Partners and Staff

Deborah Caro


Deborah Caro provides executive and technical leadership for CP’s work on gender equality, social development, and health. She is an anthropologist with more than 25 years of experience in strategic planning, program design, evaluation, policy analysis, and research. She has developed innovative gender analysis, training, and assessment methodologies, including USAID’s Manual for Integrating Gender into Reproductive Health and HIV Programs. In 2010, she designed the USAID Interagency Gender Working Group’s Gender and Health online toolkit. She also led a team effort to develop a ground-breaking community-based approach to prevent and confront gender-based violence, called Advancing Peace. Caro’s leadership of several high profile maternal health programs evaluations has increased knowledge of high impact practices. Through expertise gained from research and development practice in Latin America, including 8 years of long-term residence in Bolivia and Peru, Caro has contributed to making international and national organizations improve their approaches for eliminating ethnic and gender inequalities.

She has a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Cornell University. She was awarded post-doctoral fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation and the Fulbright Program. In support of her graduate work, she received fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and The Organization of American States.

Deborah Rubin


Deborah Rubin provides corporate and technical direction for CP’s premier focus on gender and social systems analysis. She has Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology with over 25 years of experience on strategic planning and evaluation, and agricultural policy research, economic growth, business development, and poverty reduction. She is primary author of “Promoting Gender Equitable Opportunities in Agricultural Value Chains: A Handbook.” She leads CP’s cutting-edge work on gender and agriculture, based on the handbook, which guides much of USAID’s current work on gender and food security. Rubin has worked extensively with both the land-grant and private university communities, evaluating USAID-funded agricultural research grants and leading a team of agricultural scientists to identify new priorities for the agency’s investments in agriculture and NRM, which resulted in a reframing USAID’s agricultural and NRM research programs. As a result of her earlier work, the universities contracted with CP to document and synthesize 30 years of achievement by the USAID funded Collaborative Research Support Programs.

She has a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Brown University. She held an Agriculture and Rural Development Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, an AAAS fellowship, a MacArthur Foundation research and writing award and a Fulbright fellowship.

Cristina Manfre

Senior Associate

Cristina Manfre is a gender and development specialist with ten years of experience improving development organizations’ attention to gender issues in economic growth, agriculture and trade programming. She is a Senior Associate with Cultural Practice, LLC where she guides organizational change efforts on gender integration for a number of institutions including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Lutheran World Relief, and USAID for the Feed the Future Initiative. With the Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) project, she is developing a tool to assess the gender-responsiveness of agricultural technologies. In addition to technical assistance, she conducts gender-related training and research in the areas of agriculture and natural resource management, value chain development, and micro and small enterprise development. Her most recent work includes research on gender dimensions of ICT in agricultural development, extension and advisory services, agricultural value chains (e.g., cotton, soybean, groundnut, and dairy), and behavior change in agricultural value chains. She is co-author of USAID’s “Promoting Gender Equitable Opportunities in Agricultural Value Chains: A Handbook.”

Manfre has a M.Sc. in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College in French and Spanish.


Caitlin Nordehn

Technical Associate

Caitlin Nordehn is a Technical Associate with Cultural Practice, LLC where she provides technical support to implementing organizations, agricultural researchers, and development practitioners on addressing gender issues in their programs, through capacity building efforts, and on monitoring and evaluation activities. She brings nearly seven years’ experience in this field working in technical areas including agriculture and food security, extension and advisory services, health, and human and institutional capacity building for clients such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CGIAR centers, USAID, and NGOs. Nordehn has provided gender expertise under the Feed the Future INGENAES program designing and facilitating gender-focused capacity building activities and leading gender analyses exploring issues around agricultural technologies. She conducted similar work under the USAID-funded MEAS project investigating gender issues around ICT in Kenya. Nordehn has experience using qualitative methods to identify issues and develop approaches for improving gender equity within organizations and programs.

Nordehn has a M.A. in Anthropology with a concentration in International Development from The George Washington University (GWU), and a bachelor’s degree from GWU in International Affairs and Anthropology.

Wesley Laytham

Program Manager

Wesley Laytham is a Program Manager with Cultural Practice, LLC where he supports the implementation of programs funded by a range of government, foundation, and NGO clients. He provides research and analytical support to CP’s gender integration and monitoring and evaluation work for USAID, Lutheran World Relief (LWR), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He currently works under the USAID Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) project coordinating CP’s activities in Zambia in conjunction with the University of California, Davis. Laytham is also a part of an innovative and participatory USAID/TOPS-funded evaluation of LWR’s Learning for Gender Integration Plus (LGI+) project. In 2016 he co-authored an external evaluation of a DFID-funded Vital Voices Global Partnership project. Before joining Cultural Practice, Laytham spent 10 months interning with LWR’s Program Quality and Technical Support unit where he produced guidance materials for project staff to select and design indicators; researched, tested, and created profiles for mobile data collection tools; and contributed to updating LWR’s framework for design, monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Laytham holds a B.A. in Political Science from Davidson College.

Mary Ellen Dingley 

Program Associate

Mary Ellen Dingley is a Program Associate with Cultural Practice, LLC where she leads the communications efforts, along with supporting business development, technical research, and the implementation of various programs. As a communications professional, Dingley handles the outreach and social media for CP, building relationships with development actors online and in person. She also provides writing support for bids and proposals and research assistance for new market opportunities. Before joining CP, Dingley was a communications intern with the Center for Global Development and an AmeriCorps outreach coordinator with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. She has an M.Sc. in Anthropology and Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts from the George Washington University.