Our Team

Leadership team

SPI was founded on the notion of enabling others to improve their local circumstances. As such, SPI’s organizational structure and team philosophy is focused on enabling in-geography implementing partners to support and empower end-user beneficiaries.
We have a small leadership team that is highly integrated with a high-level of cross-training and mutual responsibility. When you talk to one of us you can feel assured you are talking with all of us. Our leadership team mobilizes first-in-class expertise that resides in our supporting technical partner network to address the continually emerging and evolving needs of our implementing partners.
Keep it focused, keep it LEAN, keep it timely. This is how SPI operates to ensure that every dollar we receive generates maximum benefit for families around the world who are using vegetable production as part of their approach to improve their livelihoods.


CEO and President

Robyn is an ecologist with over 15 years of experience in environmental consulting, ecological restoration, and program management. She has experience leading and executing complex, multi-stakeholder projects to protect and enhance our environment. Robyn understands the importance of agriculture in developing resilient environmental systems that sustain humanity. Robyn has overall responsibility for SPI’s management. In her free time Robyn enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and hiking.


Georgia Beasley


Programs and Partnerships Director

Georgia brings a decade of project management, development, and fieldwork experience to the administrative branch of SPI. Georgia has worked in East Africa and Latin America, with a particular focus on the intersection between healthy food systems, economies and communities, and on creating strategies to cultivate climate resilience. She has a BA in Global Studies with a focus on International Development. Georgia has responsibility for Program Development, Donor Relations, and Day-to-Day Ops. You’ll likely find her catching waves on her surfboard in her free time.


Strategy and Operations Director

Brian has over 20 years of experience in academia, philanthropy, and the private sector including previous stints at Land O’Lakes, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and CIMMYT. With an Anthropology degree and a doctorate in Plant Sciences, Brian’s interests focus on the need for combining technical and social solutions to seed sector challenges. He discovered his passion for seeds and working with smallholder farmers while learning from highland farmers in Mexico and Panama. Brian is responsible for seed logistics and technical contributions to Partnerships, Programs, and Projects. In his free time Brian enjoys a good game of pick-up futbol as well as improvement projects around the house.


Pete Perez

SPI Chair
Retired: EVP Human Resources, ConAgra Foods

Jack Bernens

SPI Vice-Chair
JTB Ventures, Inc. 
Retired: Head, Enogen Business at Syngenta

Jason Nickerson

SPI Treasurer
Principal @ Context Network

Thomas Tolman

SPI Secretary
Retired: President, Condor Seed Production

Milcah Kigoni

SPI Board Member
PhD Candidate, Crop Science
University of Illinois

Alan Krivanek

SPI Board Member
Retired: Tomato Breeder, Seminis

June Lavelle

SPI Board Member
Owner and Chief Consultant,
Lavelle & Associates, Inc.

Antonius Van Der Velden

SPI Board Member
Retired: President and CEO,
Enza Zaden USA Inc.


Tim and John Batcha

Tim Batcha (left), Board Emeritus, CFO, Standard Holding Company; John Batcha (right), Board Emeritus, Post-humous, Founder, Seed Programs International

Gary Kushner

Legal Counsel to the Board, Hogan Lovells Law Firm

Seed Programs International is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates globally.  

Our EIN/Tax ID is 56-2092576. Thank you for your support!

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