Alesha Black

Managing Director, Global Food and Agriculture Program

Areas of expertise: Global Food & Agriculture


Alesha Black is the managing director the Global Food and Agriculture Program at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Black joined the Council from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she focused on the foundation’s strategic partnerships for agricultural development. She worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 2007 to 2015, where she coordinated foundation partnerships with China, Brazil, and the United States, as well as UN agencies working to support smallholder farmers. Before that, she managed a portfolio of investments working to connect smallholder farmers to better market access opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa. Black also co-led important activities to link nutrition and agriculture programs at the foundation and contributed to numerous strategic projects at the beginning of the Agricultural Development program, including the first Gender Impact Strategy, initial impact measurement framework, and early foundation advocacy activities to raise the profile of smallholder agriculture.

Black received her bachelor’s in journalism and psychology from the University of Arizona and her MA in international relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.


In the News

Expressing Appreciation and Announcing a Transition

Global Food For Thought, August 15, 2019

Uncharted Waters: Growing Cities, Changing Diets

Global Food For Thought, February 19, 2019

The Difference a Decade Can Make: Reflections from Rwanda

Global Food For Thought, September 13, 2018

High-Tech Policy Change? The Youth for Growth Conversation Continues…

Global Food For Thought, March 27, 2018

Deep Dish: 1,000 Days of Immeasurable Cost and Irreparable Damage

Global Insight, September 28, 2017

Remembering Sam Dryden: A Man Who Built Bridges

Global Food For Thought, August 11, 2017

Listening to Leaders Under 35: African Fellows Weigh in on the Council’s Next Report

Global Food For Thought, July 18, 2017

Famine Leaves a Mark – And It Isn’t How You Think

Global Food For Thought, June 29, 2017

Past Event Multimedia