Helena is a social scientist with an interdisciplinary training in global food and agriculture politics. She holds a PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability and an MA in Global Governance from the University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada. Her current research at CCAFS supports the understanding of systems dynamics and barriers to scaling climate-smart agriculture (CSA) innovations in smallholder agriculture. She supports the day-to-day scaling activities of the Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT) project (2018-2023), a Dutch-funded imitative valued at € 39 million that seeks to increase the availability and accessibility of CSA innovations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in order to build resilient food systems in East Africa.
Prior to joining CCAFS, Helena worked at the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, as a Professional Development Award Recipient, leading cross-project synthesis work on scaling up food security innovations in smallholder food and agricultural systems across 17 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This work builds on her longstanding scientific interest in exploring how disparate agricultural approaches and actors can help to strengthen food security in the global South in a manner that is both sustainable and equitable, and has examined contributions from the African Green Revolution and Food Sovereignty Movement in Mozambique.
Helena is also an Affiliate Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).