Board of Directors

Melissa D. Ho currently serves as Managing Director, Africa, at a U.S. government foreign assistance agency, overseeing an investment portfolio of over USD$2 billion for a range of sectors including energy, infrastructure, transport, land, education and agriculture.

Dr. Ho holds more than 20 years of experience in international development, with a focus on global food security and nutrition. Prior to her current position, she led a technical team in the Bureau for Food Security at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which guided the strategic direction, activity design and implementation of the U.S. Feed the Future initiative globally. Dr. Ho also served as a Senior Advisor at USAID and was the technical lead in the development of the G-8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition initiative, launched by President Obama and partners at Camp David in 2012 with the goal of increasing private sector engagement in agriculture in Africa. Dr. Ho was a part of the start up Agriculture Development Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led the development and execution of the agricultural water management strategy and portfolio, as well as other programs related to extension, training and policy, managing over $100 million in grants. She has also worked with the U.S. Congress as a Specialist in agricultural policy for the Congressional Research Service and as Agriculture Policy Advisor to then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Dr. Ho has a B.Sc. in Environmental Systems from Cornell University, a M.Sc. in Soil Science from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from the Pennsylvania State University. She has received a Rotary Fellowship and grant funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Heinz Family Foundation, USAID and the U.S. Department of Defense. She has co-authored peer-reviewed papers and has taught several undergraduate and graduate courses in science and policy. Currently, Melissa serves on the Board of Directors of several non-profit and startup organizations in the U.S. and abroad. She lives with her family in Washington, D.C.