Biographies of Millennium Development Goal lecturers

Speaker biographies

Please click on the links below to find out more about the speakers in our seminars series exploring the achievements and prospects post-2015 of the Millennium Development Goals

L to R:  Sue Welburn, James Smith, Devi Sridhar and Kenneth Amaeshi

Prof Sue Welburn

Sue Welburn is the Director of the Global Health Academy and Professor of Medical and Veterinary Molecular Epidemiology in the Divison of Pathway Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.  She is also leader of the sleeping sickness research group.


Sue Welburn has more than 20 years experience working on human sleeping sickness and zoonotic trypanosomiasis in domestic wild and animal populations.  Her research concentrates on the design and use of molecular diagnostic tools for the study and management of sleeping sickness and animal trypanosomiaisis.

She has encompassed research ranging from ‘grass-roots’ fieldwork in Africa to laboratory-based dissection of the problem of trypanosomiasis at the gene level.  Her experience ranges from the management of high-tech laboratory research to the running of applied field projects in developing countries.

She has supervised over 35 PhD and research Masters students, She has also published over 120 peer reviewed scientific articles, reviews and book chapters.

Global partnerships

Sue has a strong commitment to Capacity Building in Higher Education and Research Institutions in the Global South and is a Director of the University of Edinburgh International Development Centre.

She has collaborative projects ongoing in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Tanzania focusing on medical and veterinary sector interventions for disease control.  With colleagues in the private sector, and Makerere University, Uganda she has established a Public Private Partnership for the control of sleeping sickness in Uganda.

Sue is also a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO)/Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) Expert Advisory Panel on Drugs for Neglected Diseases (Trypanosomiasis).

Most recently she has been appointed Director of the Edinburgh Global Health Academy.

Prof James Smith

James Smith is Professor of African and Development Studies, Acting Director of the Centre of African Studies & Director of the Global Development Academy at the University of Edinburgh.

James has had extensive experience of working in Africa.  He completed his PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and then held a tutorship and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, before working with Oxfam Southern Africa.  He held a research fellowship in the ESRC Innogen Centre at Edinburgh University before moving to the Centre of African Studies, initially as a Lecturer, in 2005. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and appointed Co-director of the Centre of African Studies in 2008. In 2010 James was promoted to a personal chair in African and Development Studies and is now Assistant Principal of the new Global Development Academy at Edinburgh.

James has been an advisor on DfID's Research Into Use programme and is currently a senior advisor to the ESRC-DfID Joint Scheme for Research on International Development and a trustee at the international NGO, Practical Action. He also has considerable experience working with donors, development agencies and NGOs including DfID, IDRC, CIDA, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oxfam and the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

James is now a member of the Africa Panel of the British Academy, a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is involved in the University's new Academy of Government, contributing to teaching on international development.

Dr Devi Sridhar

Devi Sridhar is a Senior Lecturer in Global Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh and a Senior Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. She currently leads the global governance workpackage of the EU FP7 project Go4Health (Setting health-related development goals beyond 2015) and is PI of the project 'Research Priorities to Reduce Global Child Mortality: Integrating Governance and Epidemiology' with Profs Harry Campbell & Igor Rudan funded by the Challenge Investment Fund at the Univ of Edinburgh.

She was previously a University Lecturer in Global Health Politics in the Department of Public Health, Oxford (2011 to 2012), Postdoctoral Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford (2007 to 2011) and Postdoctoral Researcher at the Global Economic Governance Programme Oxford (2006 to 2007). She holds a DPhil and MPhil from Oxford where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.S. from the University of Miami in the 6 year honours medical programme. She has worked with a number of UN agencies, civil society organizations and Ministries of Health in emerging and developing countries. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Health Industry, Associate Fellow at the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security, Advisory Board Member of the Financial Flows Programme at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and Visiting Faculty at the Public Health Foundation of India.

Devi is the MPP public health policy course convenor and teaches on the following courses: Global Politics of Public Health; Health Systems Reform and PPPs; and Health and Human Rights.

Dr Kenneth Amaeshi

Kenneth Amaeshi completed his MBA at the University of Nottingham and his PhD at the University of Warwick.  He is now an Associate Professor (Reader) in Strategy & International Business, and the Director of the Sustainable Business Initiative at teh Edinburgh Business School (

Prior to joining the School in July 2010, he was a Lecturer in Strategy and Policy Innovation at the Cranfield School of Management, a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick (Warwick Business School and Warwick Manufacturing Group, respectively) and a management consultant at Phillips Consulting and ReStraL Consulting, Lagos, Nigeria, respectively.

Kenneth is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and currently holds Visiting Faculty positions at the Cranfield School of Management, UK, and the Lagos Business School, Nigeria, respectively.  He is also an Associate of the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation at the University of Warwick.  He was a Chevening Scholar (2002/3), a Scholar of the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, Nottingham University Business School (2003/4) and a Visiting Scholar at Said Business School, University of Oxford (2007/8).

Besides teaching and researching, Kenneth works with businesses, NGOs and governments, in the broad areas of strategic corporate responsibility & governance, sustainability strategy & sustainable investing, and stakeholder strategy & reputation management.  He currently leads a University platform on Corporate Responsibility and Governance for continuous interactions with industry players, policy makers, and the general public in these areas (

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