Alexandra Gillies is a specialist on natural resource governance and transparency. Her recent work has focused on the political economy of oil, extractive sector transparency standards including the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the governance challenges associated with national oil companies and commodity trading, and the Nigerian oil sector. She has authored academic articles on these topics, and co-edited the volume Smart Aid for African Development (2009: Lynne Reiner). Alexandra holds a PhD in international relations from the University of Cambridge, where her research addressed the political economy of oil sector policymaking in Nigeria. She spent 2008 in Nigeria as a Fulbright Fellow. Prior to joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute, she consulted for organizations including World Bank, DFID, USAID and several political risk firms, and served as Assistant Director for the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. Alexandra also holds degrees from the University of Ghana and Emory University. At NRGI, Alexandra has a key role in supporting various strategic planning efforts. She supports the design, development and implementation of NRGI country programs, serving as a resource for regional directors and country managers.