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Senior Staff Biographies

Steven Hanson

Associate Provost and Dean, International Studies and Programs

207 International Center
(517) 355-2352

Steven Hanson is associate provost and dean of International Studies and Programs (ISP). In this role, Hanson leads MSU's international programming efforts, including multidisciplinary and multicollege research and strategic partnerships with higher education institutions abroad. In collaboration with ISP faculty and staff, Hanson guides research and activities that will positively impact critical global issues, particularly those related to food, health, environment, and education. Hanson oversees the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, Tanzania Partnership Program and the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.

Dr. Hanson previously served ISP as interim dean from 2013-2014 and assistant dean from 2009-2013. As assistant dean, he helped established MSU's Office of International Research and Collaboration, which assists faculty in developing multidisciplinary proposals.

Dr. Hanson joined MSU in 1988 in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics (AFRE). From 2003-2014, he served as Chair of AFRE, providing leadership to one of the most productive and highly ranked departments in the country. During his time as chairperson, the department built core strengths around integrated research, teaching and outreach programs in agri-food systems and bio-economy, global food systems and international development, environmental and natural resources, and regional development and strategic growth. The department also doubled faculty publications in agricultural economics and economic journals, while also tripling enrollment in undergraduate programs. Dr. Hanson led efforts to diversify the department's undergraduate programs and nearly tripled external funding support for graduate students.

Dr. Hanson's research focuses on risk management with financial contracts and the valuation of financial contracts and assets, such as land. He has taught graduate and undergraduate financial economics and management courses and his work has been published in leading journals such as the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and the Journal of Empirical Finance.

Hanson serves on the board of directors for the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa and the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities. He has served as Chair of the National Association of Agricultural Economics Administrators and is a Fellow of the Food Systems Leadership Institute.

Hanson received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University.

Anne Ferguson

Interim Associate Dean, International Studies and Programs

207 International Center
(517) 355-2350

Dr. Anne Ferguson, GenCen Co-Director and Professor of Anthropology, does research and teaching on development studies, gender, agricultural and environmental change, and medical anthropology. Her early work in El Salvador in medical anthropology centered on the impacts of multinational pharmaceutical firms' business practices on health care provided at pharmacies, and on the integration of these companies' products into lay and alternative medical practices. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Ferguson shifted her research focus to Southern Africa, where she has studied development initiatives in the areas of agriculture, fisheries, and water sector reform. Currently, her research centers on the gender dimensions of Malawi's new water and land reform policies. Much of Dr. Ferguson's research has been carried out in collaboration with colleagues at MSU and at the University of Malawi. Support for her research has come from the McArthur Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, Rockefeller Foundation, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2000, she received a Fulbright Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program grant to study the gender dimensions of Malawi's and Zimbabwe's water reforms. She teaches classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels on gender, environment, and health issues in global perspective.

DeAndra Beck

Associate Dean, International Studies and Programs

207 International Center
(517) 355-2350

DeAndra Beck is Associate Dean for Research (International Studies and Programs) at Michigan State University. Before joining MSU, Dr. Beck served as a Program Director in the National Science Foundation's Office of International and Integrative Activities, with responsibility for NSF's Developing Country initiatives and the Middle East and Africa portfolios. She worked closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development to bridge the interests of science and development, including the design and implementation of the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER Science) initiative. PEER Science provides merit-based funding to developing country scientists who are collaborating with NSF-funded scientists.

Dr. Beck also co-managed Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI), a mechanism to foster global partnerships among NSF awardees, and she served on NSF's INSPIRE working group, which is piloting a new NSF initiative to solicit and fund transformative, multidisciplinary research. In cooperation with CRDF Global, she was instrumental in launching Newton's List as a platform to publicize funding opportunities for international research collaboration and initiated the International Funding Agency Seminar to facilitate dialogue among global science funding agencies.

