Vice President of Agricultural Development, OCP (Morocco)
Fatiha is an intrapreneur, an experienced leader and a passionate advocate for entrepreneurs and farmers. In 2016, Fatiha participated in the Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP) at MIT. In 2014, Fatiha was identified by the Choiseul Institute among Young African leaders of 40 and under who will play a major role in the development of Africa in the near future. As an intrapreneur, Fatiha spent 19 years in major Moroccan and multinational companies. Fatiha is currently Vice President in charge of Agricultural Development, Domestic Market in the OCP Group. In 2011, she was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the OCP Fund for Agricultural Innovation. In 2008, Fatiha joined OCP as a key resource in the Chairman’s office. Fatiha has also worked for Altadis group, Wafabank and Alcatel. Fatiha is an ICT Engineer from the École Mohammadia des Ingénieurs (2000); she also holds an MBA from the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris (2008); a Certificate in Strategic Management and Geopolitics from HEC Paris (2011), and Certificates in Executive Management and Leadership from MIT (2014 and 2018).
CEO and co-founder, Yagro (UK)
Gareth Davies is an entrepreneurial leader in digital agriculture, with a deep passion for the role of business in creating societal value. He is CEO and co-founder of Yagro, a UK-based data and technology company delivering commercial decision-support systems to farms. He is also a Trustee and Member of the Board of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, a charity awarded the Queen’s Charter in 1840 to be the independent voice for science and best practices in agriculture. Previously at Syngenta in Switzerland, Gareth led the Food Security unit exploring novel business models to serve smallholder farmers across the world. His contributions there include shaping the smallholder commitment of Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan; and forming a new venture capital initiative through Syngenta Ventures, devoted to solutions for smallholders. Gareth has worked in high-level strategic consulting across a wide range of industries, particularly global agribusiness. His NGO experience includes working in West Africa with the microfinance platforms Kiva and Global Brigades. Gareth holds a First Class MSc in Chemistry from the University of Oxford, and a scholarship MBA from the London Business School.
Chief Scientist, International Fertilizer Association, IFA (France)
As the Chief Scientist of IFA, Achim Dobermann provides strategic scientific advice and leadership to global initiatives on improving nutrient management and stewardship. He was formerly Director & Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research (UK) and Deputy Director General of IRRI, the International Rice Research Institute. In these roles he led a wide range of research programs that aimed to develop solutions for the sustainable management of agricultural systems. He has over 30 years of field experience working in every region of the world on the application of science and technology to sustainable agriculture, with a particular emphasis on soil science, plant nutrition and agronomy. Achim has authored or co-authored over 110 journal papers, several books on a range of agricultural issues, and numerous other technical and outreach publications. He is an Editor of the international journal Global Food Security and a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America and the Crop Science Societies of the Philippines. As a member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) he leads a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Feeding a Hungry Planet. He received his MSc in Tropical Agriculture and PhD in Soil Science from the University of Leipzig in Germany. Other previous experiences included work as a Soil Scientist at IRRI (1992-2000) and as Professor of Soil Science and Nutrient Management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA (2000-2007).
Director R4D, Central Africa and Natural Resource Management, IITA (Kenya)
Bernard Vanlauwe joined IITA in Kenya in March 2012 to lead the Central Africa hub and the Natural Resource Management research area. In this capacity, he also has an oversight role in the Consortium Research Programs (CRP) on Humidtropics; Water, Land and Ecosystems; and CCAFS. Prior to this appointment, he was the leader of the Integrated Soil Fertility Management programme of the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility research area of CIAT (TSBF). Bernard joined CIAT-TSBF in 2001 and led the development, adaptation, and dissemination of best ISFM practices in various agro-ecological zones in sub-Saharan Africa. In September 2010, he took up a visiting professor position at the Swedish Agricultural University in Uppsala in the Soils and Environment Department. His previous appointments have included work for IITA in Nigeria (1991-2000) and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (1989-1991), where he obtained his PhD in Applied Biological Sciences in 1996. Bernard has published over 100 papers in scientific journals and over 120 in other forms, and has supervised or co-supervised over 30 MSc and 10 PhD students.
Advisory Services Manager, West Africa, Root Capital (Senegal)
As Advisory Services Manager, Mireille leads Root Capital’s advisory operations in West Africa, including implementing projects in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation and Partners in Food Solutions. Previously, she served as the CEO of SEMFIN, a Senegalese microfinance institution (spun out from WorldVision), providing financial and non-financial services to entrepreneurs living in rural areas. She subsequently lived in rural areas for five years working directly with female micro-enterpreneurs before joining Root Capital. In addition, she held several positions at Citibank, including Head of Cash Management where she was responsible for monitoring loans extended to rural enterprises under the Swiss and Belgium Funds. Mireille holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.
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