Frank is a development expert with 25 years of experience in agricultural finance, microfinance, technical assistance, training, and project management. He currently provides technical support to the ABC Fund and leadership in the growth of IFAD’s private sector portfolio. He recently took on the role of interim Senior Coordinator of SAFIN. Before this, he held progressively senior positions at the Inter-American Development Bank, Catholic Relief Services, CARE USA, and Oikocredit.
Madhur is a Lead Economist and Thematic Team Lead for Agricultural Policies and Public Expenditures with the Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank. With experience across many parts of the World Bank over the past 25 years including Development Economics (Research), Agricultural Policies Division, Independent Evaluation Group, and Operations unit in Africa and South Asia, the main focus of his current work is on agricultural and food policy analysis and development strategy. He holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland.
Patience is the Founder and CEO of Parkea Ventures, which sources, processes and distributes more nutritious food for Nigerian consumers. They promote the West African wonder-grain fonio as an alternative to wheat and maize for making bread, baby food, flour and more. As imported wheat flour doubles in cost, fonio offers a rapidly scalable, nutritious, climate-resilient, staple crop that is grown domestically by women smallholder farmers.
Nouran is a Co-Founder of Plug’n’Grow, an Egyptian technology company that develops advanced and economic solutions in agriculture, based on proven Hydroponic and Aquaculture technology. They provide growers with highly efficient “Food Factories” that produce premium quality vegetables and fish at competitive and affordable costs.
Ruchi is the CEO and Founder of TARU Naturals & Organics, a grassroots movement of 10,000 tribal & small-scale farmers across India. It is a fair trade network connecting farmers with healthy, pure and organic produce to markets. They strive to build self-sufficiency across agricultural value chains through climate-resilient agriculture, clean post-harvest technology, value added products and market linkages.
Ian is Director of the Good Food Hub, a global community of small businesses making food more nourishing, sustainable, equitable, and resilient. Ian established the hub after managing global SME engagement for the UN Food Systems Summit. Previously Ian has played a strategic role in founding and strengthening Generation Africa and Grow Africa, and through his consulting firm, Wasafiri, he has worked on food issues for the World Economic Forum, Mars, Yara, IMAGINE, and most G7 governments.
Prasun currently leads APRACA as its Secretary General. Prasun has previously held positions at IFAD, FAO and DFID in various capacities focusing on rural finance. He also held senior positions in a commercial bank and advised the Government of India on rural and agricultural development. Prasun holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences and MBA with specialization in Financial Management and is a certified professional in banking and finance.
George is a career banker with over 20 years of experience. In recent years, he has worked in rural and agricultural banking, including agricultural value chain mapping, development of financing products, and building human and other resources to deliver agricultural value chain finance. George is a trained accountant, enterprise development expert and certified Agricultural Finance professional.
Hussein has over 18 years of hands-on commercial and operational experience in agribusiness. He co-founded Mozare3, a leading agri-fintech platform that partners with small farmers, offering contract farming, input financing and digital agronomy support. Hussein holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Marketing from The American University in Cairo.
Thouraya directs IFAD’s Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division. Before joining IFAD, she worked at the African Development Bank (AfDB) as a Manager in the Microeconomics, Institutions and Development Impact Division and as a Chief Country Economist at AfDB’s North Africa Regional Department. Before joining AfDB, Throuraya spent about 10 years in various positions in academia, and managing and consulting with private sector businesses. She holds a PhD in Finance from HEC Montreal.
Dr. Mizzi has been in his current role since 2017. Prior to this, he was the Head of Unit in the DG for Agriculture and Rural Development. Dr. Mizzi has broad working experience in the Maltese public administration and private sector, including the Office of the Prime Minister, Office of the Malta Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, Malta Business Bureau in Brussels, and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association. He has authored a number of articles and publications on agri-food issues and nutrition in the Mediterranean region. He holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Reading.
Dr. Ghalleb leads IsDB’s initiatives to institutionalize, mainstream and implement economic empowerment models and tools in the OIC Member Countries. Before this, he was the Chairman and founding CEO of “Zitouna Tamkeen”, an Islamic microfinance/economic empowerment institution in Tunisia. He also founded the International Center of Economic Empowerment and “Tamkeen for Development”, an NGO specialized in the economic inclusion of vulnerable populations . Previously, he held various senior positions at IsDB and served on the Boards of several financial institutions. Dr. Ghalleb holds a PhD in Finance from HEC Montreal.
Songbae leads efforts at the USAID to mobilize private capital for agricultural finance. Most recently, he spent eight years at Calvert Impact Capital, a non-profit impact investing debt fund, where he was responsible for end-to-end deal origination, credit assessment, and ongoing portfolio monitoring. Previously, he worked for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Banc of America Securities, and Mercy Corps in Kyrgyzstan. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Vermont.
Bettina is currently a Lead Policy and Technical Advisor at IFAD and the former Senior Coordinator of SAFIN. In her previous roles, she served IFAD in several capacities, including as a Senior Global Engagement Specialist, as a co-author of the IFAD Rural Poverty Report 2011 and contributor to a number of IFAD corporate strategies and policies. Bettina has twenty years of experience in international development, with particular focus on global development governance, development finance, food security and rural development. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Panos is the Principal Operations Officer and Global Lead in Agricultural Finance at IFC. Prior to this, Panos was the Head of Agricultural Finance in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation, Global Practice at the World Bank. Panos has been involved in various projects that facilitate financing for farmers and agri-SMEs by working on public policy issues, financial products and risk management. Panos previously served as the Deputy CEO of the Agricultural Bank of Greece and was a member of the Board of Birectors of Agrotiki Insurance and Mindbank. Panos holds a PhD in Economics from Columbia University.