The breeding of crop plants is a highly effective means of increasing agricultural productivity in a sustainable and environmentally safe way. Prebreeding and population improvement not only capture essential genetic resources and move desired traits along variety development pipelines but also help assure the creation of broad and dynamic gene pools to meet future, unanticipated needs. To efficiently meet multiple breeding objectives requires both interdisciplinary collaboration and a grasp of a wide range of scientific knowledge and expertise. This chapter addresses a range of topics that define and govern potato breeding, drawing from the experiences of both international and regional potato breeding programs, to orient readers to the interlinked components of population improvement and variety development. Using a case study approach to discuss breeding objectives together with respective implications for breeding needs, methods, and awareness-raising approaches for impact, we detail some key research and achievements contributing to current state of the art. Major populations under improvement at the International Potato Center along with breeding objectives and trait levels selected are described in terms of the agroecologies or uses they address in developing country national programs; these are contrasted with a discussion of the Cornell University program that is oriented to the northeastern US. A sample stage gate process, accelerated multi-trait selection schemes, heritability and heterosis exploitation, genomic selection, data management, and end user consultations are introduced in the contexts of these two programs. The topic of this chapter is supported and augmented with further details on subjects closely related to potato breeding, provided in chapters contributed to this volume by Ortiz and Mihovilovich, Ghislain and Douches, Burgos et al., and Ellis et al. The authors hope that the content serves to orient researchers and managers in countries with different degrees of development to plan and succeed in impactful potato improvement programs.