Danielle Knueppel supports CNFA’s efforts to address climate change and environmental challenges through the organization’s programmatic activities and operations. In her role as CNFA’s associate technical director, Climate and Environment, she collaborates across the organization’s business development, programmatic and corporate efforts related to climate and environmental sustainability.
Knueppel has over 15 years of experience managing programs, research and partnerships in support of regenerative and climate-smart agriculture systems and producer livelihoods. She has led and contributed to projects in various parts of the world, encompassing a wide range of topics, including climate change adaptation and mitigation, supply chain development, protection of natural resources, farmer profitability and food security. She is motivated by harnessing the power of markets and trade to find solutions that restore natural ecosystems and improve the livelihoods of rural and agricultural communities.
Before joining CNFA, Knueppel worked in agricultural extension with Oregon State University, teaching community horticulture and working to advance regenerative agriculture and promote soil and water conservation. For four years, she worked in the coffee sector with World Coffee Research leading a global program to assess climate-smart agricultural practices and coffee varieties, and with TechnoServe in Ethiopia, overseeing programming to support coffee farmers, cooperatives and processors in applying environmental and social sustainability standards. As an agriculture foreign service officer with USAID for seven years, based in West Africa and Nepal, she helped design and manage initiatives that expand farmers’ access to inputs, information, financing and markets to improve sustainable agricultural production, trade and food security.
Knueppel’s career began in the horticulture sector, farming at an organic fresh-cut herbs farm and working as a grower in a plant nursery in Colorado. Her interest in international development took root during her tenure as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania. Several years later she returned to the country to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of a chicken vaccination project. Knueppel holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Purdue University and a Master of Science in International Agricultural Development from the University of California-Davis. She is fluent in German and has an intermediate level of proficiency in French and Swahili.