Kevin McNamara

Summary of Qualifications

Professor McNamara's research interests in regional economics and economic impact analysis include: analysis of factors influencing manufacturing growth, infrastructure investment trend analysis, impact of public development policy on local income and employment growth, economic impact analysis, land price analysis, and linkages between agriculture and the non-agricultural economy. Current research includes: farmland price analysis, agricultural sector and market analysis, regional growth analysis, food manufacturing industry growth analysis, assessment of rural manufacturers’ technical assistance needs, and growth sector analysis. Dr. McNamara works with federal, state, and local government officials, development organizations, and industry groups as well as other faculty to research rural economic growth alternatives and evaluate development policy options. He has published over 70 research articles, 9 book chapters, and numerous extension and trade articles. Dr. McNamara, as a principle investigator or co-principle investigator, has received more than $7 million to support his research and extension program.

Dr. McNamara has been engaged in Afghanistan since March 2002 when he was invited to Kabul by the then Ministry of Higher Education for the re-opening of Kabul University after the fall of the Taliban. Since the initial visit Dr. McNamara has been the principal investigator for 12 project totaling over $35 million in value related to Afghanistan development. These included two USAID funded university capacity building projects in partnership with other US and Indian universities, as well as six other projects that have involved over 100 Purdue faculty and staff in activities related to Afghanistan. Purdue currently has 4 staff on long term assignment in Afghanistan. Dr. McNamara developed Afghan/US/Indian university partnerships, developed MS and PhD programs for junior Afghan faculty, managed facility development (buildings, irrigation systems, and farms), and developed an English language program for agriculture staff and students and a number of other institutional capacity building efforts. Related Purdue Afghan efforts Dr. McNamara has been engaged in include: direct engagement with NGOs on the ground in Afghanistan, capacity building with university agriculture programs, development of curriculum for vocational agriculture schools, advisor to Minister of Higher Education, Advisor to Minister of Agriculture, USAID and USDA support, and National Guard ADT training and support. Under Dr. McNamara’s supervision, Purdue has had 22 Afghan university junior faculty on campus in West Lafayette for graduate study in agricultural economics, agronomy, English, entomology, forestry, food science and horticulture. Dr. McNamara also has worked with the Department of State to develop the Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program, a program that hosts 8-22 Afghans on the Purdue campus for 10 weeks so they can participate in a variety of capacity building programs.

Dr. McNamara worked and lived in Afghanistan in the 1970s as an American Peace Corps volunteer. He again lived in Afghanistan over 2004-2007, serving as an advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and developing/implementing a re-development program for Afghan agriculture colleges. Since 2007 he has traveled frequently to Afghanistan working on various Purdue programs.


Ph.D., Agricultural Economics/Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

M.S., Community Development/University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

B.B.A., Business Administration/Ohio University, Athens, OH

Country Experience

Afghanistan, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Pakistan


English (native), Dari (fair, verbal)

Selected Professional Experience

1990 - present

Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Develop teaching, research and outreach program in regional economics. A significant portion of time has focused on managing projects in Afghanistan since 2004

2006 - present

Assistant Director, International Programs in Agriculture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Oversee Purdue’s Afghanistan programs and provide other support for the College of Agriculture’s international programs


Faculty Fellow, Indiana Economic Development Council, Indianapolis, IN
Conducted research on the role of manufacturing in Indiana’s economy to inform state and local policymakers about development opportunities


Humboldt Senior Research Fellow, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
Analyzed Germany food industries strategies for investing in states of former East Germany

1986 – 1990

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Development Specialist, Institute for Community and Area Development, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

1977 – 1986

Extension Specialist, Economic Development, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA

Selected Afghanistan Experience

2008 – 2013

Coordinator, National Guard ADT Training Program
Developed training program for U.S. National Guard teams deploying to Afghanistan to work as Agribusiness Development Team members. ADTs from 14 states have participated in the training programs

