Nicolas has extensive experience of managing commercial and non-for-profit organisations and of designing, developing and managing long term agricultural value chain programmes in developing countries. Before joining Farm Africa in February 2016, Nicolas served for three years as the Managing Director at Twin and Twin Trading, an ethical trade organisation that represents 300,000 coffee, cocoa and nut producers in 16 countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia. Prior to that he was CEO of the leading French Fairtrade and organic food and drink company Alter Eco from 2008 to 2012. He has an MBA from the ESSEC Business School in Paris and was previously a member and chairman of FLO Cert’s Certification Committee. Nicolas recently spoke about why he joined Farm Africa and why he's dedicated his career to working with smallholder farmers - watch the interview here.
Claire leads our impact measurement and learning function. Responsible for ensuring tools, systems and skills are in place to measure our impact on the ground, Claire's work is instrumental in obtaining robust evidence of what drives success in different contexts, helping us to expand our future impact. Claire has a background in development economics and previously worked as an economist and policy analyst in the governments of Scotland and South Sudan. She believes that a strong evidence base, grounded in practical experience, will be vital to achieving our ambitions of stimulating macro level change for smallholder farmers.
Claire is currently on maternity leave.
Steve Ball has a background in community forestry and over ten years experience working in Tanzania where he founded the Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative to conserve endangered forests in East Africa by promoting the sustainable and equitable harvesting of valuable timber trees. His particular interest is in rural development that has sustainable long term positive impacts on both people and the environment.
Rachel joined Farm Africa in 2007, and held a number of senior roles in the UK before relocating to Uganda in 2016. After spending the early part of her career working in Malawi, and then within the UK private sector, Rachel worked within fundraising and marketing teams at a number of UK and international organisations before joining the Farm Africa team.
Yvan joined Farm Africa in 2014 from DFID where he directed forestry projects in Brazil and Indonesia and led the development of climate change policy and research, with a focus on climate science, adaptation and resilience. Yvan developed his expertise in natural resource management in Burundi, Malaysia and Botswana (soils and land degradation) and Brazil and Indonesia (tropical forests). He has a degree in agriculture and soil sciences from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and a PhD in development studies from the University of East Anglia, UK.
Tom has extensive experience of leading and managing development projects over the past 17 years in East and Southern Africa. Prior to joining Farm Africa in June 2016, he headed the Rural Livelihoods and Agriculture portfolio for Irish Aid in Tanzania, chairing the project investment committee of the Agricultural Marketing Development Trust and developing policy research on the food reserve agency and national input subsidies. Before this he was Director in Zambia and Tanzania for the youth-led agency Restless Development. He holds a PhD from the University of London (SOAS).
Mulugeta has over 23 years’ experience of natural resources management. His expertise spans watershed and land management; forest development planning; participatory forest management; carbon forestry; payment for ecosystem services and benefit-sharing arrangements within collaborative natural resources management. Mulugeta has extensive experience of teaching and research at universities, and has published more than 80 technical articles. He holds a BSc in General Forestry from Haromaya University (Ethiopia), an MSc degree from ITC (the Netherlands), and a PhD in soil management from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden).
Jack comes to Farm Africa with a wealth of experience in strategic partnerships management, resource mobilization and communications across three continents. Working with the Aga Khan Foundation in Afghanistan and East Africa, Jack has extensive experience in the design, management and close out of complex multi-sectoral development grants with the governments of Norway, Canada, Australia, the USA and many more. Before that, Jack worked for a number of non-profit organizations in Central and South America in the field of business development and outreach. Jack has a Bachelors in Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Nottingham and a Masters in Poverty, Conflict & Reconstruction at the University of Manchester.
John has many years experience in overseas development as a senior manager, including working for Plan International, the International Red Cross and Save the Children. He has worked across Southern and Eastern Africa, South Asia and Central America in both country and regional roles, including in Kenya, Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Guatemala. Most recently he was Director of Strategy and Resources for the legal action charity Reprieve.
James brings a highly technical academic understanding of agricultural science to project design and delivery that ensures Farm Africa integrates new technologies and expertise into its projects. This is combined with a wealth of experience in project management with the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, research and university teaching experience as a lecturer and Head of Department in crop sciences. James holds a PhD in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology from Makerere University, a Master of Science in Agronomy and a BSc in Agriculture, both from the University of Nairobi.
Geoffrey brings over 23 years' experience in managing public and private sector partnerships aimed at enhancing smallholder farmers’ ability to tap into niche markets. Specialising in M4P (making markets work for the poor), he has designed and implemented a wide range of value chain projects in East Africa and South East Asia. Geoffrey is a certified champion for change (USAID) and has specialist experience integrating gender and youth into agricultural value chains. Geoffrey holds a Bsc in Horticulture from Egerton University and a MBA from Bugema University.
Stefanie has over 10 years’ experience of fundraising, communications and media and joined Farm Africa in September 2015. Previously she was Director of External Relations at the International Rescue Committee UK, an international humanitarian organisation, and Director of Fundraising and Communications at War on Want, a development and human rights charity. Stefanie is a board member of Refugee Action and previously was a board member of Jubilee Debt Campaign.
Libby leads the communications team. Prior to joining Farm Africa in 2015 she worked for WaterAid America for eight years leading the communications team, and previously managed the communications services and community fundraising teams at WaterAid UK. She started her career as an account manager for a design company.
Mike has overall responsibility for financial management, people management, infrastructure (IT and premises) and governance, legal & risk within Farm Africa. He is committed to ensuring that all these areas are well integrated into the wider organisation and provide a high quality service to enable Farm Africa to achieve its objectives. Mike has over ten years experience in senior positions working for innovative, Africa-focused charities and social enterprises including Riders for Health, Promoting Equality in African Schools and the Africa Governance Initiative. Mike is a qualified Chartered Accountant, having trained with KPMG. He is also a trustee of two other charitable organisations.
Giles became head of finance in June 2016. He had previously spent four months in Farm Africa’s Nairobi office supporting our Kenya programmes, and also spent a short time at Farm Africa in 2014 supporting the Maendeleo Agriculture Enterprise Fund. Giles is a Chartered Accountant, starting his career at PwC before spending 12 years at the BBC in various finance positions, and has also worked for the British Red Cross.
Cathy joined Farm Africa in May 2011 and leads the corporate and events fundraising team which is responsible for encouraging and supporting a wide range of corporate partnerships and our portfolio of challenge and sporting events. Cathy started her fundraising career at Dementia UK and before joining Farm Africa, she worked for five years in WaterAid’s community fundraising team.
Prior to her appointment as Director of Programmes, Michelle led our programme work in Ethiopia. Before that, Michelle was at the Department for International Development (DFID), most recently as climate change advisor. Other work experience includes two years as technical lead for the UK on UN gender reforms and three years in Ethiopia seconded to the World Bank working on rural livelihoods, as well as leading programmes in Nicaragua, Central America and Indonesia.