Professor Daniels joined the Washington College faculty in the fall of 1996. She specializes in economic development with a focus on Africa.
She began her work in Africa when she joined the Peace Corps in Cameroon. After four years in Cameroon as an advisor to coffee, cocoa, and palm oil marketing cooperatives and later as a volunteer coordinator, Professor Daniels returned to the U.S. for a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University. While studying for her graduate degrees, she continued to work in Africa on horticultural marketing in the Gambia, market information systems in Chad, and small enterprises in Botswana, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Following the completion of her Ph.D., she directed a national survey of small enterprises in Kenya in 1994. Overall, she spent a total of eight years living and working in Africa prior to coming to Washington College.
During her time at Washington College, Professor Daniels has continued to do research on the small enterprise sector in developing countries. In 1999 she designed a survey to measure profits and net worth of small enterprises as a consultant for a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development. In 2003, she made three trips to Bangladesh where she was the team leader of a national survey of the small-enterprise sector. She has also published several articles on the small-enterprise sector in the Journal of International Development, World Development, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Small Enterprise Development, and Les BDS, L’Actualité des Services aux Enterprises. Her research also appears in two book chapters in African Development Perspectives Yearbook, and African Entrepreneurship: Themes and Realities.
In addition to her work on the small enterprise sector, Professor Daniels and a co-author conducted research related to the impact of world markets on poor farmers in Benin. This research was used by Brazil and 14 other countries as part of a testimony at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. It was also published in Agricultural Economics.
More recently, Professor Daniels returned to the College in 2012 after a two-year sabbatical in Uganda where she conducted research on poverty trends. Her research was selected for presentation at the fourth Wye Global Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2011 and the results are published in Social Indicators Research.