Meet Our People

Every one of our people has an interesting story – both personally and professionally. We employ people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to enhance our team because this rich life experience adds value to the work we do. Find out about some of our people, why they joined us and why they find their rewarding at Adam Smith International.

Ann

Ann is working on our NIAF project in Nigeria 

I have worked within the UK Government for over 20 years in various roles across both policy and operational areas, and at the centre of government. The latter half of this time I spent as an HR specialist.

Eventually, I decided to move over to consultancy, and I began by working in the UK. At that time the Civil Service College were involved with a joint project with Adam Smith International in Afghanistan and I was asked if I would like to join it. The civil service side of the project finished, but I stayed on with Adam Smith International. Since then all almost all of my international work has been with you – nearly ten years now!

My main areas of work have been in Government Reform. I am usually contracted to provide HR support in ministries and government departments and also, thanks to my past government experience, working with ministers and senior officials. I have now worked in a number of post-conflict countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, South Sudan, Serbia and currently Nigeria.

Adam Smith International is a great organisation to work for. The varied opportunities I have had have been incredible; the places I have been able to work in have been so fascinating and I have met some amazing people. Adam Smith International has provided not only interesting work but also supported my personal development.

From what I hear and see, Adam Smith International is certainly one of the better companies to work for in international development. It is keen to keep good people, does such interesting work in fascinating places and places high value on skills and expertise rather than qualifications. The other big plus when you are self-employed is they pay on time!

Graham

Graham is the Tax Technical Adviser for our GEMS3 project

As the tax adviser on GEMS3, I am responsible for leading a team of Abuja-based tax advisors who provide remote and on-the-job assistance to state tax teams. I am a qualified accountant who has specialised in tax administration. I initially spent over 20 years in the New Zealand tax authority and over 10 years since leading tax administration reform teams in other countries. This has included work as an associate of Adam Smith International in Afghanistan and Tuvalu before my current role in Nigeria.

I joined Adam Smith International as an associate in 2005 after referral from another associate who had worked for the company. I have found the process of joining as an associate to be relatively painless compared with the processes I have had to go through when working for other companies. In particular, Adam Smith International contracts include all financial remuneration within one overall daily rate (rather than remuneration packages having multiple components) and clearly spell out self-responsibility for personal health insurance, external travel and taxation obligations.

In my case, I was particularly pleased that Adam Smith International nominated me for an OBE, which I was subsequently awarded, and my continued work for Adam Smith International reflects my loyalty to the company in response to the trust they have shown in me.

Helen

Helen is working on our ENABLE project in Nigeria 

In a little over two decades as a media professional, I have had the opportunity to amass extensive media experience as presenter, producer and trainer, working for local media outfits including as a founding employee of the first private radio in Nigeria, as well as international media and the BBC World Service Trust. My work has always been aimed at ensuring the highest quality output, building teams and work partners to collaborate to keep the media relevant in the development of the country in the areas of health governance and business environment reform.

As the Media Portfolio Manager of the DFID-funded ENABLE programme in Nigeria, we have effectively built the capacity of media partners to develop investigative, interactive, issue-based and sufficiently analytical business media products to serve as a credible platform to advocate for better business environment.

My clear understanding of the working of the media and its key driver of change role has been my motivation to share my experience across countries and regions. I value the opportunity to use my experience and training to analyse the market before providing advice to the partners for informed decision-making.  

Adam Smith International provides the opportunity to develop multi-tasking skills, within a hands-on learning environment for each task, making it a very practical work environment which encourages innovation whilst still meeting your target. Over my years of work with the Adam Smith International team, a high level of expectation about responsibilities has been set and met, and trust has been built around my ability to deliver. The confidence placed in my ability to deliver has been my highest motivator.

Adam Smith International exists to adapt learnings from other partner environments, making all service offers partner-or country-specific. The uniqueness of this approach is the key to the successes of so many programmes.  

Behaviour change communication is a challenging area of work. As an associate, Adam Smith International offers me the opportunity to meet, build trust and bond with the team's members, while providing training and mentoring support.

Mike

Mike is the market systems adviser on our Kenya M4P project 

I have over 20 years' experience of designing, assessing, implementing and training on market-based private sector development approaches. I currently serve as the technical lead on a DFID-funded market development project in Kenya. In addition, I continue to provide advice and training to a range of donors and programs on market development and value chain systems approaches. I earned my MBA from the George Washington University and my BS in finance and international business from Drexel University.

There were two reasons I selected to be an associate with Adam Smith International. The first was that the work would focus on a particular approach to development. The second is that the staff I met were smart and genuine.

I have worked for a few organizations and the driving force behind my decision were the approach and the people at an organization. Adam Smith International offered me the ability to pursue the approach and learning that are important to me, as well as an operating culture that is practical and thoughtful. I have not found this combination at other firms.

Similarly, my motivations for where and whom I work with are the technical and operating culture. Adam Smith International from my experience provides both, and my time at Adam Smith International has been more fulfilling than with other organizations in which I have worked.

Richard

Richard is the Finance Director on two of our programmes 

Having trained as a chartered accountant in London, my professional experience includes project finance and programme management, predominantly in Africa. I am currently working with Adam Smith International as Finance Director for two programmes under your management.

After 20 years of corporate employment, I then worked as an independent consultant for 8 years before joining Adam Smith International as an associate. Working with Adam Smith International provides a good balance: I enjoy working as a member of a highly professional team with a wide diversity of backgrounds and experience, focused on meeting tight deadlines but also enjoying a certain camaraderie and an occasional lunch; while I also retain a degree of independence and an ability to determine my own priorities, combined with an assured work flow for the lifetime of the programme which mitigates some of the uncertainties of an independent consultant.

This combination of working with a team of colleagues while retaining independence is made possible by the establishment of Adam Smith International regional offices, in contrast to many other consultancy firms which focus core staff in a head office while associates work loosely with virtual and shifting teams.