Martien van Nieuwkoop
Global Director, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Martien van Nieuwkoop, a Dutch national, was appointed Global Director for the Agriculture and Food Global Practice in the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice Group on July 1, 2019. As Global Director, Martien provides leadership to the formulation and implementation of the Bank’s strategy and knowledge in agriculture and food, oversees the operationalization of the Bank’s vision on agriculture and food in regional and country programs, acts as senior spokesperson for agriculture and food Bank-wide and globally and manages the Agriculture and Food Global Practice. Read more..
Executive Director Germany, The World Bank
Gunther Beger is the World Bank Group Executive Director representing Germany since March 2021. Prior to joining the World Bank Group Board, Mr. Beger served as Director-General for Global health; Private Sector; Trade; Rural Development at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ). As the Minister’s Deputy Representative, he served in the oversight board of KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau). Before joining the BMZ he held several positions in the German government, including Head of Division for International Projects and Twinning as well as Head of Division for Promotion of Foreign Trade and Investment at the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection. Earlier in his career, he worked as Head of Division for Agriculture at the German Embassy in Moscow. Mr. Beger holds a Master´s Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Bonn, Germany.
Head of Division, Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains; International Agricultural Policy; Agriculture; Innovation, BMZ
Sebastian Lesch has been head of the Division, Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains; International Agricultural Policy; Agriculture Innovation of the BMZ since mid-2018, the division responsible for a wide range of topics from agricultural trade and global agricultural supply chains such as soya, palm oil, cocoa or coffee for the Common European Agricultural Policy to concrete innovation in project work with a wide range of partners worldwide. The unit includes the flagship project of the "Green Innovation Centres" as well as international agricultural research and agrobiodiversity. Prior to this team, Mr. Lesch was Head of the German-Egyptian Development Cooperation in Cairo for four years, from 2010 to 2014 when he was the Press Officer of the BMZ and before that the Country Director for Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus. He studied contemporary history, international politics, and international law.
Dr. Heike Hoeffler
Project Leader, Sector Project Agriculture, GIZ
Dr. Heike Hoeffler is the project leader for the Sector Project “Agriculture” at the GIZ. An international agricultural economist by profession, Heike joined the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in 2002. From 2003 to 2008, she worked as an advisor to the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture in the bilateral “Private Sector Promotion in Agriculture” Programme. After five years as a freelance consultant, a doctoral thesis, and finding a family, she re-joined GIZ in 2013 as an advisor for agricultural policy within the Bonn-based team “Agricultural Policy and Food Security”, where she focussed on the contemporary agricultural policy agenda, rural transformation in Africa and nutrition-sensitive agriculture. In early 2017, she took over the role of a project leader for the Sector Project “Agricultural Trade and Value Chains”, later called “Agricultural Trade, Agribusiness, Agricultural Finance” (AAA). She just started to lead the new Sector Project “Agriculture” in April 2021 and works on general conceptual questions of digitalization in agriculture for development.
Dr. Elke Sümnick-Matthaei
Advisor Digitalisation Portfolio, Fund for the Promotion of Innovation in Agriculture, GIZ
Dr. Elke Sümnick-Matthaei is responsible for the digitalization portfolio of the new GIZ Fund for the Promotion of Innovation in Agriculture (i4Ag). As part of her work with the i4Ag fund, she is responsible for identifying promising digital innovations in the agri-food sector and establishing innovative partnerships and collaborations for enhancing sustainable digital ecosystems in the agricultural sector. She is part of a GIZ team and is now rolling out the techDetector, the first technology radar for sustainable development. She is passionate about working with agricultural changemakers on women’s empowerment, especially around AgriTech for and by women. Elke holds a DPhil in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, UK.
Dr. Ariane Borgstedt
Program Manager, Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector, GIZ
Dr. Ariane Borgstedt is the program manager of the global program “Green Innovation Centres in the agriculture and food sector”. She started as a deputy program manager in 2015 shaping it according to the big lines given by BMZ to its actual form. Convinced that the use of ICT in rural development is making a difference and moving development forward, she has worked to establish an ICT working group across all 15 countries to improve exchange and promote mutual learning. She has been working for GIZ since 2009, prior to which she worked as a freelance consultant in Africa and the Middle East. She holds a Ph.D. in natural sciences, a diploma in hydrogeology, and has more than 20 years of experience abroad in the context of development cooperation and rural development.
