Jane Maland Cady joined McKnight in 2008 as founding director of its International program. During her tenure, she has overseen grantmaking focused on equitable and sustainable livelihoods in more than 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Central to her work is agroecological research with smallholder farmers and natural resource rights for local communities.
Committed to inclusive and networked collaboration, Jane has played a key role in developing and growing numerous critical organizations. These include several lower Mekong networks and the Global Alliance for the Future of Food—a strategic coalition of philanthropic foundations that advances healthy, equitable, resilient, and culturally diverse food and agriculture systems. She serves as co-chair of the Global Alliance steering committee.
Jane possesses vast experience in ecologically centered food systems as a teacher, researcher, evaluator, and implementer on the ground. Before joining McKnight, she was an independent research and evaluation consultant for 15 years, working domestically and internationally with community development initiatives and agriculture systems. Her experience includes work with the private sector across the natural and organic foods value chain from certification to production and retail. Additionally, she helped expand USA markets for fair trade and organic products from South America and the USA.
Jane has a PhD and an MA in agricultural education from the University of Minnesota and a BA in social justice from Augsburg University. She has lived and worked extensively in Brazil and parts of Latin America. Raised on a southern Minnesota farm, she is committed to working with farmers to promote sustainability and equity in agriculture and food systems worldwide. She is an avid gardener and the mother of four.