Kedest Tesfagiorgis

Deputy Director, Global Partnerships & Grand Challenges, Discovery & Translational Sciences
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Kedest Tesfagiorgis leads the Global Partnerships & Grand Challenges team within the Discovery & Translational Sciences program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ms. Tesfagiorgis is deeply committed to building collaborative, inclusive, long-term partnerships that address the biggest challenges in health and development. Over the past decade, her work has centered on facilitating partnerships with scientists and science funders, primarily through Grand Challenges, a program launched in 2003 to encourage innovators to take risks to solve the hardest health problems affecting those most in need. She has helped grow Grand Challenges into a global network, supporting partners in India, across Africa, and elsewhere to create their own innovation programs. In addition to continuing to run the Grand Challenges platform together with a growing set of partners, she also convenes advocates, funders, policymakers, and thought leaders to create a global innovation ecosystem that consistently delivers impact. Ms. Tesfagiorgis is responsible for the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting, the foundation’s flagship platform for accelerating science for impact. 

Beyond her work within the foundation, she serves as an advisor to people seeking to build effective coalitions and networks, especially in low- and middle-income countries.