Gina Rico Mendez


  • Research and Learning Manager



Gina Rico Mendez serves as the research and learning manager for the Fish Innovation Lab. In her role, she provides technical support to the management entity and research activities in their efforts to improve human outcomes. She also supports the lab in its Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) effort.

Rico Mendez is an assistant research professor and Research Fellow at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University. In addition to her work with the Fish Innovation Lab, she works with the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, researching the complex interactions between natural resource management for agricultural production and human behavior. Before her current appointment at Mississippi State University, she was the Developmental Evaluator and Interim Project Director of the USAID-funded Complexity-Aware Monitoring and Evaluation (C-AME) of the Reconciliation Activity in Colombia.

Her research focuses on the analysis of food systems, rural development, and gender and social inclusion. She has more than ten years of experience working with communities, public organizations, and academic institutions in Latin America, North America, and Africa in areas such as evidence-based MEL, policy, and institutional/systems analysis. Rico Mendez received a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Habitat (Human Settlement Studies) from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She completed her PhD in Public Policy and Administration at Mississippi State University under a Fulbright scholarship.

Learn more about Rico Mendez