Sylvain Roy, CNFA’s president and chief executive officer (CEO), is an agribusiness specialist with more than 35 years of expertise in agriculture, business and international development. Roy has worked throughout his career to advance the rights and livelihoods of farmers and their workers, and to improve the quality, productivity and efficiency of rural enterprises around the world.
Roy took on his first agricultural leadership position as a young sheep farmer in his native Canada, presiding over the East Quebec Sheep Producer’s Union to support farmers’ efforts to gain better access to markets.
In 1992, he began his international development career, moving to Africa to oversee various development projects aimed at lifting rural populations out of poverty. During his time overseas in Africa and elsewhere, Roy was active in a wide range of agribusiness segments—including dairy production and processing in Cameroon, grain marketing in Mali, and coffee and cacao micro-finance in Togo. Among other efforts, he also worked to increase access to agricultural inputs in the entire West African region, and to improve horticulture competitiveness in Kosovo.
In 2009, Roy returned to North America to join CNFA as vice president, Programs, overseeing CNFA’s worldwide program portfolio. He was promoted to the position of executive vice president in 2012, and in 2014 became the 35-year-old organization’s second-ever president and CEO.
Today, as president and CEO, Roy leads and coaches a team of more than 70 employees at CNFA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters—and oversees an organization of more than 490 employees in 21 countries of operations worldwide. Roy also is president of CNFA Europe, which promotes CNFA’s international development model among European partners and clients.
Roy holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Agribusiness from Laval University in Quebec City, Canada. He is a devoted endurance sportsperson with 20 marathons, and a triathlon Ironman. He lives with his family on a small farm in Maryland.