Allison Grove Smith is the Director of CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat (CAS Secretariat). Allison has played a leading role in change management and strategic planning in development and research settings since 1998, working for a leading international NGO and a CGIAR research center, with side projects on sustainable business practices and sustainability financing. She has launched and led multi-locational and multi-disciplinary teams, managed portfolios of projects across a range of development and food systems research disciplines, and directed regional quality assurance and global business process design activities. Allison has lived and worked in the South Caucasus, Balkans and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Allison holds a Global Executive MBA from IE Business School and MSc in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University. Allison grew up between small family farms in the Chesapeake Bay area of the US and in Francistown, Botswana, kindling her passion for CGIAR’s mission.