John Engels

Technical Director and Lead Writer

John Engels is an international development expert with experience in food security, health, humanitarian programming, community stabilization and education. As a technical director and lead writer, he is responsible for communicating CNFA’s technical expertise in response to donor and private-sector solicitations.

Engels has supported business development activities throughout his career, including writing, editing and collaborating with technical experts to translate ideas and evidence into winning solutions. Most recently, Engels served as director of advocacy, communications and knowledge management for a Gates Foundation-funded newborn health program where he helped the project prioritize and plan advocacy activities, document results, organize knowledge-sharing and press events and share learning through traditional and social media. Prior to this, he was director of communications at International Relief & Development (IRD).

Engels began his international development career with Peace Corps, serving as an English teacher in Kenyan secondary schools and afterward as a Fulbright professor teaching literature at the University of Burundi. He has also worked for various nonprofits, including AED, FHI (now FHI 360) and Save the Children. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from St. Michael’s College and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Alabama.