Assistant Director General (External Relations) and Executive Director
Joanna began her career as an agricultural economist and later moved into market research in the agribusiness area. Since then she has worked in a wide variety of other marketing-related areas including strategic marketing, communications, fundraising, knowledge management, and uptake of scientific research. She has worked for government, private industry (manufacturing and consulting) and with nonprofit organizations (including four CGIAR agricultural research centers). As part of this she has lived and worked in India, Sri Lanka, Italy, Malaysia, the Philippines and Australia and has 30 years professional experience.
Currently she is Assistant Director General at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. She also leads the global Smart Food movement which was selected in 2017 by USAID and the Australian government as one of the winning top 10 global food innovations.
Smart Foods are foods that together fulfil the criteria of being good for you, the planet and the farmer – a triple win for nutrition, the environment and farmers. The Smart Food initiative is a catalyst to achieve this. A key objective of the Smart Food initiative is to diversify staples across Africa and Asia. By focusing on staples, often 70% of the plate and eaten 3 times a day, Smart Food Initiative plans to have the biggest impact. To achieve this, the initiative focuses on a couple of Smart Foods to not just popularize but bring into mainstream.