About the Staff
Director of International Research and Agricultural Development
Dr. Pannkuk has directed WSU’s International Research and Agricultural Development (IRAD) since 2005. IRD manages research and development projects in several countries with a team of faculty associates and support staff. These projects engage faculty and students where their technical knowledge and educational experiences contribute to their overall success. Chris has over 20 years experience in international agricultural development projects. As a project lead, he monitors, evaluates, recommends and identifies resources for developing better agricultural strategies. He has carried out agricultural development activities in Afghanistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Jordan, Malawi, Romania, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tanzania and Yemen.
Associate Director, Asia and North Africa
Dr. Byers is an agricultural economist with extensive development experience. He has worked in both the public and private sectors in activities that include business and project management, training, financial and economic analyses. He has conducted development projects and programs in Morocco, Russia, Malawi, and Sudan. Responsibilities included human resource and institutional development, agricultural research planning, monitoring and evaluation, planning and conduct of applied socioeconomic research, and economic policy.
Associate Director, West and Central Africa/DCOP AAEP-Nangarhar
Dr. Badini’s research and development interests focus on soil and agricultural systems evaluation/monitoring and the use of climatic forecasting, modeling and GIS tools to provide information to decision makers in order to increase food security and economic productivity in concert with conserving and improving the natural resource base. His expertise includes Field trials of Soil Fertility and Water Management, Rural Development, Agroclimatic Assessment, Drought Analysis & Management, Bioclimatology, Soil Water and Cropping Systems Modeling as well as GIS and Environmental Information System Management.
Associate Director for East and Southern Africa/ Acting COP AAEP
Dr. Whiteman is responsible for coordinating all partner activities in the field, provides management oversight and technical support, and assesses and supports training needs at all levels with partners. He handles day-to-day requirements of administering the project as well as making decisions that might arise with partners or field activities. In addition, he provides leadership and technical advice in the development, assessment, and monitoring and evaluation of Kulera activities.
Associate Director of Monitoring and Evaluation/Associate Director of Student Engagement
Ms.Taugher is an information designer who has directed numerous information communication technology for development (ICT4D) efforts in rural east and west Africa. She is responsible for coordinating monitoring and evaluation efforts for the unit and has carried out M&E activities for our programming in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. In addition, Ms. Taugher directs student engagement in international activities for the College of Agriculture Human and Natural Sciences (CAHNRS). She is the faculty mentor for the International Development Club and is developing a portfolio of new international opportunities for CAHNRS students.
Project Associate for Health
Natalia Muto is a medical doctor with a PhD in Radiology who is helping to leverage IRAD’s agricultural practices and interventions to fill the gap between agricultural development and health and nutritional benefits. Her development and research interests focus on health and nutrition in order to increase quality of life, life expectancy and reduction of mortality. Born and raised in Brazil, she is familiar with developing country difficulties and challenges.
Kim Castelin works on the Monitoring and Evaluation of the AAEP II project. She has lived and worked in Morocco, Egypt, Tajikistan, Madagascar (where she did Peace Corps), and Afghanistan. She has a Masters in Agricultural Economics with a focus on community development and regional economies. She also brings experience working with livestock on cattle and sheep farms in Idaho. She is particularly interested in branching her knowledge base to include agro-ecosystems and using program data to research motivators for technology adoption among extension workers and farmers in Afghanistan.
Levi McGarry assists in the coordination and management of the Paluthe Farm Project, IRD’s Palouse demonstration farm site. As a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA), Levi has experience working with multiple non-profit agencies throughout the Inland Northwest to streamline volunteer management systems and increase organizational recruitment. His current duties also crafting communications for the IRD office. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Idaho.
Meg Pannkuk graduated with her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis on traditional ecological knowledge from the University of Montana in 2011. She worked as a bakery manager while helping to restore an old train depot to Historical Registry standards, and co-coordinated an oral histories project on transitioning economies in central Idaho prior to employment at WSU as a project coordinator for the Paluthe Farm Project.
Ms. Baltz provides comprehensive administrative and secretarial support on behalf of the Director of International Research & Agricultural Development, serving as primary point of operational and administrative contact. She provides and oversees a full range of administrative, secretarial and staff support in grant/contract planning, proposal preparation, and maintenance.