who we are


Diane Diane Coffey [[email protected]]
Diane is a demographer and development economist who studies health, nutrition and policy in developing countries, and particularly in India.  Her current research explores the relationships between social inequality, maternal nutrition and height.  She also has ongoing projects about sanitation, health and culture, and has published papers on maternal care in India and short term migration in India.  Diane grew up in central Connecticut and holds a BA from Villanova University and an MPA from Princeton University.  She is currently a PhD candidate at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics.


Avinash Kishore
[website] [[email protected]]
Avinash is interested in environmental issues in developing countries, especially India. His current research explores the welfare impact of air pollution in India. He holds a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University and Post-graduate Diploma (MBA) in Rural Management from IRMA. Avinash is a pre-doctoral fellow in the Harvard Environmental Economics Program and a fellow of Sustainability Science Center. He worked on water and energy policy with International Water Management Institute (IWMI) for 4 years before coming to the US for higher studies.
Dean Dean Spears
[website] [c.v.] [[email protected]]
These days, Dean’s research often focuses on children’s health and height, sanitation, latrines, or handwashing soap. He has also done research about decision-making, in particular decision-making by poor people and the social psychology of interaction between richer and poorer people. Dean has worked in El Salvador, India, and South Africa. His is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and has an MA in International Studies from the University of Oklahoma. He has an MPA in Development Studies and a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.  He is currently a visiting economist at the Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics.
Sangita Sangita Vyas [[email protected]]
Sangita is broadly interested in the politics and economics of inequality and making services work in India. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, and received a BS from the University of Pennsylvania. After college, Sangita spent several years working in New York in economic consulting but soon became discontent and moved to India where she oversaw a randomized evaluation of a microinsurance program for farmers in Gujarat with the Centre for Microfinance. Sangita holds an MPA in Economics and Public Policy with a Concentration in Urban Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.


photo Aashish Gupta [[email protected]]
Aashish grew up around Delhi, in Noida and Faridabad. He completed an integrated masters in Development Studies from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and before starting work for rice, was a Research Assistant at the Department of Economics at the University of Allahabad, working on issues related to human development and social security in India. He is interested in social and health policy, as well as in research and action.
Payal Payal Hathi [[email protected]]
Payal is interested in health, gender, state effectiveness, and service delivery in India. Most recently, she worked with the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, managing research initiatives in South Asia. Payal started her career in India overseeing several randomized evaluations of rural health programs with the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) in Udaipur, Rajasthan, and later supported various M&E initiatives with the Liberian Ministry of Health and Abt Associates in Kenya, Nigeria, and Madagascar. She has also worked extensively with survivors of domestic violence and is certified as a rape crisis counselor in the U.S. Originally from Southern California, Payal holds a BA in Economics from UC Berkeley and an MPA in Public Policy and Development Studies from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.

Nikhil Nikhil Srivastav [[email protected]]
Nikhil is a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Mass Communication. He joined r.i.c.e. in 2013, and is helping r.i.c.e in learning the behavior and thoughts of village people on sanitation. Prior to joining r.i.c.e. Nikhil worked with several other organizations and Institutions such as J-PAL South Asia, CMF, Digital Green, Columbia University, Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health (HDPFH), and the Harvard Kennedy School in their research efforts on community health (RCTs for increasing demand for immunization and iron, and capacity building of front line health workers), and on the improvement of service delivery and livelihood schemes in India.

Board Members:

Michael Michael Geruso[[email protected]]Michael Geruso is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. He studies the economics of health, healthcare, and fertility. His dissertation research explored the interaction between preference heterogeneity and adverse selection in US health insurance markets. In other work, he has examined the effect of education on teen and adult fertility behavior, and the extent to which differences in socioeconomic status can account for disparities in life expectancy between blacks and whites in the US. Mike is currently on leave from UT Austin, with a research appointment at Harvard University as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Scholars in Health Policy program. He received a PhD in economics from Princeton University, and like Dean and Diane, he is a Harry S. Truman Scholar.
Josephine Josephine Duh[[email protected]]As a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at Princeton University, Jo is interested in nutrition and maternal & child health in developing countries. She has been studying the interplay between regional HIV prevalence and provision of maternal & child health services spanning the 1990s and 2000s in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other research projects include the response of medical suppliers to India’s conditional cash transfer program for institutional births and the puzzling decline of per capita calorie consumption in India that coincides with rapid growth in national income. Jo grew up in upstate NY and southern NH, and she received an SB in Economics from MIT prior to her graduate studies.
John John Papp[[email protected]]John works for an investment management firm in New York. He holds a PhD in economics from Princeton University, where he studied the impact of India’s Employment Guarantee Scheme on migration and wages. He has spent twelve months living in India, part of which was spent designing and implementing a household survey with Dean and Diane. In other work, he studied ways to design micro-finance credit contracts to encourage business investment.


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