Dr Yilma Kebede
Dr Yilma Kebede
Chair, Program Committee

Dr Yilma Kebede is a distinguished leader in agricultural research and plant breeding, bringing over 30 years of experience as a seasoned grant-maker and strategist. Throughout his career, he has successfully implemented and funded agricultural and food security programs through foundations, national and international research centers, and the private sector. Most recently, he excelled in funding and managing portfolios focused on small grains crop improvement, seed systems, and African agricultural development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

During his tenure as an ICRISAT Research Fellow from 2017 to 2019, Dr. Kebede played a crucial role in supporting the implementation of breeding program assessment recommendations for ICRISAT mandate crops, including Sorghum, Millet, Chickpea, Pigeon pea, and Groundnuts. 

In his capacity as a Senior Program Officer under the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from 2008 to 2016, Dr. Kebede demonstrated his commitment to advancing global agricultural initiatives. Prior to his foundation work, he dedicated almost two decades to research with DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred International (now Corteva). 

Dr. Kebede earned his PhD in Plant Breeding from Texas A&M University, Texas, USA, and a Master of Science in Crop Physiology from the University of Guelph, Canada. Currently, he serves as a member of the AGRA-PASS Advisory Council and was previously a member of the Steering Committee for the Dryland Cereals CRP (CGIAR). 

Dr. Kebede continues to contribute significantly to the advancement of agricultural research and development on the global stage.