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As Program Analyst for Agriculture and Livelihoods, Melissa Benn is responsible for developing and implementing the Agricultural Transformation Initiative’s procurement processes. She assists in designing and writing solicitation and procurement documents, while also establishing procedures that facilitate grant disbursements.
Melissa is skilled at managing international agricultural development programs. Her work in this area has included supporting operations, ensuring compliance, backstopping overseas projects, contributing to new business development, forging relationships, and overseeing knowledge retention. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked at Chemonics International Inc. in Washington, DC as Manager of the Agriculture and Food Security Practice, and on the Markets and Trade team for the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).
Melissa’s earlier role at Chemonics International Inc. was as a Senior Associate, specializing in project management and support to project offices in East Africa, including day-to-day support of offices in Ethiopia and Sudan.
Melissa currently resides in Virginia and has a BA in Food Studies and Environmental Policy from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
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William Kamkwamba signs books during the Agricultural Transformation Summit, held in Lilongwe, Malawi on November 14, 2019 Inspiration can come from all places. For some, inspiration comes from listening to the words of others. Moments of inspiration can also hit during times of great need, or times of reflection. For William Kamkwamba, the Malawian […]
GENDER LENS INVESTING: The deliberate integration of gender analysis into investment analysis and decision-making Gender lens investing (GLI) is “an investing approach that deliberately incorporates a desire to make a difference in the lives of women and girls, while meeting the risk/return objectives appropriate for an institutional portfolio.” The Criterion Institute and Jackie VanderBrug, Managing Director of Global […]
Ngabahila Chatata, and her husband, after winning first prize in the Youth Agri-preneur Pitch Competition in Lilongwe, Malawi, standing with Rob Henning, Director of Agriculture and Economic Diversification Programs (left) and Jim Lutzweiler, Vice President of Agriculture and Livelihoods (right) Without a doubt, pitch competitions set an exciting scene. Entrepreneurs nervously pace as expert judges […]
A word diagram from the WhatsApp conference group The last week of November, approximately five hours before my flight left from DC to Lilongwe, I opened my suitcase and began to pack. Some may argue that sprinting around with literal moments to spare may not be the most prudent way to prepare for a […]
Mission is to eliminate smoking worldwide by supporting cessation & harm reduction #research, and transitioning tobacco #farmers to alternative livelihoods.
#WorldNoTobaccoDay has been observed on May 31 since 1988. This year, as the world is grappling with a new and terrifying virus. #WNTD reminds us that smoking is a pandemic too. Read Derek Yach's blog piece here: https://bit.ly/2ZN5Wmt
Will #SouthAfrica’s ban on all #tobacco products as a response to #COVID19 backfire? As Derek Yach points out in a @Filtermag_org article by @Alex_Norcia, “the 1920s script of what happened in the US during Prohibition is happening now in South Africa.” https://bit.ly/2zIcUP9
In an article published by http://pubmed.gov Derek Yach explores how the #COVID19 State of Smoking Poll helps us understand tobacco use in 5 countries during the lockdown. This poll is one of many studies needed to evaluate long term consequences. https://bit.ly/3ddBoOF
In the first of our new Watching Brief series, Ayda Yurekli examines #ecigarette excise taxes and looks towards a smoke-free future in #Hungary. Take a look at her two-part piece here: https://bit.ly/36K7kYI
Tobacco Free Portfolios conducted a special webinar for #WorldNoTobaccoDay. We agree that the financial community can and should hold #tobacco companies accountable. The Tobacco Transformation Index may be a tool that can help bring us closer to that goal. https://bit.ly/2B2IVBD
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