Kofi A Annan
Chairman of the Board; Secretary General of the United Nations (1997-2006), Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Born in Ghana in 1938, Kofi Annan pursued postgraduate studies in Minnesota and Geneva, and received a Master's of Science degree in Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Mr. Annan was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of AGRA in June 2007. He previously served as United Nations Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006. During his tenure he was a resolute advocate for human rights, the rule of law, and the revitalization of the United Nations. He played a key role in mobilizing a global effort to combat malaria and HIV/AIDS; and was instrumental in laying out the Millennium Development Goals, a strategy to meet the needs of the worlds poorest by 2015.
On 10th December 2001, Mr. Annan and the United Nations received the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Annan, a Ghanaian citizen, currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mrs Jane Karuku
President of AGRA
Mrs. Karuku is a Kenyan with over 20 years of experience most of which have been in the agriculture sector. Mrs Karuku joined AGRA on April 16, 2012 from Telkom Kenya, where she was the Deputy Chief Executive and Secretary General since July 2010. During her tenure she was credited with the transformation of the organisation by working closely with the Chief Executive and parent company Orange this led to the creation of a new Telkom Kenya that was able to face a new set of market challenges. Previously, she worked with Cadbury as the managing Director in East and Central Africa. She was responsible for its operations in 14 countries across Africa. During her term in Cadbury she conceived and implemented a highly successful growth programme for the business in this period. She has also worked with farmers choice and Kenya Cooperative Creameries. She holds various advisory roles in Barclays Kenya, Junior Achievement Kenya and United States International University in Nairobi. Mrs Karuku holds a degree on Food Science and Technology from the University of Nairobi and an MBA in Marketing from the National University of California, USA, in 1992.
Mr. Jørgen Ole Haslestad
President and Chief Executive Officer YARA International
Mr. Jørgen Ole Haslestad (born 1951) has served as President and CEO since October 2008. Previously he held several senior management positions in Siemens AG, 1994-2008, most recently as CEO of the Group's Industry Solutions Division, Germany. Before joining Siemens, he served as Managing Director of Kongsberg Offshore AS, Norway, 1986-94; Project Engineer and Project Manager of the oil division, Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk AS, Norway, 1980-86. He holds an M.Sc degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH). Mr. Haslestad served as a board member of Yara, 2004-08.
Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze
President of IFAD
Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze began his term as IFAD's fifth President on 1 April 2009. A Nigerian national, Dr. Nwanze has a strong record as an advocate and leader of change and a keen understanding of the complexity of development issues.
He brings to the job over 30 years of experience across three continents in poverty reduction through agriculture, rural development and research.
Under Dr. Nwanze's leadership, IFAD has stepped up its advocacy efforts to ensure that agriculture is a central part of the international development agenda, and that the concerns and needs of smallholders and other poor rural people are recognized by governments around the world. In recognition of Dr. Nwanze's intellectual leadership on issues of food security, he was asked to chair the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Food Security in 2010.
During Dr. Nwanze's tenure, IFAD has increased the number of outposted country programme managers and expanded the number of country offices. This increased country presence, and the direct supervision by IFAD of its projects, will help make them more effective.
Dr. Donald Kaberuka
President of AfDB
Dr. Donald Kaberuka is currently serving his second five-year term as President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). He was first elected in 2005, becoming the seventh president of the Bank Group since its establishment in 1963.
He was re-elected in May 2010 at the AfDB's headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for a second five-year term. He took the oath for his second term in September of that year in Tunis, the Bank's current temporary relocation city. The Bank moved temporarily from Abidjan in 2003 due to the security situation there.
Before joining the African Development Bank, Dr. Kaberuka, 60, had a distinguished career in banking, international trade and development and government service A national of Rwanda, he was the country's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning between 1997 and 2005. During this period, he oversaw Rwanda's successful economic reconstruction after the end of the civil war there.
He initiated and implemented major economic reforms and introduced new systems of structural, monetary and fiscal governance, laying special emphasis on the independence of Rwanda's central bank.
These reforms led to the widely-recognized revival of Rwanda's economy, and to the sustained economic growth that enabled Rwanda to obtain debt cancellation under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative in April 2005.
During his service at the AfDB, Dr. Kaberuka has presided over a major redirection in its strategy for development and poverty reduction in Africa. To that end, the AfDB has placed increased emphasis on the private sector, and on the importance of major infrastructure developments in areas such as road, railways, power plants and communications, especially in their role in promoting regional integration in Africa.
During Dr. Kaberuka's period of office, the AfDB has become Africa's premier financial institution. In 2009, in response to the global financial crisis, the African Development Bank Group made record approvals of loans and grants totaling more than USD 12.6 billion.
Dr. Donald Kaberuka was educated at universities in Tanzania and Scotland. He holds a PhD in Economics from Glasgow University.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
As co-chairs, Bill and Melinda Gates shape and approve foundation strategies, review results, advocate for the foundation’s issues, and help set the overall direction of the organization.
They meet with local, national, and international grantees and partners to further the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world. They also use many public appearances, including speeches, interviews, and articles, to focus attention on these issues.
Melinda Gates received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and a master’s in business administration from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1987.
After joining Microsoft Corp. in 1987, she distinguished herself in business as a leader in the development of many of Microsoft’s multimedia products. In 1996, Gates retired from her position as Microsoft’s General Manager of Information Products.
Since then, she has directed her energy toward the nonprofit world. In addition to her role with the foundation, she is a former member of the board of trustees of Duke University and is a former co-chair of the Washington State Governor’s Commission on Early Learning.
Bill and Melinda Gates live in Medina, Wash., near Seattle. They have three children.