Stefan manages the partnerships of Bayer, Division Crop Science with Development Organizations and Think Tanks. His responsibility is to drive collaboration and initiatives which serve Bayer´s sustainability commitments towards empowering smallholders, reducing GHG emissions in agriculture, improving the sustainability of agriculture concerning water use, biodiversity and soil health and the reduction of environmental impacts of agricultural inputs. He joined the agricultural input industry in 1999 and has relevant work experience as Senior Legal Counsel with responsibility for Africa, Deputy Manager of Bayer BioScience GmbH in Potsdam and as Team Lead in the Business Development department. He served as member of the Executive Board of Round Table for Responsible Soy and in the Steering Committee of the Collaborative Soy Alliance. He holds a PhD in Environmental Law from the University of Bonn and a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development from the University of London.
Marianne Schoemaker is an experienced banker with a strong focus on connecting and growing people, teams and businesses. In April 2017 she was appointed Managing Director at Rabo Partnerships B.V. a legal entity within Rabobank Group focussed on partnerships with a mission to further financial inclusion and outreach to rural environments in emerging countries. The activities comprise investments in financial institutions and advisory services to financial institutions and agri value chains in emerging countries in Latin America, Africa and South East Asia. Alliances and networks that support the mission are actively explored.
Marianne started her carrier with Rabobank in 1993 within the Food & Agribusiness Research Department and fulfilled various positions in front office, risk, HR and research. She worked as a product professional in Equity Capital Markets, Corporate Banking, Leveraged Finance, Global Learning and Talent Development. She led teams in Credit Risk Management, HR Talent Development and was Regional Head
Agribusiness Research for Africa and Europe from 2014 to April 2017.Marianne graduated as an agricultural economist at Wageningen University & Research with a focus on Management, Consumer Research & Marketing and Development Economics.
Øystein Botillen is the Stakeholder Relations and Business Development Manager in Yara International, the world’s leading global crop nutrition company. His role is to drive the company’s African strategy, including development of new business models and partnerships to address the needs of African farmers, whether large-scale or smallholder. Before joining Yara in 2011 he worked six years in Africa for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other relevant work experience include five years as an advisor for Norwegian People’s Aid’s programs in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and South-Sudan as well as three years for UNDP in Vietnam. Øystein has a broad knowledge on global policies relating to natural resource management, environmental sustainability, climate change, food security and agriculture development, smallholder commercial agriculture and its linkages with profitable markets. He jointly initiated the African Green Revolution Forum and Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor. He is currently the Chairperson of the Norwegian–African Business Association.
Simon Winter became Executive Director of the Syngenta Foundation in 2017. He joined from TechnoServe, where he had most recently been Senior Vice President, Development, in Washington, D.C., and previously led regional operations in sub-Saharan Africa, having joined in 2003. From 2015-2017, Simon was also a Senior Fellow of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS). He chairs the board of ACRE, and is a board member of Root Capital. Simon additionally holds advisory positions with the World Economic Forum and the Initiative for Smallholder Finance. Earlier career steps included management positions at McKinsey, independent development consultancy, economic planning for a Ministry in Botswana, and roles on three continents at Barclay’s Bank. Simon, a UK citizen, holds a PhD in Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London..
Vanessa Adams, Vice President Country Support and Delivery at AGRA, is a proven leader with strong private sector, investment facilitation and project management experience. Ms. Adams has 25 years of progressive experience working in 42 countries, integrating over twelve agricultural and consumer goods value chains into regional and global markets. Previously, she served as Director of Strategic Partnerships for DAI. Prior to that, she worked in West Africa as the regional Export Business Development Director, Trade and Investment Director, and ultimately the Chief of Party (Regional Director) on the USAID West Africa Trade Hub program, Chief of Party in Ethiopia on the USAID flagship Agricultural Growth Program–Agribusiness and Market Development Program, and COP of the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub, managing large multi-cultural teams and budgets. She contributed to founding three pan-African nongovernmental organizations, including the African Cashew Alliance, Borderless Alliance, and Global Shea Alliance, as well as initiating the Women in Agribusiness Leadership Network in Ethiopia and has brokered numerous partnerships with African small and mid-size companies as well as Fortune 500 companies in win-win sustainable frameworks resulting in over half a billion dollars in exports from and investments in in Africa. Vanessa holds an executive MBA from INSEAD.