Julie Berthet Valdois


Julie Berthet Valdois is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics. Currently, she is working as technical officer for the reporting and knowledge management team at the WHO FCTC Secretariat in Geneva. Julie worked as research officer for the Knowledge Hub on Tobacco Taxation and Illicit Trade between 2017 and 2019. Previously, she spent 8+ years working in the area of Monitoring and Evaluation for education and health projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her expertise includes: strategic planning, project management, monitoring and evaluation systems, large-scale impact evaluations, training workshop, data analysis and results dissemination. 

Evan Blecher

Fiscal Policies for Health, World Health Organization

Dr. Evan Blecher is an economist in the Fiscal Policies for Health unit at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is responsible for coordination of health taxes, including alcohol, sugar sweetened beverages and tobacco. Prior to WHO, he was a senior economist in the Health Policy Center of the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also is an honorary associate professor in the University of Cape Town’s, School of Economics. He has also worked as a senior economist in the American Cancer Society's Health and Economic Policy Research Program and was an affiliate in UCT's Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, where he served as the project director for the Economics of Tobacco Control Project.

Grieve Chelwa


Dr Grieve Chelwa is a Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Business. He holds a PhD in economics at the University of Cape Town, where he focused on the economics of tobacco control in South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. Previously, Grieve was a researcher at the Center for Financial Regulation and Inclusion in Cape Town, where he worked on public policy issues in the Southern African region. His areas of expertise include: Economics of tobacco control; health economics; development economics; econometrics; and impact evaluations.

Alfred Mukong

University of Namibia

Dr. Alfred Kechia Mukong is a Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Namibia. Alfred joined the Economics of Tobacco Control Project (ETCP), now the Research unit on the Economics of Excisable Products (REEP) as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2015.  He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Cape Town. His current research focuses on the economics of tobacco control, health and environmental economics. Within the field of economics of tobacco control, his research focuses peer networks and cigarette smoking; price elasticity of demand for cigarettes; evaluation of the effectiveness of various tobacco policy interventions including tobacco excise tax; the impact of alcohol/tobacco spending on household resource allocation and smoking/alcohol-related inequalities in health.
Retselisitsoe Pokothoane

Retselisitsoe Pokothoane

University of the Witswatersrand

Pokothoane has a Masters in Economics from UCT, and Canon Collins scholar at UCT in 2021. He holds a BA Economics from the National University of Lesotho. His thesis used Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) data for Lesotho (2008) to understand the patterns, prevalence and correlates of tobacco smoking among the youth in his home country, Lesotho, mainly with Microeconometrics application (Discrete choice modelling). Prior to joining UCT, he worked as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (TA) in the Department of Economics, National University of Lesotho (NUL).

Laura Rossouw

University of the Witswatersrand

Laura is a Senior Lecturer, specialising in health economics. She was previously a research officer at ETCP and the project manager of the Knowledge Hub. She holds a PhD in Economics from Stellenbosch University (SU), South Africa. Prior to joining the ETCP, Laura worked at Research on Socio-Economic Policy (ReSEP) based at the Economics Department of SU. The group focuses on issues of poverty, income distribution, social mobility, economic development and social policy. Laura's research interests include the economics of tobacco control, economic evaluations of health interventions, the economic impact of tobacco and alcohol use, demand-side factors related to health, and maternal, infant and child health.

Jean Tesche


Jean Tesche has a PhD in Economics (CGE models, Comparative Econ Systems) from Columbia Business School at Columbia University. She has considerable experience in tax policy, administration, and modelling: particularly tobacco tax modelling. She has taught economics in the US, Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and worked with US Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, mostly in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Africa. Jean was a visiting researcher at the University of Cape Town from Feb. 2019 - Aug. 2020, joining the Knowledge Hub on Tobacco Taxation and Illicit Trade as a special consultant.

Ernest Tingum

National University of Lesotho

Ernest Ngeh Tingum is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He received a PhD in Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam. During his PhD, he was a researcher with the “Tobacco Control Analysis and Intervention Evaluation in China and Tanzania” team at the Department of Economics. From 2012 to 2015, he was the Lead Specialist for WageIndicator Foundation in Amsterdam and between 2015 and 2016, he was a research fellow at the School of Public Policy, Central European University (CEU), Hungary. He has also worked as an independent consultant with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on issues of youth and women employment in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. His current research focuses on tobacco taxation and its interface with industry reactions and responses, effectiveness of tobacco control policies, illicit trade of tobacco products, labour market issues and collective bargaining in the African labour market.