Senior Project Manager, Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector, GIZ
Christian Schulze-Koch works as a Senior Project Manager in the steering unit of GIZ’s global project “Green Innovation Centres for the agriculture and food sector” in Bonn, Germany. He is responsible for the backstopping of project implementation in partner countries and coordinates the Green Innovation Centres working group on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) since 2018. The working group aims at stimulating south-south exchange, sharing of lessons learned, and scaling of successful digital innovations between the Green Innovation Centre’s 15 partner countries in Africa and Asia. Mr. Schulze-Koch studied at Johannes-Gutenberg University Mainz and Cardiff University and holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science. He has more than 10 years’ experience working in development cooperation for GIZ and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rwanda, Italy, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Germany.
Advisor, Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Start-ups, GIZ
Torsten Fischer is the Advisor for Metrics, Company Development, and Investor Relations at the global project "Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations Through Start-ups (SAIS)". After working for 10 years in the startup ecosystem of Germany, Austria, and Japan as a startup coach, consultant, and event manager, Torsten joined the GIZ in 2018 as a digital ambassador and development worker in Rwanda, supporting local tech entrepreneurs in their ventures. Following a position as the political advisor for local innovation, he recently joined the global program SAIS in order to increase the income of small-hold farmers in Africa. Currently, he develops a digital system to trace the progress of agritech startups through data analytics, educates European investors about business opportunities in Africa, and aims to better connect technical and financial assistance through innovative finance. Torsten studied sociology in Germany, Austria, and New Zealand.
Digitalization Advisor in the Program Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains and Standards, INATrace, GIZ
Lars Kahnert is a member of the digitalization team in the GIZ Program 'Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains and Standards'. In this role, he has been instrumental in implementing solutions to foster market integration and supply chain traceability, e.g., the development of INATrace, an open-source traceability solution for agricultural supply chains. Prior to joining the GIZ in 2019, Lars has worked as Program Manager with the Global Coffee Platform / 4C Association for 12 years, overseeing the development of the coffee data standard and initiating the Delta Framework for cross-commodity sustainability metrics. Before that, Lars has implemented a range of development programs for six years, on topics including agriculture, community health, vocational training, and microcredit, mainly in India and Chad. He holds a degree in geography/development studies, South Asian Sciences, and philology from Free University, Berlin, and Central Institute of Hindi, Agra, India.
Practice Manager, East Asia and Pacific region, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Dina Umali-Deininger is the Agriculture and Food Practice Manager for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. She manages analytical and advisory services and a lending portfolio totaling $3.5 billion, which focuses on promoting climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive agriculture, linking smallholder farmers to markets, agriculture value chain development, and enhancing rural livelihoods and jobs. She formerly served as the Agriculture Practice Manager in Central and Eastern Africa and the Water Practice Manager in Europe and Central Asia. She also served as Country Sector Coordinator and Lead Agriculture Economist in the World Bank New Delhi office overseeing the World Bank's agriculture and rural development program in India. Prior to joining the World Bank, she held a teaching position at the University of the Philippines and was a Research Associate at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Stanford University and a B.A. in Agribusiness Management from the University of the Philippines.
Practice Manager, Africa region, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Chakib Jenane is Practice Manager for the Africa region in the World Bank’s Global Food and Agriculture Practice (GFADR), focusing primarily on programs promoting agribusiness development in Africa. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2014, he served as Chief of the Agro-industry Technology Unit within the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering and has published extensively in the field of power and machinery.
Astrid Maria Jakobs de Pádua
Senior Agriculture Specialist, Agriculture, and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Astrid Maria Jakobs de Pádua serves as a Senior Agriculture Specialist at the Global Practice for Agriculture and Food at the World Bank (IBRD) in Washington, DC. Between 2014 and 2018, Astrid was the Minister Counselor for Food and Agriculture at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, DC and from 2008 to 2014 she was the Head of the Division for Food Security and International Organizations at the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture in Berlin. Astrid joined the Ministry for Food and Agriculture in 1992 as an adviser initially for International Fisheries, then for International Relations, and later on for the Cabinet, Parliament, and Protocol. From 1998 to 2002 she served as Agriculture and Food Attaché at the German Embassy in Buenos Aires. Astrid studied law at the University of Bonn and holds the German Bar Examination in Law.