Since 2000, when working in Nicaragua with an NGO to help export organic sesame, Jason has been interested in the link between market access and rural poverty reduction. Based at ICRAF’s Peru office, he holds the position of Research Leader – Value Chains and Transformational Change. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a M.Sc. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. His research interests include opportunities for poor rural households to participate in higher value markets, economic growth in middle-income countries and its implications for smallholders, women’s empowerment though market participation, food safety and nutrition in urban areas, and monitoring and evaluation systems for stakeholders in value chain development. Jason has worked in various subsectors, including coffee, cocoa, forest products, oil palm, and tropical fruits. Currently, Jason is engaging with ICRAF and partners in Asia to expand ICRAF’s work on markets, value chains, and institutions to the fast growing region. Much of Jason’s research is carried out in the framework of the CGIAR research programs on Policies, Institutions, and Market (PIM) and Forest, Trees, and Agroforestry (FTA). Prior to joining ICRAF, Jason worked at CATIE in Turrialba, Costa Rica and the Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C. He also served in the Peace Corps in Uruguay.