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Our senior staff

Nicolas Mounard, chief executive officer

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 Allan, head of programme quality and impact 

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.

Steve Ball, director, Tanzania

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 Beckett, head of direct marketing & community fundraising

Rachel is currently on secondment in Uganda where she is building Farm Africa’s programme portfolio. She has been working at Farm Africa since 2007 in a variety of senior roles covering marketing, fundraising and communications. Prior to joining Farm Africa, Rachel held a number of fundraising positions at both UK and international organisations after spending the early part of her career working as a volunteer in Malawi, and working within the private sector.

Yvan Biot, director of research and development

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.

Mulugeta Lemenih, head of forestry and natural resources management

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).

Nadia Martinez, director, Kenya

Nadia has 15 years of international development experience focusing on policy, economic interventions, and capacity building of local NGOs. She has worked in several countries in Latin America and Africa, and has managed large donor funded projects. Before joining Farm Africa, Nadia worked at Fintrac Inc, where she was responsible for management and compliance of multi-year, multi-million dollar agriculture programmes supported by USAID in East and Southern Africa. 

John Morris, director, Ethiopia 

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 Mwololo, head of agriculture

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 Nyamota, head of market engagement

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 Pfeil, director of external relations

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 Plumb, head of brand & content

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. 

Cathy Wentworth, head of corporate partnerships & events

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.

Michelle Winthrop, director of programmes

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.