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London International Development Centre appoints new Director

Monday, 27 March 2017

LIDC DirectorThe London International Development Centre (LIDC) has announced the appointment of Professor Claire Heffernan as its new Director, who will take up the post from 1 June 2017.

The LIDC facilitates interdisciplinary research and training to tackle complex problems in international development. It brings together scientists from the University of London's Bloomsbury Colleges: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Royal Veterinary College, SOAS and UCL Institute of Education.

In her new position as Director, Professor Heffernan will lead the direction of future research at an exciting and challenging time for international development, building on the work of its outgoing Director, Professor Peter Mollinga.

Prof Heffernan is a veterinarian with training in the social sciences. She will be joining the LIDC from the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol where, as Head of Infection and Immunity, she initiated the Risk and Resilience Hub, which explores four inter-linked critical global challenges: climate change and health, antimicrobial resistance, sustainable food systems and disease emergence.

Prof Heffernan has extensive experience of inter-disciplinary research grounded in the challenges faced by poorer communities. In 2000, she founded the Livestock Development Group (LDG) at the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading. This was in response to the need for a meta-disciplinary approach to the problems faced by the global poor.

She has used her experience to inform various funding bodies in the creation of metrics and decision support tools for global health, food security and climate policy praxis. In 2014, she was awarded an academic writing residency by the Rockefeller Foundation at the Bellagio Center to explicate the ‘cascade effects’ of climate change on infectious disease.

Commenting on her appointment as Director of the LIDC, Prof Heffernan said: “I am delighted and honoured to serve as the new director of the LIDC. It is a privilege to lead such an experienced group of researchers in shaping and informing international development thinking, particularly during this pivotal time.

“I am grateful to be able to build upon the important work of my predecessors, Professor Jeff Waage in championing innovation and clarity with regard to development praxis and more recently Professor Peter Mollinga.”

Professor Dame Anne Mills, Deputy Director and Provost of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: ‘’As chair of the LIDC Management Group, I am delighted to welcome Professor Heffernan to LIDC and very much look forward to working with her to further develop and expand its excellent work.’’

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Image: Professor Claire Heffernan

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