Today, we would like to share an update on changes at One Acre Fund’s senior-most leadership level. These changes will take effect next year and are the result of careful planning. These shifts will add important capacity to One Acre Fund’s senior leadership team and strengthen the organization overall.
One Acre Fund has grown over the past 17 years, and with it, our ambition. We worked with just a handful of farmers in 2006, and today we serve more than 4 million farmers through both full-service programs and operating partnerships. We aim to serve 10 million smallholder farmers by 2030 and empower them to sustainably create $1 billion in new profits and assets. To achieve this vision, we are adding more leadership bandwidth to the organization.
CEO to transition to President
After 17 years as One Acre Fund’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder, Andrew Youn will transition into a new role as One Acre Fund’s President in March 2024.
In his role as One Acre Fund’s CEO, Andrew has overseen both fundraising and operations since 2006. As President, Andrew will focus primarily on shaping special initiatives together with strategic funding partners. In turn, this will create room for a new Chief Executive Officer to devote singular energy to our field operations in nine countries.
Having both a CEO and President will be a valuable addition to the organization. This will bring more leadership power to One Acre Fund as a whole, strengthening both organizational resource development and program operations in the long run.
Introducing our new CEO
Eric Pohlman will become the next One Acre Fund Chief Executive Officer in March 2024.
Following a rigorous and inclusive 3-month CEO selection process advised by a Kenyan talent and search firm, the board has unanimously voted to appoint Eric Pohlman, One Acre Fund’s co-founder and current Country Director for Rwanda, as the next CEO.
As a One Acre Fund co-founder, Eric started the Rwanda program in 2007 and served as its first Field Officer. Under his leadership, the Rwanda Program has grown from serving 38 farmers to more than 750,000 farmers today, with additional government and private sector partnerships that reach nearly every household in the country. Eric is a visionary program leader with a demonstrated track record in delivering results. He is also a strong people leader and has helped build a diverse and inclusive team of leaders within the organization. Eric lived in rural Rwanda for 12 years and now lives in Kigali.
Introducing our new Rwanda Country Director
As Eric prepares to step into his new role in early 2024, Belinda Bwiza – Rwanda’s Deputy Country Director – will become the next Rwanda Country Director.
As an organization, we are very fortunate to have a deep, diverse leadership talent bench. This allows us to deploy in-house talent and skills in key leadership positions, which in turn guarantees our ability to continue delivering impact to farmers for many more years to come. We are therefore delighted to announce that Belinda Bwiza, our current Rwanda Deputy Country Director, will succeed Eric as the next Rwanda Country Director.
Belinda joined One Acre Fund in 2018, bringing a wealth of existing experience in enterprise management. Belinda has led the growth of our Rwanda Field program to national scale, more than doubling the number of farmers our Rwanda program serves. Additionally, she has a valuable breadth of experience, having managed our systems, people, retail, and tree functions, as well as strong external leadership experience having served on several prominent boards in Rwanda. We are looking forward to Belinda’s continuing leadership of the Rwanda Program in her expanded role.
Continuing to put Farmers First
We remain guided by our mission and purpose: One Acre Fund exists to create impact for farmers. We have an organisation-wide vision to help 10 million farmers become more prosperous by 2030, and this expansion of our strategic partnership-building capacity will better position us for success in the next decade and create a stronger organisation for the future.
— James Mwangi, Board Chair, and One Acre Fund’s Governing Board.