Dr Yilma Kebede is a recognized leader in agricultural research and plant breeding, seasoned grant-maker and strategist with more than 30 years of experience implementing and funding agricultural and food security programs via foundations, national and international research centers, and private sector–most recently, successfully funding and managing small grains crop improvement, seed systems and African agricultural development portfolios at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As an ICRISAT Research Fellow from 2017 to 2019, Dr Kebede supported implementation of breeding program assessment recommendations for ICRISAT mandate crops (Sorghum, Millet, Chick pea, Pigeon pea and Groundnuts).
Under the Global Development Program of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he served as Senior Program Officer from 2008 to 2016. He spent almost two decades with DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred International (now Corteva) in research.
Dr Kebede completed PhD in Plant Breeding in Texas A&M University, Texas, USA, and Master of Science in Crop Physiology in University of Guelph, Canada.
He is currently a member of AGRA-PASS Advisory Council. He was also a member of Steering Committee, Dryland Cereals CRP (CGIAR).
Dr Kebede is Ethiopian-American.