Sam is a graduate of University of Ghana, Legon (BS, 1988), University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MS, 1993) and University of California, Davis (PhD, 1998), with specialty in econometrics, natural resource economics and development economics. Sam joined IFPRI with the Development Strategy and Governance Division as a Research Fellow in February 2004 and was out-posted to Kampala, Uganda to lead its country program to support the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of key agricultural and rural development strategies. In February 2006, Sam relocated to the Washington DC office to lead the research on monitoring and evaluation, particularly assessing the impact of public investments, policies and programs on poverty reduction, growth and other human development indicators in Africa. From September 2010 to August 2012, Sam managed the inter-Center Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), and then the Statistics on Public Expenditures for Economic Development (SPEED) from March 2015. Sam became a Senior Research Fellow in April 2017 and, in September 2017, joined the Africa Regional Office as Deputy Division Director, assisting the director in managing the division’s research portfolio and providing overall intellectual leadership and guidance for the strategic research areas of the division and capacity building related activities.
Sam's research interests focus on policy, institutional and technology strategies for agricultural and rural development.