Our Team

The ESPA programme closed in March 2018 and its Directorate closed in June 2018. The programme had different bodies which supported  governance, management and science, policy and practice roles:

The Programme Executive Board (PEB) was responsible for the delivery and strategic direction of the programme, ensuring it achieved its stated objectives and met the strategic needs of the funding partners (DFID, NERC and ESRC). The funding partners were the decision-making executives, with other members operating in an advisory capacity:

  • Steve Bass, International Institute for Environment and Development (Chair)
  • Simon Kerley, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Sophie Martin, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Alessandro Moscuzza, Department for International Development (DFID)

The Programme Management Unit (PMU) was responsible for the overall management, coordination and delivery of the programme on a day to day basis. The PMU consisted of the Programme Management Group, the Secretariat, a business assurance role and the Directorate.

Programme Management Group

The Programme Management Group (PMG) included members from the three funding partners, and made decisions about ESPA’s management and operations on non-strategic matters. The PMG was accountable to the Programme Executive Board (PEB).

  • Dominique Butt, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Mary Day, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Andew Leslie, Department for International Development (DFID)


The Secretariat was based at the Natural Environment Research Council, which was responsible for the management of the programme on behalf of the funding partners. This included financial management, procurement and grant awarding, which were carried out according to the policies and procedures of the Research Councils and UK Shared Business Services Ltd (which supports the Research Councils’ activities). For full contact details please visit the NERC website.

  • Beth Taylor, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

The Directorate was based at Research into Results Limited (University of Edinburgh) and was responsible for leading on the implementation of ESPA activities (except for the NERC grants awarding process), ensuring the coordination of all ESPA activities, and undertaking other activities which added value to the programme.

Please see the ESPA Directorate biographies for more information on all of the members of the team.

The Directorate has closed, as of June 2018.

The International Programme Advisory Committee (I-PAC) provided independent advice, as required, in relation to strategic and technical aspects of the programme.

The I-PAC members during the ESPA programme's final year were:

  • Atiq Rahman, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (Co-Chair)
  • Katrina Brown, University of Exeter (Co-Chair)
  • Virgilio Viana, Fundação Amazonas Sustentável
  • Janet Ranganathan, World Resources Institute
  • John Adeoti, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research
  • Christo Fabricus, Nelson Mandela University