Staff & Faculty

Pleased to meet you! We’re the team behind the International Development Innovation Network and we’re here to help.

Laura Budzyna

Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Manager

Went to School for: Development practice and Latin American studies

Likes: Data geekery, language learning, reading The Atlantic on airplanes, witty showtunes, Ben and Jerry’s.

Can Help You With: Answering your questions about how IDIN measures its successes. Wrangling neat stats about our network members and their innovations. Demystifying statistical jargon. Helping you use data to keep improving your project.

Elizabeth Hoffecker

Research Program Manager

Went to School for: International Development, Urban Planning, Economics, Philosophy, and History

Likes: Ways of doing things that enhance the wellbeing of people and systems; learning about wisdom traditions, ecologically intelligent and attractive places, designing peaceful spaces, growing and making things.

Can Help You With: Identifying resources and opportunities related to research on local innovation and the role it plays in development; designing research projects that align with IDIN's research agenda.

Nai Kalema

Program Associate

Went to School for: English, African Studies, and International Relations

Likes: Social entrepreneurship, exploring the world, human rights, dancing, and learning how to make things.

Can Help You With: Coordination of programmatic and financial administration, and operational tasks at MIT and across the IDIN Network.

Kurt Kornbluth

Principal Investigator at University of California Davis, Director of Program for International Energy Technology

Dr. Kurt Kornbluth is an Associate Adjunct professor in the University of California, Davis Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE), an Associate Director for the UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies, and the founder and director of Program for International Energy Technology (PIET) and D-Lab. He holds a PhD in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from UC Davis and is a UC Davis Graduate School of Management Business Development Fellow as well as an NSF IGERT fellow. 

Benjamin Linder

Principal Investigator at Olin College of Engineering, Associate Professor of Design and Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Linder’s teaching and research efforts are focused on sustainable design, international development, and human-centered design. These efforts are directed at developing techniques and approaches that further a more ecologically connected and socially just design practice. He investigates the role people, products and firms have in the realization of sustainable communities with an emphasis on local innovation, collaboration, and collective action.

Lauren McKown

Communications Strategist

Went to School for: International Relations

Likes: Story writing, Chai tea, simple & functional graphic design, vintage maps, airport layovers, and hiking.

Can Help You With: Questions about the IDIN website, newsletter, or social media. Getting cool IDIN story ideas on paper (or the web). Finding the IDIN publications & resources you need. Brainstorming how to market your innovation.

Jose Oscar Mur-Miranda

Principal Investigator at Olin College of Engineering, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Prof. Jose Oscar Mur-Miranda is an expert in electronics and electric energy systems. He designed the first electrostatic vibration-to-electric energy harvester using microelectromechanical systems technology. He currently conducts research in various methods for power transmission and harvesting, as well as advanced methods of electromechanical power conversion.

Asif Obaidee

Financial & Program Administrator

Went to School For: Business Administration, European Economics 

Likes: Poetry, traveling, nature, athletic activities, economic policy analysis

Can Help You With: Budget planning & projection, economic planning for sustainable development, sub-national governance, compliance and reporting

George Yaw Obeng

Principal Investigator at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Dr. George Yaw Obeng is a Senior Research Fellow at the Technology Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the College of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. He was the Director of the TCC from 2010 to 2015. He is a Fellow of The Energy Center (TEC), KNUST, Kumasi. He has been working as a Senior Member of the University since 1994/5 and has been a member of several local and international committees and networks. 

Jona Repishti

Global Network Manager

Went to School For: Development Studies

Likes: Traveling, podcasts, cooking, and sharing laughter with good friends.

Can Help You With: Anything and everything related to moving promising projects forward and connecting you to the right people within the IDIN Network and outside of it.