​Our Team

We are a growing team of professionals committed to the vision and ideals of AKU and passionate about our role in translating IHD's mission into reality. Together we are making a meaningful investment in human development and laying foundations for the prosperity of tomorrow’s generation starting today. Our team brings on board expertise from development, academia, research, policy and administration making every day of our experiences exciting and rewarding.​

Dr Kofi Marfo

Professor & Foundation Director

Dr Marfo’s vision is to position the Institute to make a difference in the building of strong foundations for successful life outcomes for all children. His current scholarly interests are in developmental science and childhood interventions, and the advancement of a global interdisciplinary science of human development.

Dr Ghazala Rafique

Director, Human Development Programme, IHD

Dr Rafique is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of early child development, nutrition, developmental screening, children with disability, and social determinants of health. 


Dr Amina Abubakar Ally

Associate Professor & Senior Research Scientist, IHD-Nairobi

Dr Abubakar is a neurodevelopmental assessment specialist with interests in the study of developmental delays and impairments among children exposed to various health problems, including HIV, malnutrition, sickle cell disease, and malaria. A key focus of her work is the development of culturally appropriate strategies for identifying, monitoring and rehabilitating children and adolescents at risk. ​​​

Prof Hezborn Kodero

Research Faculty, IHD-Nairobi

Prof Hezborn M. N. Kodero is a research mentor for pre- and post- doctoral fellows under the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation project at IHD. His main area of research interest is on orphans and vulnerable children, particularly those affected by HIV/AIDS.


Dr Kausar Waqar

Research Faculty, Human Development Programme, AKU-Karachi

Dr. Waqar joined AKU in 2005 and was a faculty member at the Institute for Educational Development (AKU-Karachi) from 2005 – 20013. She joined HDP in 2014. Her areas of work at AKU include Inclusive education, Early Childhood Development  and Gender in Education. ​


Dr Anil Khamis

Research Faculty, IHD-Nairobi; IED-East Africa

Dr Anil's research interests and publications cover societal and educational change, school improvement, and teacher development; research methods; and education for disadvantaged / at-risk communities, with special reference to marginalized communities, including Muslim minority and majority contexts. ​


Dr Batool Fatima

Research Faculty, AKU-Karachi

Dr Fatima is a Clinical Psychologist and Public Health professional. She is currently an Assistant Professor, Human Development Program at Aga Khan University, Pakistan. She is working with a team of international mental health experts to help children of parents with mental illness in Austria to receive appropriate care and services. Additionally, she is supervising psychologists in various research projects at AKU. 


Ms Seema Zainulabdin Lasi 

Research Faculty

Ms Seema Zainulabdin Lasi is currently working as a Senior Instructor of Early Childhood Development (ECD) in the Human Development Programme, Pakistan. Her area of specialization is ECD education, practice and research.  ​


Dr George Andima

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Andima is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Aga Khan University, Institute for Human Development. Andima has extensive experience in early grade literacy interventions in Kenya, designing training and instruction manuals, training and mentorship on the use of child-friendly instructional strategies. 


​Joyce Marangu

Research Associate

Ms Marangu is a Research Associate at Aga Khan University Institute for Human Development. She is a social and economic development professional with specialization in child development and wellbeing. 




Ruth Muendo

Research Associate

Ms Muendo is a Research Associate at Aga Khan University Institute for Human Development. She has vast research experience and interest in the quality of early caregiving environments for vulnerable populations, the nexus between women’s caregiving role and their participation in economic activities, informal settlement contexts, psychological wellbeing of caregivers and workplace support for families and populations affected by HIV/Aids in Majority World contexts. 


Leonard Falex

Project Manager

Mr Falex is the Manager for the Institute’s Conrad N. Hilton Foundation-funded project to build capacity in ECD research and workforce development. His research interest and experience is in policy enhancement and investing for Family Strengthening, Sustainable Development and Outcomes for Developing Countries.


Margaret Kabue

Project Manager

Ms Kabue is the Manager for the Childhood Development in Marginalized Communities (CDMC) project, funded jointly by International Development Research Centre and Aga Khan Foundation Canada. Her research and program interests are in the area of child and women’s rights, marginalized communities and health systems strengthening. 


Meseret Belachew

Institute Manager

Ms Meseret Belachew, the Institute Manager, is an educator with a focus on Early Childhood Development (ECD). She has experience facilitating qualitative research projects and training activities. 



Esther Peter

Administration and Communications Officer

Ms Peter is the Institute’s Administration and Communications Officer. She has interests in the areas of Development Communication.


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