Joseph (Joe) Torres is the Director of Funder & Partner Relations at Grand Challenges Canada and is responsible for sourcing and nurturing key relationships for the organization with a priority on key funders, strategic partnerships, prospective new partners, and for developing approaches to engagement, collaboration, and innovation that adds value to each funder and partner organization.
Joe comes to us from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he was the Program Manager for the Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases team in the Global Health Division, providing strategic and operational support across all priority enteric pathogens for the $300M portfolio. Prior to that role, Joe was the Program Manager and lead for the Grand Challenges initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation managing all business, operations, and key partnerships on behalf the program. He has over twelve years of experience developing new Grand Challenges programs and partnerships, while optimizing the systems and processes to support them. Joe helped to develop new Grand Challenge country-specific programs in India, Brazil, and a pan-African Grand Challenges platform. He is a strategic advisor for developing new innovation platforms for public, private and government sponsored initiatives through open sourced innovation platforms and requests for proposals. During his time at the foundation, he served on the board of the Global Innovation Exchange, a platform connecting innovators to funding and key partnership opportunities.
Joe was seconded to Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) from the foundation as Director General of Operations & Administration from October 2017- October 2019 and is excited to be rejoining GCC. Before the foundation, Joe worked at the HIV Vaccine Clinical Network teaching non-scientists and community members about basic vaccinology and clinical trials across the globe. Earlier, he coordinated the Human Subjects Training and Ethics training programs for investigators working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. During his undergraduate studies, he worked for an Insurance Defense Law Firm as Staff Supervisor and Legal Assistant focused on fraud prevention.
Joe earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Comparative Literature from San Diego State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Washington. In his free time, he enjoys travel, cycling, sampling coffee from around the world, and volunteering for local community organizations.