Omchand Mahdu

Omchand Mahdu

Omchand Mahdu, Ph.D., is an international development practitioner with extensive experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Tunisia, and Uganda. He currently oversees global compliance at Heifer International, an international NGO based in Little Rock, Arkansas, that supports small farmers and sustainable agriculture in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. He previously served as the Local Capacity Development Advisor at USAID/Uganda, supporting programs under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Mahdu also supported USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (legacy Office of Food for Peace), where he employed his diverse background to review development food security programs globally. He has taught face-to-face and asynchronously online at undergraduate and graduate levels at Virginia Tech and Southern New Hampshire University.

Areas of Expertise

  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • International Development Planning
  • Sustainable Development
  • Risk and Compliance Management

Courses Taught

  • Contemporary Urban Issues (Virginia Tech)
  • Urban Infrastructure Planning (Virginia Tech)
  • Global Issues in Environmental Sustainability (Virginia Tech)
  • Sustainable Operations (SNHU)
  • People, Planet, and Profit (SNHU)


  • Ph.D., Planning, Governance and Globalization (International/Economic Development Planning), Virginia Tech
  • M.N.R., Natural Resource Management, Virginia Tech
  • G.C.G.S., Graduate Certificate in Global Sustainability, Virginia Tech
  • M.S., Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech
  • M.S., Industrial Technology, Morehead State University
  • M.B.A., Finance, Morehead State University
  • B. Soc.Sc., Accountancy, University of Guyana

Publications & Articles

  • Mahdu, O. and Ellis, A.W., "Perceptions and Realities of Hydroclimatic Change Affecting Guyanese Rice Farming," Climate Risk Management, Volume 33, 2021, 100341.


  • 2020 Richard E. Zody Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Planning, Governance, and Globalization
  • 2019 John Browder Award for Best Paper in International Development Planning or Policy

Research Interests

  • Climate Change and Crop Agriculture
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Food Security
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Rural Development
  • International Development Planning