Melissa is a research fellow in the Poverty Health and Nutrition Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). She is an applied microeconomist working at the intersection of gender, early childhood development, and social protection. Her research focuses on the determinants and consequences of poor early childhood development and health; and how resource allocation within households affects the intended and unintended outcome of development policies. She has investigated the impacts of cash transfers programs and food assistance programs through her work with the Bono de Desarrollo Humano Program and the World Food Program in Ecuador, and the Jigisemejiri program in Mali. Her current works involves impact evaluations of nutrition-sensitive agricultural and social protection programs in Mali, Ghana, and Senegal.
Melissa holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.