Canaan Boyer is the project support specialist for the Next Generation Cassava Project (NextGen Cassava), which seeks to improve the lives of smallholder farmers, and increase food security in sub-Saharan Africa. In this role, she leads internal communications for over 100 team members and stakeholders all over the world, works closely with the project director on management of the project’s day-to-day activities, and coordinates reporting to the project’s funders (the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UKaid).
Canaan brings her long-held interest in intercultural communication to her work at Global Development. This interest took hold in high school, where she wished she had more time in her schedule to study multiple foreign languages—this wish was granted at Oberlin College, where she studied French and Spanish. After spending a year living in the Normandy region of France, she moved to Boston in 2006, where she completed a Master’s in French Literature at Boston University. Another year spent in France led her to shift career paths from academia to international education, and she spent four years on the staff of BU Study Abroad, managing undergraduate study abroad programs in France and Spain, as well as China, Australia, and New Zealand.
Canaan eventually returned to her home town of Ithaca, and joined the NextGen Cassava staff in March 2017. She has been very happy to be able to live close to family while working with many international colleagues and traveling extensively. She has been thrilled with the opportunity to explore sub-Saharan Africa, to encounter many new cultures and languages, and to be able to facilitate NextGen Cassava’s important work.