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Datu Team

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Marcy Lowe


Marcy Lowe, CEO of Datu Research, has 25 years of experience in economic analysis and public policy, with a focus on land use, rural development, and climate resilience. Before establishing Datu, Lowe was a senior analyst at Duke University’s Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness, where she mapped out supply chains for carbon-saving technologies and for selected agricultural commodities. As a senior researcher at the Washington, D.C.-based Worldwatch Institute, she analyzed land use issues. Lowe’s op-eds and more than 40 articles have appeared in Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Technology Review, and others. She received her M.S. in Energy Management and Policy from the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

Monica La

Monica La


Monica La is an Analyst II at Datu Research, where she specializes in research for effective outreach and advocacy. She is currently providing meeting facilitation services, and research and design for the development of an online tool for the Soil Renaissance initiative. She previously was a Research Associate at Duke CGGC, where she co-authored a report on bus rapid transit and developed an accompanying interactive web-based tool. In her work for environmental NGOs, she developed materials, such as reports, fact sheets, and online communications, and coordinated events for policymakers and the public. She received a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University in 2011, and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Maryland in 2004.

Angel Cruz, Ph.D.


Angel Cruz is a research analyst with more than 10 years of knowledge and experience in international agriculture research and education. Growing up in a small Appalachian town, surrounded by tobacco and Christmas tree farms, she has roots in agriculture from a young age. She received her Ph.D. in Agroecology from North Carolina State University in 2017. For her Ph.D. research, she used participatory action research (PAR) methods to conduct research with smallholder farmers in rural El Salvador. Her 3-year project evaluated the role of sustainable soil management in improving food security for smallholder farming communities. She used interdisciplinary methods to evaluate soil health and food security and then conducted on-farm field trials with a regional group of young farmers to evaluate the role of different soil fertility and soil conservation practices on food security. Her work may serve as a model for future soil health and food security research throughout Central America. Angel received a Fulbright Fellowship and US Borlaug Global Food Security Graduate Research Award to fund her research. She received her M.S. in Crop Science from North Carolina State University in 2013, researching soil microbial communities in sustainable agriculture systems, and a B.S. in Biology from Furman University in 2008.

Sofía Tenorio Fenton


Sofia Tenorio Fenton attributes her passion about sustainable development to growing up in the culturally and biologically diverse state of Oaxaca, Mexico. A strong advocate of integrated strategies to end poverty and preserve the environment, she has conducted research in environmental management locally and internationally. Together with a team of environmental managers and the Duke Superfund Research Center, she researched potential soil contaminants and their pathways of exposure and used social science and a community-based approach to promote behavior change. In 2017, she received her MEM in Ecosystem Science and Conservation at Duke University, where she also earned a certificate in Community-Based Environmental Management. She also obtained a B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Universidad La Salle, A.C. in Mexico City.


Alicia Smith


Alicia Smith comes to Datu with over 25 years of accounting experience in government, for-profit and non-profit organizations. Her administrative roles include office manager, human resource manager, purchasing agent and event coordinator. Alicia received her Master’s in Accounting in 2012 and is planning to sit for her CPA.


Phillemon Mushi

Phillemon Mushi

Arusha, Tanzania

Phillemon Phillip Mushi is Principle Agricultural Field Officer at the Arusha-based Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), which operates under the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, andCooperatives. He has more than 30 years of experience in agricultural development. Named an Outstanding Partner by the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Mr. Mushi has applied his technical background in genetic engineering to supervising and participating in the release of numerous varieties of maize, pigeonpea, and chickpea in Tanzania. His work includes an Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)-funded project to use demonstration plots to scale up soil-health technologies, evaluating pigeonpea varieties for ICRISAT, working with the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) to study Quality Protein Maize (QPM), and collaborating with various companies to evaluate maize varieties. Mr. Mushi is also involved in farmer capacity-building to support livelihoods and has conducted surveys to identify farmer challenges.

Ingrid Mujica

Ingrid Mujica

Ingrid Mujica is an economist with over seven years of experience in research and policy analysis to promote international economic development, social upgrading and environmental sustainability. She has worked with a number of donor organizations including USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, DFID and CRS. She has ample experience in project management and evaluation. She analyzed and evaluated 150 projects of the Multilateral Investment Fund’s 1993-2011 portfolio to gauge potential for impact in poverty reduction. During her time at the IDB she coordinated the Latin American and the Caribbean Public Debt Management Specialists Group, and was in charge of promoting cooperation between 26 public debt management offices and partners. Ingrid also has extensive knowledge and experience in value-chain analysis. She was part of the Capturing the Gains group of researchers investigating linkages between economic and social upgrading in global value-chains and the effects of public and private governance on labor conditions. She was a co-author on the USAID/CARANA “Improving competitiveness in the textile-apparel industry in Nicaragua and the United States” report. Ingrid holds a BSc and an MA in Economics from the University of Montreal and the University of Toronto respectively, and an MA in Public Policy from Duke University. She is fluent in Spanish and French.


Joonkoo Lee

Seoul, South Korea

Joonkoo Lee is Assistant Professor of Organization in the School of Business at Hanyang University, Seoul. In 2011-2012, he was a postdoctoral research scholar in the Social Science Research Institute, Duke University. He received his PhD in sociology at Duke University with his dissertation to compare the historical development of the animation industry in Korea and India. His research interests include globalization and development, economic and organization sociology, global value chains and political economy in Asia. His research involves multiple sectors, including agrofood, information communication technology, mobile telecommunication, and cultural industries. His work has appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and the Journal of Supply Chain Management. He graduated Seoul National University with his BA and MA in sociology.

Lixia Mei

Mei Li Xia

Wuhan, China

MEI Lixia was born in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Lixia earned her Ph.D in Geography from Peking University, Beijing, in 2009, and currently she is affiliated with Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan, China. From 2007 to 2008, Lixia visited Duke University in Durham, NC as a visiting scholar where she worked with Marcy Lowe and other colleagues at the Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness (CGGC). Lixia’s research interests focus on industrial clusters, innovative enterprises, and regional development. She has published over ten academic papers on various journals, and one book (“Transformation of Traditional Industrial Clusters under Globalization Fluctuation: the Case of Chinese Bicycle Industry,” 2010, in Chinese). During the last two years, Lixia has been involved in an international research network, CTG (Capture the Gains: Economic and Social Upgrading in Global Production Networks), which is led by CGGC at Duke and the University of Manchester. Lixia is now teaching several courses to both undergraduate and graduate students, such as Globalization, Innovation Management, Multinational Corporation Management, and Assets Valuation, at the School of Business Administration, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.