Kedest Tesfagiorgis is Acting Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As leader of the Innovation Platforms team within Discovery & Translational Sciences, she focuses on sourcing innovative solutions for global health and development through programs including Grand Challenges, a family of grant initiatives that uses public, transparent challenge calls to direct resources toward issues that affect the world’s most vulnerable people. She also manages the Discovery & Translational Sciences team’s scientific partnerships and pan-African scientific initiatives. Kedest works with partners inside and outside the foundation to advance the Grand Challenges agenda and build new collaborations to catalyze innovation for health and development. She leads the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting, a yearly scientific convening that builds global support for investment in research and innovation. She helped shape the initial Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) strategy and led the development and successful implementation of the GCE initiative. She also spearheaded the program development and execution that led to the creation of the Alliance to Accelerate Excellence in Science in Africa – now home of Grand Challenges Africa, which along with Grand Challenges India is one of the foundation’s flagship programs to support locally-led science and innovation. Along with global partners, Kedest continues to lead efforts aimed at creating a highly coordinated, well-funded and African-led research innovation enterprise.