Core Team

Core Team

Dr. Krisztina Tihanyi, Executive Director Dr. Krisztina Tihanyi, Executive Director
Krisztina Tihanyi has over fifteen years of experience in working in the nonprofit sector in international development. Prior to joining TASAI Inc. she was Chief Operating Officer at Market Matters Inc. A Ph.D. graduate of Cornell University, Kriszta's academic background includes degrees in Psychology, International Peace Studies, and Anthropology. She has worked with TASAI since its launch in 2015 (as a project inside Market Matters Inc.), and, besides her executive duties, she also serves as Chief Editor, overseeing TASAI's publications. She is based in TASAI Inc.'s Ithaca office.



Dr. Michael Waithaka, Principal Investigator Dr. Michael Waithaka, Principal Investigator
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Michael Waithaka will oversee the activities and expansion of The African Seed Access Index. For over twelve years Michael worked for the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), where he managed applied research projects focused on markets, policy reforms, and advocacy across Africa. Prior to his time with ASARECA, he worked for the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute. Michael holds a Dr. of Agriculture degree from Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany), a MS degree in Agricultural Economics and Business from the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada), and a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Nairobi. His research on diverse topics such as harmonization of regulations, standards and procedures in food commodity sectors, the effects of climate change on smallholder agricultural growth, and sustainable natural resource management has been widely published.


Mainza Mugoya, Regional Coordinator Mainza Mugoya, Regional Coordinator
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, his role is to coordinate the roll-out of the TASAI index to more than ten (10) countries across Africa. This entails working closely with the country research teams, reviewing country reports and coordinating the dissemination of the findings. Mainza was previously with the Eastern Africa Farmers’ Federation (EAFF), working as the Policy Officer. His work entailed leading EAFF’s policy work at the regional level, and working closely with the EAFF member organizations at the national level. He also managed several projects aimed at building capacity of farmer organizations from the sub-national to the regional levels.


Shontaye Abegaz Shon Abegaz, Media Liaison
As a new member of the TASAI, Inc. team, Shon joined in 2019 to amplify the digital presence of our message, raise the overall visibility of our work and to serve as a liaison with locally based media outlets in the 21 countries where TASAI is currently active.
Prior to joining TASAI, Inc. Shon worked for eight years at Initiatives of Change Switzerland, holding a variety of key positions including Managing Director of the Just Governance for Human Security Forum. In addition to her work with TASAI, she also serves as Executive Director of the International Institute for Human Security, a peacebuilding organization focused on knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer.




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