Prior to NSF, Dr. Beck served as the acting Managing Director for Environment and Social Assessment at the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). While at MCC, she participated in the negotiation of multi-million dollar Compacts with Ghana, Armenia, and Mongolia and managed a team of professional staff responsible for environment and social assessment issues across the full spectrum of MCC eligible countries. Previously, Dr. Beck served as Assistant Director for Policy, U.S. Forest Service International Programs, where she represented the interests of the U.S. forestry community in international negotiations, including the UN Forum on Forests, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Tropical Timber Organization, and the Montreal Process. These positions flanked her foray into the private sector as Chief Executive Officer of a biotechnology start-up company. Dr. Beck held positions as an international research administrator at the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and as an AAAS Fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development. She earned a B.S. (cum laude) and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Texas A&M University.

Adedayo Oluwakayode Adekson

Assistant Dean, International Studies and Programs

207 International Center
(517) 355-2350

As the Assistant Dean for Administration, Adedayo Oluwakayode Adekson undertakes administrative and research tasks including, inter alia, the management of international initiatives, collaboration with directors of area studies, thematic and service-oriented centers on strategic planning and pertinent matters, administration of partnership agreements with institutions outside the United States and oversight of information technology operations. He also is ISP's coordinator for MSU Institutional Diversity: Excellence in Action and represents the unit on several university-level committees.

Prior to joining Michigan State University, Adedayo Adekson worked as a Program Officer at The Great Lakes Colleges Association/Global Liberal Arts Alliance where his remit was primarily global in scope. He also has served in research, administrative and/or teaching capacities within several entities, including the Academy for Educational Development, World Bank's Development Research Group, Costa Rica-based United Nations-mandated University for Peace and the UNESCO Centre in Northern Ireland.

He was born in the United States and raised in Nigeria, and took a BA and an MA in International Studies and International Development respectively at American University's School of International Service, and a masters and doctorate in Political Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Adekson is the author of The 'Civil Society' Problematique: Deconstructing Civility and Southern Nigeria's Ethnic Radicalization (New York; London: Routledge), among other peer-reviewed publications.

Assefa Mehretu

Interim Assistant Dean

207 International Center
(517) 353-5921

Assefa Mehretu is Professor Emeritus of Geography at Michigan State University. He received his PhD in 1969 from Johns Hopkins University and his BA from Haile Selassie First University in 1964. Before he came to MSU, he was Assistant Professor of Geography at Addis Ababa University where he later served as Chair of the Department of Geography from 1971-72 and Director of the Institute of Development Research at Addis Ababa University from 1972 to 1977.

After he came to MSU in 1977, he has been on the faculty in Geography where he became full professor in 1990. He also held several administrative positions at MSU including Associate Director of the African Studies Center (1978-84), Director of the Center for Integrative Studies in Social Science (2000-2007), Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs in the College of Social Science (2004-2006), and Interim Assistant Dean for Educational Programs at the Center for International Studies and Programs (2012 to present). He has received several research awards including a United Nations Regional Development Fellowship Award in Nagoya, Japan, two Ford Foundation Grants in Ethiopia, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant in Zimbabwe, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in Zimbabwe.

His publications include books, reviews, chapters in books and encyclopedias, and scores of referred articles in Journals and monographs. He has made numerous presentations in national and international conferences. His latest publications include “Delegitimizing Multicultural Collective Identity in Ethiopia: A Critical Reflection on Ethnic Federalism.” Horn of Africa, Volume XXIX, 2011, pp. 64-82; “Ethnic Federalism and its Potential to Dismember the Ethiopian State.” Progress in Development Studies, Volume 12, Nos. 2&3, 2012, pp. 113-133; “Residential Marginality, Erasure and Intractability in Addis Ababa,” with Tegegne Gebre Egziabher, in Igor Vojnovic, ed., Urban Sustainability: A Global Perspectives (East Lansing, Michigan State University Press, 2013) pp. 205-308; and “Partners for Progress and Modernization: Rise and Fall of America’s Soft-Power Relations with Ethiopia” East African Social Science Research Review (forthcoming, summer 2013).

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