Dr. Joe Cornelius is the chief executive officer for Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations, known as Gates Ag One, which aims to ensure high-quality, cutting-edge crop innovations are available and accessible to small holder farmers in developing countries. Joe began his career on a small family farm and now brings more than 30 years experience and a continued dedication to improving the world through agricultural advancements.
Prior to leading Gates Ag One, Joe served as a director for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Growth & Opportunity Division and as program director for the Advanced Research Projects Agency in the U.S. Department of Energy, where he led transformational platform efforts in computational agriculture, smart-farm technologies and the sustainable management of carbon, nitrogen, and water to improve terrestrial and marine ecosystems while mitigating greenhouse gas fluxes into the atmosphere.
Joe has led cutting edge life-science research and development for companies like Bayer, Monsanto, Pfizer, and BASF. Notably, Joe collaboratively developed and launched over 75 new product inventions and 8 Ag-Tech start-ups across 60 countries.
Joe holds a PhD in plant genetics and molecular biology and a MS in plant physiology and biochemistry from Michigan State University.