Food Initiative/

Roy Steiner

Senior Vice PresidentFood Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation

Roy Steiner, PhD, is the Senior Vice President for the Food Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation, where he leads a team focused on creating access to nourishing food for millions of people in the U.S. and around the world, supporting scientific advances in human nutrition and sustainable food production, and carrying forward the Foundation’s enduring commitment to a sustainable Green Revolution in Africa.

Roy comes to The Rockefeller Foundation from the Omidyar Network, where he served as Director of the Intellectual Capital team since 2015, focused on helping Omidyar achieve its strategic objectives at all levels including in the agriculture space. He dedicated nearly a decade of his career to leadership positions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was a founding member of the Agricultural Development initiative and was instrumental in working with The Rockefeller Foundation to develop the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA. His work for Gates was central to the creation of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency, or ATA, which helps accelerate the growth and transformation of Ethiopia’s agriculture sector, and dozens of other partnerships that are critical to the fight against food insecurity around the world.

Before the Gates Foundation, Roy spent eight years in Africa where he was founder and CEO of Cyberplex Africa, one of the largest web development and knowledge management companies in southern Africa. Early in his career, he was an original founder and managing director of Africa Online, which pioneered the delivery of Internet service in Zimbabwe. Additionally, he was a founding member of CH2MHill’s Strategies Group and has consulted for McKinsey & Company in the areas of technology innovation, growth strategies and international development.

Roy holds a PhD and a Master of Science in agricultural and biological engineering with minors in economics and international development from Cornell University, as well as two bachelor degrees in mechanical engineering and biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Authored Content

  • Oct 20 2021
    Blog Post Our Food System Is at a Critical Juncture: How Do We Build a Better Food Future? This World Food Day came at a critical inflection point for our food systems. There is broad recognition that the way we eat now is failing to protect our health and the health of the planet. Despite enough food being produced annually to feed the world, 811 million people still go hungry and 3 billion […] Roy Steiner
  • Apr 03 2020
    Blog Post Five COVID-19 Reflections from a Food System Perspective—and How We Could Take Action   As confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased throughout the world, the immediate instinct of many people was to ensure that they had enough food. The images of empty grocery store shelves and closed restaurants are stark and important reminders of how much we depend on our food system and how central food is in our […] Daniel Skaven Ruben, Mehrdad Ehsani, Peiman Milani, Roy Steiner
  • Jan 31 2020
    Food Roy Steiner on Protective Foods For Roy Steiner, Senior Vice President for The Rockefeller Foundation’s Food Initiative, the best way to create #ImpactThroughInnovation is by enabling doctors to prescribe fruits & veggies, curbing diet-related diseases.
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