Professor Ackello-Ogutu is a graduate of University of Nairobi (BSc Agriculture and MSc Agricultural Economics) and University of California at Davis (PhD, Agricultural Economics - 1982). He rejoined the Department of Agricultural Economics (University of Nairobi) in June 1982 as a Lecturer and was promoted to the position of Senior Lecturer in 1987. He was appointed as Chairman of the Department later that same year and ascending to the position of Associate Professor in May 1990. Between May 1994 and August 2002 Professor Ackello-Ogutu was on sabbatical-cum-leave of absence while he worked as the coordinator of a USAID funded Regional Trade Analytic Agenda (RTAA) that covered the Horn of Africa as well as Eastern and Southern Africa.

In the 1980s through mid 1990s, Chris conducted researched and published on different policy issues relating to transformation of African agriculture and dissemination of technologies to smallholder farmers. Thereafter, his research interests shifted to cross-border trade. He has been lecturing on a number of foundation agricultural economics courses as well as providing supervision to graduate students. As head of Department, Chris represented university Senate in many staff appointment committees and was also heavily involved in university curriculum reviews and fund raising for post-graduate scholarships. Chris has published extensively in the areas of agricultural policy analysis and rural development, food security and regional trade. He has co-authored a Microeconomics text book that is being used widely by university undergraduates.

Professor Ackello-Ogutu has worked with others in and out of the university to strengthen ties among researchers in the national agricultural research institutes and helped launch the Nairobi Socio-Economics Cluster Group that played a big role in the formation of the African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE). The Association recently honored his contributions by making him a Distinguished Fellow. Chris has also served as a leader and member of several professional agricultural organizations, among them, the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) where he was the Africa region representative in the Executive Committee for the conference period 1997 to 2000.

For close to fifteen years Chris was affiliated with the Eastern and Central Africa Program for Agricultural Policy Analysis (ECAPAPA) as a member of the Steering Committee and the African Rural Policy Analysis Network (ARPAN) as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee. Between 2004 and 2009, he served in the Board of the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) where, among other responsibilities, he was the Deputy Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Programs Committee.

In addition to university work, Professor Ackello-Ogutu is also the Executive Director of the Resource Management and Policy Analysis Institute (REMPAI), a private consultancy firm based in Nairobi and specializing on project analysis resource management and trade.

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