Idayat Hassan is the Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, a role she has held since 2015, and an expert in development and security studies in the region. Before assuming the directorship, she was a senior program manager at the Centre. Under her leadership, the CDD has risen from not being ranked in 2013 to placing 16th out of 94 think tanks in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the 2019 University of Pennsylvania Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.
Her interests span democracy, peace and security, transitional justice, and information and communications technology for development in West Africa. As the director of CDD, she has strengthened CDD's position as a civic tech leader with a portfolio of projects—including analyses of the nexus between social media platforms, election processes, and electoral outcomes, using an app to identify electoral fraud and analysing the use of personal data in political campaigning in Nigeria.
She holds several fellowships at other renowned think tanks such as at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, and is regularly quoted and cited by international publications. She holds degrees from Lagos State University and the European Academy of Legal Theory, Brussels.