Keith Polo

About Us

Leadership Team

Keith Polo

Lead, Agribusiness Investment and Advisory

Keith Polo is a seasoned agricultural development specialist known for his extensive work with the private sector, governments, and smallholder farmers to improve the performance of food and agricultural systems in some of the world’s most challenging locations and frontier markets contenxts, such as Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal. Over the past 15 years, his work has spanned several major development organizations in a variety of senior management, technical, and consulting roles across Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. 
At ImagineNations Group, Keith leads the organization’s work developing major new agricultural initiatives that bring together private investors, commercial agricultural operators, smallholder farmers, public sector partners and a variety of service providers to build more sustainable agricultural market systems across Africa. Prior to joining ImagineNations Group, Keith led the creation and expansion of Mercy Corps’ global agricultural development practice area for 10 years, positioning the organization as a global leader in agricultural development and improving the well-being of nearly 1 million smallholder farmers annually.
Keith has a deep portfolio of building and managing successful partnerships across a wide variety of public, private and civil society actors in order to achieve greater business performance and societal impact. He has successfully worked closely with many leading private sector and institutional partners, such as Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and most major bilateral and multilateral donor agencies. 

Keith is well connected in the major development markets and speaks regularly at many Ag-related forums and workshops. Most recently, he has served on the Advisory Committee of the annual Cracking the Nut Conference, which is a premier global forum focused on improving rural and agricultural market development.  Keith is also on the board of the Abundance Farming Project, a start-up organization that promotes leading-edge technology related to climate smart agriculture. 

Keith earned his M.Sc. degree in Agronomy, with a focus on International Agricultural Development, from the University of Illinois, his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science from Illinois State University, and an Advanced Diploma in Sustainability and Food Policy from the Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche, Italy. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia in the mid-90s.  Keith was born and raised on his family’s commercial farm in Illinois and now lives outside of Florence, Italy, raising his own family on a farm where he operates a small niche-market olive oil operation in his spare time.