2008 – present

Consultant, Naval Post Graduate School
Pre-deployment training for US and European Military leadership being deployed to Afghanistan

2002 – Present

Consultant to USAID, USSD, USDA, USDD, two Afghan ministries, Universities, and International NGOs on a variety of issues related to agriculture, agribusiness development, higher education, and infrastructure development in Afghanistan

2008 – 2010

Consultant, US State Department
Provided Economic and Agriculture training for USG employees deploying to Afghanistan


Coordinator, GL-CRSP Afghan Livestock Sector Workshop, Kabul, Afghanistan
Organized a livestock sector assessment workshop with 22 NGOs with active livestock projects in Afghanistan to identify sector needs and develop an action plan to support development of the livestock sector

2006 – 2008

Chief of Party, Advancing Afghan Agriculture Alliance (A4), Kabul, Afghanistan
Responsibilities included developing and implementing a USAID funded capacity building project for agriculture education in Afghanistan. The project focuses on long- and short-term training for Afghan faculty, course/curriculum development, and applied extra and co-curricular education for students.

2004 – 2006

USAID/USDA Agriculture Advisor, Afghan Ministry of Higher Education, Kabul, Afghanistan
Responsibilities included developing and implementing university development for agriculture education with the Minister of Higher Education to renovate two university academic buildings, develop linkages with Indiana universities for degree training of junior Afghan faculty, and providing funds to faculty for innovative teaching and/or applied research projects with students while working with USAID and Afghan officials to develop a short-term plan for re-developing university level agriculture education.

Afghanistan Grants

Dec 2014 – Apr 2015

Afghanistan Jr. Faculty Development Program (AJFDP), Department of State

Oct 2014 – Dec 2018

University Support and Workforce Development (USWDP), USAID

Oct 2014 – Sep 2017

Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Project (AAEP II), USAID

Dec 2013 – Apr 2014

Afghanistan Jr. Faculty Development Program (AJFDP), Department of State

Oct 2013 – Sep 2018

Herat University – Purdue University Partnership, Department of State

Dec 2012 – Mar 2013

Afghanistan Jr. Faculty Development Program (AJFDP), Department of State

Oct 2011 – Sep 2014

Afghanistan Agricultural Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS), USDA

Sep 2011 – Sep 2014

Agricultural Data Collection and Utilization System (ADCUS), USDA

Sep 2011 – Aug 2014

Afghan Agricultural Extension Program (AAEP), USDA

Sep 2011 – Dec 2013

Developing a Supply Chain for Hermetic Storage of Grain in Afghanistan (DIV), USAID

Mar 2011 – Dec 2016

Strengthening Afghan Agriculture Faculties (SAAF), USAID

Aug 2009 – Mar 2014

National Guard Agricultural Development Team Training, Indiana National Guard, multiple training sessions

Sep 2006 – Mar 2011

Advancing Afghan Agriculture Alliance (A4), USAID

Professional Affiliations

Member, American Agricultural Economics Association

Member, North American Regional Science Association

Member, Southern Agricultural Economics Association

Member, Southern Regional Science Association

Honors and Recognition

USDA Secretary’s Honor Award for Exemplary Service – Afghanistan, 2014

Purdue University Grants Award, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Purdue Agriculture Dean’s Team Award, 2010, 2011

Hudson Institute Fellow, 2004

Faculty Fellow, Indiana Economic Development Council, 2001

Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award (Awarded by Germany), 2000

American Agricultural Economics Association Award, Excellence for Group Extension Program, 1998

ESCOP-ACOP Leadership Fellow, 1997-1998

Master Student with American Agricultural Economics Best Thesis Award, 1996

Certificate for Student with Best Master Student Thesis in 1995, 1996 Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

American Agricultural Economics Association Award, Excellence for Group Extension Program, 1993

Member, Sigma Xi, Honorary Research Society

Recipient of Farm Foundation Extension Fellowship, 1982-1983


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