Managing Director

Marc Cassidy is a specialist in applied political economy analysis.  Marc advises and trains USAID and other clients on how to incorporate thinking and working politically (TWP) into their program/project design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation processes.  He has participated in research design, served as team leader and member of various applied political economy research assignments on such topics as sustainable fisheries, environmental impact assessments, public service reform, anti-corruption strategies, garment sector labor rights, HIV-AIDS, among others.

Prior to starting Adapt LLC, Marc served as Director of Governance at Pact, Senior Manager for Democracy and Governance programming at International Resources Group; Director of the Governance and Rights Technical Unit at the International Rescue Committee; Chief of Party on USAID parliamentary strengthening projects in East Africa (Kenya and Uganda), as Country Director for a USAID funded open government/anticorruption project in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria), as interim Chief of Party for a parliamentary support project in the Jordan, and the Mekong Partnership for the Environment in Thailand.  He has consulted on governance programs for USAID, DFID, UNDP, World Bank and numerous international development contractors in over 25 countries. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya (92-94).

Marc earned a graduate degree in Regional Planning (MRP) and a second degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (MA) from the State University of New York at Albany.


Senior Advisor

Dr O’Riordan has over twenty years of international development experience with specializations in political economy analysis, country strategies, multi-donor initiatives and development effectiveness. He is currently the Team Leader of a project providing EU country delegations and headquarters with support on aid and development effectiveness, analysis and programming of country strategies. O’Riordan was also the Team Leader for a four-country study on political economy analysis and fiscal space for UNICEF and has recently completed political economy analysis studies for the UK and US governments in Southern and Eastern African.

Since 2009 O’Riordan has been working as an independent consultant for the European Union, USAID, UNDP, UNICEF, DANIDA and governance civil society organizations like PACT and IDASA. O’Riordan has also worked as an advisor to Ministries of Finance in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos and South Africa. Prior to that he worked for UNDP in Bulgaria and the EU Delegations to South Africa, Kenya and Jamaica. He is also a research associate with the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Stellenbosch and an associate faculty at Royal Roads University, Canada’s School of Conflict Studies where he supervises graduate students.

O’Riordan has experience working in more than twenty countries globally covering Eastern and Southern Africa, the Horn, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, the Caucuses, South and South East Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean.  Alex obtained his PhD in Economics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.


Senior Policy Advisor

Suzanne Kelly-Lyall, is an independent senior policy advisor for ASEAN affairs, China, governance, environment, and security issues in Asia. She advises public, private and civil society organizations on capacity building, governance issues, and effective stakeholder engagement in Southeast Asia. Her career reflects the nexus of academic, policy and development concerns.

Using a tailored political economy analysis methodology, Suzanne provides actionable research to USAID and its implementation partners. She has conducted field research in Jordan, Ukraine, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Using a proprietary software tool, Suzanne’s approach provides clients with quantitative and qualitative tools so that program design and adaptation is supported with data-driven analysis.

Suzanne served as governance director to the $20 Million-USAID funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) where she provided intellectual and strategic leadership to build regional multi-stakeholder cooperation on large-scale infrastructure projects. She co-developed the Climate Change Leadership Initiative (CCLI), a project of the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs’ PISA program, a multi-year foundation funded project to address climate change through targeted capacity building, mainstreaming climate adaptation into development planning, and introduction of Climate Wise Development models to government officials in Vietnam and Myanmar.

Suzanne is deeply committed to global service. She strives to increase the impact individuals and communities can have through constructive stakeholder engagement, responsible use of natural resources, and application of smart policy solutions to complex international challenges.


Senior Advisor

Nick has over 20 years’ experience in the design, delivery, evaluation, and contextually driven adaptation of international development programs focused on gender equity and social inclusion (GESI), conflict management, community development, capacity building, local governance, civil society, youth, elections processes, and monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL). He has conducted political economy analysis (PEA) trainings and reports in developing countries and for staff at Washington, DC based organizations. His approach to PEA is utilization focused, taking the techniques, tools and methodologies used to conduct penetrating PEA and applying to them to the entire USAID program cycle. He has served as Chief of Party (CoP) and other senior technical leadership positions in over twelve (12) countries in the Middle East, Balkans, Africa, and the former Soviet Union. He has led over 250 human and institutional capacity development (HICD) efforts of varying complexity for leaders in the US and in the field. These short and long-term training/mentoring efforts were focused on organizational management including program management and evaluation, marketing/branding, diversified funding. Program related workshops included themes above and more recently how to integrate crosscutting themes (gender, governance, ICT4D, resilience, and trending USAID Forward methodologies such as collaboration/learning/adapting (CLA), local systems, knowledge management (KM). Currently Nick is designing a big data driven dashboard to provide collaborative PEA visualization for USAID Missions and implementing partners.

Political Economy Analysis

Gemma Pinyol Puig

Political Economy Analysis Specialist

With more than 12 years of professional experience in development cooperation, Gemma Pinyol Puig has acquired solid and extensive experience in Political Economy Analysis of development and democratization processes through her experience as governance and gender expert. In this process, Gemma has designed and carried Political Economy studies of civil society in Nicaragua, Fiji and Georgia, Gender Mapping in Vanuatu as well as participated in country, regional and global Political Economy Analysis (The Future of ACP-EU relations: A political Economy Analysis and Analyzing governance in the water sector in Kenya). She has also contributed to the design of guidelines that included PEA (EC Reference document n° 9. Engaging Non-State Actors in New Aid Modalities For Better development outcomes and governance) and to the implementation of programs that required applying PEA such as EU Civil Society Road Map at country level (Senegal, Haiti, Ivory Coast and Liberia). Gemma has gained field experience in Africa, Asia, Central America and Pacific where she worked for various development cooperation agencies (EU), international organizations (WB, UNDP, UNICEF) and INGOs (ECDPM, European Foundation). Her practical experience is complemented by a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Public Management, a Master of Arts in Development Evaluation and Management and a Master in Equality and Equity in development. Gemma’s added value in our teams is her hands-on in mainstreaming cross-cutting issues in Political Economy Analysis.

Political Economy Analysis

Gretchen King

Political Economy Specialist

Gretchen King has over ten years of experience in international development policy, advocacy, communications and research with specializations in local ownership, systems thinking, community engagement and social accountability.

During her time with Save the Children, Gretchen helped lead the organization’s aid effectiveness efforts. She conducted research and assessed USAID projects and MCC compacts on efforts to work with local organizations, align projects and strategies with country priorities and support domestic resource mobilization. As a result of these efforts she helped develop indicators for USAID to better track all efforts aimed at possibly achieving more sustainable development outcomes by working locally and engaging government officials.

Gretchen was a member of the Save the Children/Oxfam America/Overseas Development Institute team that developed the Local Engagement Assessment Framework (LEAF) to determine the level of ownership in a project or strategy. She also helped to field test and modify the tool in Uganda and was a member of the research team that assessed the MCC compact in Jordan.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Violence, Conflict and Development from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Columbia College Chicago.