Michelle DeFreese is a Senior Officer with GGGI embedded in the Ministry of Environment (MoE), (formerly Ministry of Natural Resources of Rwanda (MINIRENA)) to support the development of strategic initiatives aligned with the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) and the Rwandan National Strategy for Transformation (NST).
Prior to joining GGGI, Michelle worked as a Program and Partnerships Manager at the Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI), a USAID-funded, Feed the Future, collaborative project between the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MALF) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro, Tanzania. Previously, Michelle served as a Functional Reviewer with Global Integrity for the Rural Sector category of the sixth round of Africa Integrity Indicators research. She has also served as an Africa Research Fellow for the Young Professionals for Foreign Policy (YPFP).
Michelle holds a BSc in Anthropology from Rutgers University and an MA in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), University of Geneva.