Dana is currently freelancing, continuing her work in international agricultural development while also exploring the Seattle startup scene. She is helping Sam Dryden with his Digital Thinking for Smallholders Initiative, an effort to envision a future for African food systems in which smallholder farmers – connected to previously inaccessible information, networks, and markets through digital technology – are the engine of agricultural growth. This summer, she’ll also be coaching for Koru, a start-up that's figuring out how to help recent college grads build relevant skills in a real-work setting and gets them hired at innovative, high-growth companies.
Until February 2015, Dana worked as a Program Officer within the Agricultural Development initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There she managed a portfolio of grants that were all about positioning smallholder farmers to realize the benefit of proven agricultural technologies and techniques. Her portfolio included programs connecting coffee and cashew farmers to value-added markets, providing nascent agricultural enterprises with access to capital, and delivering seed and fertilizer packages on credit to farmers through a social enterprise model.
Her earlier experience includes developing capacity building programs in Cambodia, and sales and marketing strategy development within the high tech and telecom sectors. She holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University, where she studied Economic Development and Finance, and a BA from the University of Virginia in Literature and Studio Art.