A dedicated and diverse team of professionals
with significant experience working and living in Ethiopia
Jacie Jones | Managing Director is passionate about leveraging enterprise to drive sustainable development. Prior to GreenPath, Jacie advised teams founding early-stage social ventures in the San Francisco Bay Area. She formerly worked as a Technical Advisor and Manager at TechnoServe, where she supported a portfolio of market-based agriculture and enterprise development programs across East Africa. Jacie has consulted on projects related to smallholder training and extension, producer certification and environmental marketing. Before migrating to warmer climates, Jacie grew up on a family farm in northern Wisconsin. She loves climbing, traveling and all things coffee.
Eric Couper | Director of Operations is passionate about using technology to address agricultural development challenges in the developing world. Eric focuses on building information systems that will influence smallholder farming. Eric formerly worked as a Technology Advisor at Abt Associates, where he provided consulting, implementation, and training support across Abt's international projects. Eric also worked at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), advising the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture on their ICT4Ag strategies and initiatives. Originally from the state of Louisiana in the southern US, Eric loves all things New Orleans, most notably the food, music, and culture.
Thomas Lilay | Production Sr. Manager is passionate about growing high-quality fruits, vegetables, and herbs in an environmentally sustainable manner. He has 14+ years of experience working across Africa as a horticulture farm manager and production manager, working in both food production as well as flowers. He has worked for Wealmoor in West Africa supplying Tesco & Sainsburys and other international buyers, and also worked as a Trainer and an Inspector for international certifications standards including Global GAP, Fairtrade, Tesco standards, and more.
Tigistu Kebede | Farmer Service Center Manager is passionate about streamlined nursery and packhouse operations. A MSc. Graduate from Haramaya University near Dira Dawa, Ethiopia. He recognizes that the efficient development of seedlings and packaging of produce are critical for a successful agribusiness like GreenPath. Prior to joining the team, he worked as a Packhouse Manager and Nursery Officer in several Ethiopian Horticulture Companies. Tigistu enjoys watching competitive football, especially Arsenal.
Ele Gower | Sales, Product & Marketing Manager is passionate about the role that entrepreneurship will play in making our world a better one. At GreenPath, she’s focused on generating and managing the development of sales, marketing and new products. She joins us from the UK, having spent the last few years growing two start-ups within London’s tech sector. Highlights included building out a sales team at JustPark and delivering three-fold increases in digital marketing traffic at Theodo. Prior to that she graduated from the University of Cambridge with first class honours. She grew up in the UK countryside. Sadly, there were no avocados there, which is just one of the reasons why joining the team in Ethiopia was such an exciting prospect.
Ahadu Erstu | Finance & Administration Lead is passionate about developing operational systems that enable smallholder farmers to participate in the professional marketplace. Ahadu is a finance and administration specialist and has helped growing companies across a variety of industries, including agriculture, healthcare, and tourism, set up best-practice financial and administrative processes, enabling the companies to operate efficiently and achieve their goals. Ahadu is a native of Addis Ababa, and in his free time he seeks out the performing arts, specifically live performances of Ethiopian Jazz.
Sidhanth Kamath | Director is passionate about working with smallholder farmers and sustainable farming. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, he is a Fellow at the MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. Prior to GreenPath and MIT, Sid was a Program Manager at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a McKinsey Global Institute Fellow in San Francisco, and a consultant at McKinsey & Company in London. Sid is originally from India and enjoys scuba diving, traveling, and soccer.
WITH TOP-NOTCH FIELD STAFF
from across ethiopia's agriculture sector
Closely Involved Partners
With regular engagement, guiding the direction of greenpath
Mirafe Marcos served as Chief of Staff of the Agricultural Transformation Agency during the organization’s start-up phase, with oversight responsibilities for programs, projects and operations teams. More recently, Mirafe has been leading and building out two of the ATA’s newest pillars. First is the 'Agribusiness & Markets’ pillar, which aims to transform agricultural output markets and market linkages. Second is the ‘Enhance Implementation Capacity’ pillar, which focuses on leveraging ICT and the private sector for accelerating the transformation of the agriculture sector.
Prior to joining the ATA, Mirafe worked with the World Bank for ten years in different capacities, including as a Country Economist for Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia. Mirafe holds an MA in Public Administration with a concentration in Development Economics from Princeton University, and a BA in Economics from Grinnell College.
