Barbara Zilly studied Regional Sciences of Latin America, an interdisciplinary course of Political and Economic Sciences, Romanic History and Languages at the University of Cologne – the starting point for her interest in international work. She has worked in international relief, rehabilitation & development in different countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia for the last 20 years. Her work consisted of the management of multiple projects and programs mostly in complex political and/or socio-economic circumstances. This has given her deep insights into diverse cultures and people.
Food & nutrition security and organic agriculture became her main interest while understanding more and more the need to find solutions and answers to the growing challenges such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, hunger and malnutrition. In 2016, she joined IFOAM – Organics International as Head of the Capacity Development Department and considers herself a change agent for the promotion of truly sustainable agriculture worldwide.