The Secretariat


GODAN is supported by a Secretariat hosted primarily at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Find out more about its members below:



Executive Director

André Laperrière, an expert in international development, joined the GODAN initiative as its first Executive Director in September 2015. During his career, he has led numerous projects on behalf of large private corporations and international organisations, including the UN and the World Bank. Before joining GODAN, he was Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Washington DC. Mr Laperrière played a senior role in designing and implementing major reforms within a number of agencies, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. He has extensive experience in the Americas, Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, in particular in developing countries and in conflict/post conflict environments.  



Deputy Executive Director

Dr Éliane Ubalijoro is GODAN’s Partnerships and Research Lead. She is the founder and Executive Director of the International Development consulting group CLEAR. She holds the post of Professor of Practice for Public and Private Sector Partnerships at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development and has contributed to and authored numerous academic publications. Dr Ubalijoro is a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. She is a member of Rwanda’s newly created National Science and Technology Council, having been a member of the Presidential Advisory Council for Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a member of the Board of Trustees of WWF International, the International Digital Monetary Council and the Ducere Global faculty. Éliane is passionate about the question of gender equality in STEM subjects. She has been named Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the Next Einstein Forum 2020, is a member of the 2020 Gender Summit Advisory Committee and sits on the Advisory Panel of the open-access Scientific African Journal published by the NEF. Dr Ubalijoro is also widely experienced in the health and nutrition sector, having acted as final paper advisor for the International Masters for Health Leadership, and been heavily involved in the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. She project managed a Gates Foundation project in Global Health, after which she was invited to act as reviewer for the Grand Challenges Canada Stars in Global Health programme. She also held the position of Chair of the International Advisory Board of the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology.



Operations Director

Samuel Compton manages operations for the GODAN Secretariat. He is an experienced project manager, working on complicated and multi-year development programmes for international donors. As Global Programme Director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, based in Kigali, he led 18 country and regional development projects, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. He has managed projects for the US State Dept., USAID, the EU and SIDA. Mr Compton oversaw USAID development programmes in Jordan and Serbia on behalf of IREX, and recently he has been based in Northern Nigeria, managing activities for the Hausa speaking communities across West Africa (in Niger, Chad and Cameroon) for Equal Access International.  


Kiringai Kamau

Regional Lead – Africa

Kiringai Kamau is current Chair of the Caretaker Board of the Kenya Farmers Association, representing the President of Kenya and the Secretary for Cooperative, Industry and Trade. Mr. Kamau lectures in Agricultural Policy and Agribusiness at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi. His research focuses on organisational integration for process-based capacity building of value chain actors within integration of ICT and Agriculture. A passionate advocate for the role of technology in influencing policy transformation, Mr. Kamau encourages and supports agribusinesses’ data sourcing initiatives through research engagement, especially among minority groups like youth and women. He is the founder of the Center for Agricultural Networking and Information Sharing (CANIS) at the University of Nairobi and the Founding Director of GODAN’s Programme for Capacity Development in Africa (P4CD Africa). Mr Kamau is also the Regional Africa Director of Ycenter Inc., a youth empowerment initiative that links Kenyan enterprises with American Corporates and universities through collaborative efforts to transform learning through Human Centered Design thinking. He promotes active research around open data, anchoring open science within sectoral initiatives of academia, policy, development, and research.


Suchith Anand

Chief Scientist

Dr. Suchith Anand is an internationally recognised expert in geospatial science, providing guidance and advice to governments and international organisations on open education, open data  and open science policies. He has authored a wide range of publications; from journal papers, scientific reports and book chapters, to keynote presentations and international strategy documents. Dr Anand has mentored over 1000 emerging leaders in sustainable development programs and initiatives worldwide through GeoForAll. He serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, is a member of numerous international scientific committees, and serves on the boards of many international organisations. He has been an invited speaker at the United Nations and has served as the founding chair of the ICA Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies. He is also the founding chair of Geospatial IG of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), contributing to advancing geospatial data science. 
As well as supervising many PhD, Masters and undergraduate students in geospatial science, Dr. Anand has been an external PhD examiner for UK and European Universities. He is leading open geospatial science through the establishment of Open Source Geospatial Labs/Research Centres in key universities worldwide as part of the GeoForAll initiative for bridging the geospatial digital divide.  Dr. Anand co-founded GeoForAll with a vision to make geospatial education and digital economy opportunities accessible to all, enabling a better future for everyone.


Data Rights Research Specialist

Foteini Zampati is a legal professional with over 15 years of experience. She works for KTBL as a data rights research specialist, advising the GODAN initiative on the ethical and legal aspects of open data. Ms Zampati is responsible for research into and analysis of legislation, on both a national and international level. More specifically, her areas of specialisation are Open Data and Intellectual Property, ownership issues and data rights, compliance and best practice across all aspects of national and European privacy and security, as well as data protection law and regulation (GDPR) in the agricultural sector.


Research Lead

Ben Schaap is Research Lead for the GODAN Secretariat, and is based at Wageningen University and Research. In his role at GODAN he oversees research for the GODAN initiative, and supports partners with the necessary resources to be effective advocates of Open Data in agriculture and nutrition. In the capacity of Head of Research, he also coordinates the GODAN F1000 Research Gateway; a peer reviewed, online, open-access publishing platform. Dr Schaap has extensive expertise in climate change adaptation research, and is particularly interested in the role of data in farming systems and sustainable agriculture.


Kathryn Bailey

Head of Communications

Kathryn Bailey is Communications lead at GODAN, managing publicity material and strategic communication across the Web site and social media channels, coordinating publicity with partners and overseeing media relations. Beginning her career as Project Administrator, then Director’s PA within the OECD, she moved to the post of Press and Publications Officer within the Development Centre. Before joining the team at GODAN, she was co-Director, Administrative and Marketing Manager for a tech start-up, overseeing all aspects of running the operational side of an SME, from branding, accounting and recruitment to Web site design, procurement and marketing.


Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator

Raffat Zerin is responsible for coordinating GODANs donor-funded projects, alongside monitoring the programme of work. She has considerable experience in the development sector, having acted as Programme Management and Reporting Officer within the United Nations World Food Programme, and as Development Program Analyst with Global Affairs Canada. Her experience extends from working on emergency response systems during the Rohingya refugee crisis, to social safety net research and multi-stakeholder food security projects. Ms. Zerin holds a BA in Business Administration from the North South University in Bangladesh and an MBA from the University of Dhaka.


Administrative Officer and PA to the Director

Suzy Salama manages the GODAN Secretariat office, serving as the main point of contact and dealing with everything from accounting to travel and event organisation.With a background of over 20 years providing high-level administrative support in Executive and Personal Assistant roles, Mrs Salama is experienced in office management, event planning and customer service. Highly organised, she is a dynamic member of the team, welcoming new challenges on a daily basis.