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Joanna Kane-Potaka

Joanna Kane-Potaka

Deputy Director General for Strategy, Engagement, and Impact


As IRRI’s Deputy Director General for Strategy, Engagement, and Impact, Joanna oversees institutional strategy development and external facing functions including Regional & Country Representations; Communications and Advocacy; Portfolio Development and Management Office; IRRI Technology Transfer; and IRRI Education.

Background and Experience 

Joanna is a marketing expert with global leadership in public, private sectors and with non profit organizations including four CGIAR centers - WorldFish, Bioversity, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and most recently at  International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) as the Assistant Director General of External Relations. 

She began her career as an agricultural economist and later moved into market research in agribusiness and spent most of her career in international development. Bringing her professional experience in Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe with specific expertise in strategic marketing, communications, business development, knowledge management, and uptake of scientific research, Joanna works towards having big impact-on health of the people and the planet. She founded the Smart Food Global Movement, recognized by USA and Australian governments in the top 10 global food innovations in 2017. 


  • Professional Post Graduate Diploma of Marketing - The Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom

  • Graduate Diploma of Management (Marketing Dissertation) - University of Central Queensland, Australia

  • Master of Science in Global Marketing - University of Wales

  • Bachelor of Economics - University of New England