Press Release

CNFA Names Patricia Costa as Vice President of Program Development

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization based in Washington, D.C., announced Patricia Costa as its new vice president of Program Development. Costa started her new role on November 1, 2022, after previously working as the organization’s associate vice president of Program Development.

Costa brings more than 15 years of experience working with the public and private sectors to improve food security, competitiveness, and workforce development. In her role as vice president, Costa will lead CNFA’s program development process, including the development of strategic partnerships, as well as the strategic direction and design of CNFA’s agricultural market systems development programs.

“Costa’s strong research-driven background combined with her solid experience in developing partnerships—specifically between the public and private sectors—to drive economic and environmentally sustainable growth make her uniquely qualified to drive our program development efforts,” said CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy.

Prior to joining CNFA, Costa worked at Mathematica, a social science research firm, where she led evaluations and business development efforts related to agriculture, workforce development, clean energy, private sector investment and public-private partnerships. Before that, Costa worked at Abt Associates where she led business development efforts focused on international economic growth.

“I have long admired CNFA for their mission and the tremendous talent that they bring to the table,” said Costa. “As I transition into the role of vice president, I hope to continue this pattern of success, to bring together diverse views and perspectives and to inspire my team to be versatile, collaborative and agile. I look forward to establishing complementary partnerships that further our mission and deepen our work with the private sector.”

In addition to her work with the Program Development team, Costa leads CNFA’s net zero activities, which are designed to reduce the organization’s emissions and waste, and to integrate climate-smart solutions into its program designs.

Costa began her career in the renewable energy sector before working in agriculture and has since supported communities from Mozambique to Morocco to improve their environmental sustainability and food security. Costa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and a Master of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Costa is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in French and German. She also has a basic understanding of Portuguese.


About CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) is an international agricultural development organization that specializes in the design and implementation of sustainable, enterprise-based agricultural initiatives. CNFA works with businesses, foundations, governments, and communities to build customized local and global partnerships that meet the world’s growing demand for food. Since its inception in 1985, CNFA has designed and implemented enterprise-based, agricultural development initiatives to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, increase productivity and improve access to inputs and financing in 47 countries.