Welcome to the team, Lucy! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your experience?
Hello! I have recently joined Grow Asia and have a background in international trade and agriculture. My career to date has been primarily based in the public sector as a UK civil servant, and I have spent the last three and a half years as an agri-food and environment international trade negotiator. During this time, I led chapter negotiations for the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement, UK’s first trade agreement since leaving the EU, as well as the UK’s application to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). I look forward to using the strategic and engagement skills I’ve built through my experience working at the nexus of international trade and agriculture in the Asia-Pacific region in my new role at Grow Asia.
Could you tell us a little about the Regional Manager, International Trade and Development position? Why is this work important?
International trade and development priorities can be a critical lever for change in the promotion of inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems. My role is to maximize the input and support from Grow Asia’s trade and development partners, both new and existing, to enable our programs to have the greatest impact for smallholder farmers. In practice this means I will be building strong relationships with public sector entities to understand their priorities, working strategically to identify areas of shared interest, and connecting the public sector entities to Grow Asia’s dynamic regional network to deliver on their shared priorities. Another key pillar of my work will be continuing to strengthen our relationship with the ASEAN Secretariat. As an entity associated with ASEAN, Grow Asia is a delivery partner that supports the implementation of ASEAN priorities. I will be working to deepen our alignment and collaboration with this key partner.
What excites you most about joining the Grow Asia network?
Firstly, I’m excited to be joining an organization that is making a tangible difference to farmers. My career to date has been largely focused on developing the broader policy and trading conditions to enable farmers to thrive, so it’s great to be part of a network that includes both delivery as well as strategy and policy.
What has also become clear in my short time in Grow Asia so far is the passion that the individuals across the organization have for the work that Grow Asia is delivering. I’m looking forward to working alongside as well as learning from these like-minded people who share my enthusiasm for the goals of Grow Asia.
It's a little cliche, but what are your priorities for your first 100 days in this role?
People are at the heart of how we deliver so my initial priority will be getting to know the teams in Grow Asia, particularly learning from the expertise of our country partnerships, as well as our key partners and stakeholders. This will be critical for me to understand the current baseline, identify growth opportunities, and build relationships to help capitalize on these opportunities.
Lucy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Lucy, you can read her bio here.