Our Leadership

John Ellenberger

Senior Vice President

John leads the Land O’Lakes International Development organization, a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1981 by Land O’Lakes, Inc.  He assumed the role in January, 2017 after leading U.S. Dairy Foods and dairy foods teams since 2008. Before joining Land O’Lakes, John led corporate marketing at American Medical Systems and spent 15 years in various marketing leadership roles at General Mills. John serves on the boards of the American Butter Institute, ServeMinnesota and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. He earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Minnesota.

Timothy Nzioka
Malawi Country Director and MSIKA Chief of Party

Timothy Nzioka is Land O’Lakes International Development’s Malawi Country Director and MSIKA Chief of Party. Mr. Nzioka joined Land O’Lakes in 2013 as Chief of Party for the USAID-funded Powering African Agriculture program. He has over 20 years of development experience acquired working in several African countries, including 7 years with the United States African Development Foundation as their Country Representative in Uganda and later as their Regional Representative for Eastern Africa. He also spent 6 years as the CEO for the Kenya Gatsby Trust. Tim established his own consulting firm where he was responsible for more than 20 major consulting assignments in several African countries over a period of 6 years, in areas including institutional development, impact investing, technical assistance in value chain development, technology and market linkages. He has a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Stirling in the U.K., and received his undergraduate degree in Economics.

Mary Jo Robinson
Director of Finance, Administration and IT

Mary Jo Robinson is the Director of Finance, Administration and IT for Land O’Lakes International Development. Mary Jo has been with Land O’Lakes for 25 years. During that time she has held a variety of financial and operational roles with both Land O’Lakes, Inc. and Land O'Lakes International Development. She has worked exclusively in international development since 2002. Mary Jo holds a BA in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, an MBA in International Financial Management from the University of St. Thomas, and is registered as a Certified Public Accountant with the State of Minnesota.

Lauren Ruth
Director of Program Operations

Lauren Ruth is the Director of Program Operations for Land O'Lakes International Development. Lauren provides oversight to the program operations, contracts and compliance, and commodity departments. Previously, she worked with Land O’Lakes in Africa as Country Manager for Zambia programs and as Chief of Party for the Tanzania Dairy Development Program. Prior to working with Land O’Lakes, Lauren spent 7 years at Chemonics International, including as the Deputy Chief of Party of a $30 million agriculture competitiveness and export program in Ghana. Lauren has supported programs in more than 20 countries. Lauren started her work in international development as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, West Africa.

Leah Lamon
Director of Communications
Leah joined the Land O'Lakes International Development team in September as Director of Communications. But, she isn’t new to Land O’Lakes. Leah spent the past three years as the Director of Integrated Marketing Communications for the Dairy Foods business. In that role, she was part of the team that identified and hired a new communications agency and developed new brand frameworks and new campaigns for the Land O’Lakes and Kozy Shack brands. With the Land O’Lakes Foundation, she developed the Pin a Meal. Give a Meal. cause marketing campaign, which donated $900,000 to Feeding America. Prior to Land O’Lakes, Leah worked in Marketing Communication roles at General Mills, CNS (the Breathe Right company), Minnesota Public Radio and Airborne. She has a B.S. in Food Science and an MBA in Marketing, both from the University of Minnesota. Leah has two daughters, and is looking forward to diving in, learning a lot, getting her boots on the ground and making a difference with the ID team.
Greg Grothe
Senior Manager of Technical Practice Areas and Partnerships
Greg Grothe serves as Senior Manager of Technical Practice Areas and Partnerships at Land O’Lakes International Development. Greg leads a team providing technical expertise in dairy, livestock, crops and inclusive finance - leveraging rigorous analytics, a market systems approach and private sector partnerships to drive successful project implementation and new business growth. Over his 17-year career, Greg has served in international business roles in financial services and agribusiness industries. He also serves on the board of the Overseas Cooperative Development Council. He is an alumnus of St. Olaf College, holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

Meredith Saggers

Senior Manager of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) 
Meredith Saggers is the Senior Manager of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) for Land O’Lakes International Development. In this role, she leads the strategic direction of MEL and oversees the implementation of MEL activities. Meredith has over 10 years of experience developing and implementing monitoring and evaluation systems in agriculture, education and women’s economic empowerment programs in the developing world.  Prior to joining Land O’Lakes, Meredith worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at International Center for Research on Women. Meredith holds Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Biochemistry from Bucknell University and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Virginia.
Work With Us

Join Our Team

We invite experienced applicants with backgrounds in agriculture or international development to become part of our diverse team of employee and volunteer professionals who support our work in the U.S. and abroad. Come explore a wide range of exciting opportunities – from short-term consultancies to long-term positions to a variety of volunteer possibilities – that promise to challenge and reward you.