 - 2017
  • UN Women, Lead author of 2014 World Survey
  • World Social Science Report 2016 on Challenging Inequalities, co-leader

Selected Recent Research Grants:
  • 2019 – 2011 PI, Pandemic Preparedness: Concepts and practices in tackling deadly diseases in Africa. Wellcome Trust Collaborative Awards, £1.5 million
  • 2016 ongoing Co-I, Social Science in Humanitarian Emergencies, UNICEF/USAID, c.$600K
  • 20014 – 15 Co-I, Ebola Response Anthropology Platform, Wellcome/DFID/SCF R2HC (with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), £219, 000
  • 2006-2016 Director/PI, ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre, £9.4 million over 10 years
  • 2012 - 2015 Overall PI, Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, ESPA (NERC/DFID/ESRC), £3.8 million
  • 2010 – 2012 Co-I, Anthropogenic Dark Earths in Africa? Studies in Liberia, Guinea, Ghana, ESRC. £450,000

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