At One Acre Fund, we are a family of leaders who put Farmers First. To guide our work, we use a decentralized leadership structure that keeps our decision-making as close to our clients as possible. Our global Leadership Council aligns on organization-wide strategic goals and vision. Our country directors and steering committees lead our country-level strategy and growth. And our senior field leaders oversee our service delivery to more than 1 million farm families.
Andrew Youn started One Acre Fund in 2006 with co-founders Eric Pohlman in Rwanda and John Gachunga in Kenya. The organization was inspired by two farmers in Kenya working similar plots of land. The differences were small: one planted in rows, while the other broadcasted seed. One could afford higher quality farm products. Yet one farmer harvested four times as much food as the other. Providing access to better farm products and education on farming techniques became the driving mission behind One Acre Fund.
Our 18-person Leadership Council aligns on broad strategic goals and high-level vision for the organization. The Council guides major organizational drives, such as defining our 2030 vision, and then advises our country operations as needed. In 2021, we redesigned this leadership group to better represent our multicultural team and critical organizational functions. Half of the seats are held by nationals of African countries, and half by women.
Country Directors & Steering Committees
Our country directors and deputy country directors guide the strategy for our country-level operations. Each confers with key deputies and a steering committee, generally made up of department leaders, to make programmatic decisions. Together this group sets long-term operational and expansion goals for their teams, guides our financial strategies, and weighs in on our country staffing plans and trial pipelines.
Our Field Staff Management teams and our 23 senior field directors lead our field operations, ensuring that 1 million farmers have a great experience with our program. On a daily basis, our field leaders manage large teams and ensure that farmers receive on-time farm products and high-quality trainings. They plan strategies to expand our program, and hold us accountable for providing valuable services that put food on farmers’ tables and incomes in their pockets.
Our roughly 25 global directors lead support teams that provide consistent services across the organization. Global departments such as Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Procurement, and Technology develop efficient processes for a growing organization, and provide specialized support to in-country teams.
Our Commitment to Diverse Leadership
As we describe our leadership today, it’s important to also share where our leadership is headed. We are deeply committed to senior leadership that better represents the staff, farmers, and countries we serve.
To that end, we have established clear goals for diversifying both our global Leadership Council and country Steering Committees. All leadership bodies will have at least 50 percent representation of nationals of African countries in 2021, and we expect this to grow over time.