Joe Cornelius, Ph.D.
Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations
As CEO of Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations (also known as Gates Ag One), Joe Cornelius guides the organization’s efforts to champion innovations and cultivate global networks that prioritize the needs of smallholder farmers. Joe began his career on a small, diversified family farm and has dedicated his professional life to improving the world through agricultural advancements. Most recently, he led efforts to strengthen agriculture’s adaptive capacity to climate change at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he served as a director for its Global Growth and Opportunity Division. Joe has more than 30 years’ experience developing and launching new product inventions and has led breakthrough life-science research at multiple organizations including the Advanced Research Projects Agency in the U.S. Department of Energy. Joe holds a Ph.D. and M.Sci. in plant, soil and environmental science, as well as an MBA in technology entrepreneurship.