Nancy McCarthy

Nancy McCarthy

President, LEAD Analytics

Dr. McCarthy earned a PhD in Agriculture and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley in 1996, and a JD from the George Mason University School of Law in 2009. In 2010, McCarthy founded LEAD Analytics, a consulting firm with a focus on natural resource management, governance, institutions; property rights and land tenure systems; and responses to climate change.   McCarthy also has significant experience with project and program impact evaluations, and integrating weather and climate data into those evaluations to draw broader insights into the potential impacts of climate change on future project performance. She has worked with a broad range of international development partners, including the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), amongst others.  Prior to founding LEAD Analytics, McCarthy worked at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). 

Her research with the Pulte Institute will focus on the performance of irrigation schemes that have been built or rehabilitated throughout sub-Saharan Africa in the past 20 years.  Building on insights from two game-theoretic models, McCarthy and colleagues will test whether the hypotheses from those models has empirical support found in two different streams of work:  project completion reports publicly available from the World Bank, the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and IFAD, and evidence from peer-reviewed journal articles published in the past two decades.  The evidence will be marshalled to draw implications regarding future program designs, and in particular, to consider how expected future climate changes may alter the incentives to operate and maintain irrigation infrastructure.