Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Kristy Leissle

Kristy Leissle 2019

Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; Public Administration


2004 Fellows

Hometown: New York, NY

Travel Locations: Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, South Africa, Lesotho, India, Finland

Alumni Reflections

How did the Bonderman impact your life?

“The Bonderman travel experience gave me knowledge and courage. Knowledge that wherever I was in the world, whatever slice of life and planet I was experiencing, that WAS the world. I did not need to seek further; I was already there. And the courage to accept being present, and commit to it. Yes, I was constantly moving, journeying to new places, alone. But I learned in the journeying to be still, be aware, be alive to the place in the now. I don’t know of any greater gift.”

What are you doing now?

“I’m Founder and CEO of African Cocoa Marketplace, Inc., a digital marketplace that elevates the value of African cocoa products and services. It’s the best.”

Dr. Leissle recently published Cocoa, a book that examines the cocoa value chain around the world.  She is currently engaged in research on cocoa and chocolate in Africa for her next book.  She is also Co-Founder of the Cocoapreneurship Institute of Ghana, which supports entrepreneurs working in cocoa and chocolate industries in West Africa.