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.


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