Joseph (Joe) Torres is Director of Operations at Grand Challenges Canada, supporting Operations, Communications, IT, Legal, Administration and Finance as well as advises on new Grand Challenge initiatives.
Joe has over ten years of international development experience creating new Grand Challenges programs, while optimizing organizational systems and processes. Prior to Grand Challenges Canada, Joe was the Program Manager for the Grand Challenges initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading all business and operations of the Grand Challenges Explorations program, funding over 1,300 grants from innovators around the world to develop new ideas to improve lives of people in low-and-middle income countries. Joe helped develop new Grand Challenge country-specific platforms in India, Brazil, and the continent-wide Grand Challenges Africa platform. Before the Foundation, Joe worked at the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, teaching non-scientists and community members about basic vaccinology and clinical trials in South America, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to that, Joe coordinated the Human Research and Ethics training programs at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Early in his career, he worked for an Insurance Defense Law Firm as Staff Supervisor and Legal Assistant focused on fraud prevention and other special investigations.
Joe has a degree in English and Comparative Literature from San Diego State University and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Washington. Joe currently is on the Board of Directors of the Global Innovation Exchange, a platform for innovators working in international development to connect and find additional funding. Joe was recently on the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together Seattle, a non-profit providing free home repairs for low income, disabled and elderly homeowners. In his free time, Joe enjoys long-distance road cycling, soccer and travelling the world.