Eden Getachew is Governance Advisor at Tony Blair's Africa Governance Initiative. In a previous life, Eden was involved in creating Ethiopia's first artisan shoemaker society. She then joined Ethiopia's Agricultural Transformation Agency, creating the Ethiopian Soil Information System, before joining the CEO's special team. In 2014, Eden won an Africa Women in Agricultural Research & Development (AWARD) fellowship.
Kristen Dormanen is passionate about increasing access to nutritious, naturally-grown food in both developing and developed countries. She is a MBA graduate of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management. Kristen previously served as GreenPath's first Sales and Marketing Manager, and she now works in management consulting at Bain & Company, focusing on private equity, consumer strategy, and new market entry. Kristen has also worked at both early and growth-stage startups. Kristen is originally from California, and, therefore, has a special love for avocados, as well as running, the ocean, and experimenting with health foods.
And Valued Advisors
With experTise in the content and capabilities most relevant to GreenPath
Camilo Penalosa is the Managing Director of Infinite Herbs & Specialties Co, an agriculture company that grows, packs, and distributes herbs and specialty veggies in the US that are grown in the United States, Mexico, and Colombia among other countries. Previously Camilo was Planning Director for a banana company in Colombia and the Director of Hortalizas de Colombia. He also served as the Economic Development Deputy Minister in Colombia during Presidente Cesar Gaviria's administration. Camilo holds a Bachelor Degree in Horticulture from the University of Florida and an MBA from the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. He has visited over 50 countries studying agricultural projects and opportunities and has attended over 30 major produce shows around the world.
Christina Zawerucha is an sustainable agriculture and education professional. As GreenPath's first Director of Agronomy, Christina worked directly with GreenPath's partner farmers to co-develop participatory permaculture strategies to tend their land and produce nutritious foods. Prior to GreenPath, Christina co-founded Permaculture for Peace, a nonprofit that employs permaculture as a tool for peace-building and literacy development in conflict and post-conflict areas. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the documentary film "I Learn America", and Al Jazeera America. Christina holds Bachelor Degrees from Binghamton University and a Masters of Science from the City University of New York.
Nicky Khaki has over fourteen years of professional experience across private equity, venture capital, and corporate finance in the U.S. and in Africa. He is currently a partner at Gluon Limited, a private investment company with activities in Africa and North America. Previous roles in Africa include founding Managing Director of EWB Ventures, Engineers Without Borders Canada's impact investment initiative; Vice President with Global Environment Fund, a global private equity fund manager focused on the energy, natural resources and environmental sectors; and Director of Accion’s fintech venture capital efforts in SSA. Nicky spent the first half of his career on Wall Street in investment banking and hedge fund roles, advising on over $25bn in transactions. Nicky lives in Johannesburg, where he enjoys tennis, hiking, and as many sunny days as he can get.
Joseph Shields is a Managing Director at Flow Equity, an investor, and an entrepreneur in Ethiopian agriculture. He was previously a Private Equity Fellow at McKinsey & Company in Washington, DC, where he focused on economic development, private equity, and operations. Prior to his time at McKinsey, Joseph worked for the Jameel-Poverty Action Lab in India managing a data processing and surveying organization to conduct a randomized trial evaluation. Joseph holds Bachelors degrees in Industrial Engineering, Economics, and Political Science from Northwestern University.
Eliot Coleman is an American farmer, author, agricultural researcher and educator, and proponent of organic farming. Eliot owns Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine, where he produces year-round vegetable crops using small-scale organic farming practices and sustainable agriculture. His farm currently serves as a learning center for people interested in natural and sustainable agricultural practices. Eliot was previously the Executive Director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and an advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also authored "The New Organic Grower" in 1989 and the "Report and Recommendations on Organic Farming", a document that formed the basis for today's U.S. National Organic Program.
Dr. Avihai Ilan is an agriculture development consultant with the Institute of Technological Empowerment (YVC College, Israel) focusing on sensor-based agricultural solutions for smallholder farmers. He specializes in horticulture development, plant propagation, and project management, and has experience in numerous countries, including Israel, Egypt, India, and Uganda. He was previously with the USAID-MASHAV-MoA/Ethiopia smallholder horticulture (SHH) program from 2009-2013. Dr. Ilan holds BSc and MSc degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a PhD from the University of Tennessee.
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