Vanessa is a proven leader with strong private sector, investment facilitation and project management experience with 25 years of progressive experience in 42 countries integrating over twelve agricultural and consumer goods value chains into regional and global markets.
Vanessa most recently served as Director of Strategic Partnerships for DAI. Previously, she worked in West Africa as the Export Business Development Director, Trade and Investment Director, and ultimately the Chief of Party (Regional Director) on the USAID West Africa Trade Hub program, Chief of Party in Ethiopia on the USAID flagship Agricultural Growth Program–Agribusiness and Market Development Program, and Chief of Party of the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub. She contributed to the founding of three pan-African nongovernmental organizations, including the African Cashew Alliance, Borderless Alliance, and Global Shea Alliance, as well as initiating the Women in Agribusiness Leadership Network in Ethiopia and has brokered partnerships with fortune 500 companies. She holds an executive MBA from INSEAD.