Global Crop Diversity Trust

A Foundation for Food Security

Board Members

Walter Fust (Switzerland), Member from 2010-2016 Chair of the Executive Board and Member of the Finance and Investment Committee  After his studies in public administration/international relations at the University of St. Gallen, Ambassador Fust commenced his diplomatic career serving at the Swiss Embassy in Baghdad and Tokyo. He subsequently assumed various functions in the Federal Administration and in the private sector, including the role of personal assistant to the President of the Confederation. He was then Managing Director of the Swiss Trade Promotion Office (OSEC) and Secretary General of the Ministry of Interior (Research, Environment, Culture, Health etc.).

Ambassador Fust headed the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for 15 years. Since his retirement, he has held mandates in the UN (Broadband Commission ITU/UNESCO, Committee of Experts on Public Administration). He furthermore serves on the Board of a number of international institutions (Coalition for a Dialog on Africa (CoDA); International Risk Governance Council (IRGC); Library of Alexandria) in addition to Philanthropy Foundations and Funding Funds.

Ambassador Fust served as a member of the Interim Panel of Eminent Experts, which acted as the interim Board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust prior to the establishment of the Executive Board. Ambassador Fust has been a member of the Executive Board of the Crop Trust since 2010. He is also a member of the Finance and Investment Committee

Timothy Andrew Fischer (Australia), Member from 2013-2015 and Vice-Chair of the Executive Board Ambassador Timothy Andrew Fischer served in the New South Wales Parliament (1971-84) and the Australian Federal Parliament (1984-2001) including as Leader of the National Party, Minister for Trade and Deputy Prime Minister (1996-99).  He was also Leader of the Official Australian Delegation which oversaw the ballot held on 30 August 1999 in East Timor.  More recently, he was appointed Ambassador to the Holy See (2008 – 2012). Prior to that, he was Chairman of Tourism Australia 2004-07, and of the Australia Thailand Institute 2005-08. He was Chairman of the Crawford Fund helping to host key conferences in Australia to provide outreach on agricultural topics.  In 2005 Tim Fischer was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia.

Lewis Coleman (USA), Member from 2007-2012, 2014-2016 and Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee Mr. Coleman currently serves as Vice-Chairman for DreamWorks Animation. He most recently held the position of President, a post to which he was appointed in December of 2005, having served as a Director of the Company since October 2004. As of March 2007, he was re-elected to the Board of Directors and assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Coleman played a lead role in the formation of a joint venture between DreamWorks Animation with China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment, Ltd. to establish the leading China-focused family entertainment company.

He was elected to the Northrop Grumman Board of Directors in 2001 and is currently lead independent director. He served as non-executive chairman of Northrop Grumman from January 2010 until July 2011.

Previously, he was the President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation from its founding in November 2000 to December 2004.
Prior to that, Mr. Coleman was employed by Banc of America Securities, formerly known as Montgomery Securities where he was a Senior Managing Director from 1995 to 1998 and Chairman from 1998 to 2000. Before he joined Montgomery Securities, Mr. Coleman spent ten years at the Bank of America and Bank of America Corporation where he was Head of Capital Markets, Head of the World Banking Group, and Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Financial Officer. He spent the previous thirteen years at Wells Fargo Bank where his positions included Head of International Banking, Chief Personnel Officer and Chairman of the Credit Policy Committee.

He is a member of the National Academies' Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy, a National Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow and a member of the Board of Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Sir Peter Crane (United Kingdom), Member from 2007-2012 and 2014-2016 Sir Peter Crane is the Carl W. Knobloch Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University.  His work focuses on the diversity of plant life – its origin, fossil history, current status, conservation and use.  From 1982 to 1999 he was at the Field Museum in Chicago, and from 1992 to 1999 served as Director with overall responsibility for the Museum’s scientific programmes. From 1999 to 2006 he was Director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, one of the largest, most prestigious and influential botanical gardens in the world. He returned to Chicago in 2006 as the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor at The University of Chicago, before being appointed at Yale in 2009.

Peter Crane was elected to the Royal Society – the UK academy of sciences – in 1998 and was knighted in the UK for services to horticulture and conservation in 2004.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and a Member of the German Academy Leopoldina.  He is the recipient of several honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate of science from Cambridge University, and currently serves on the Board of the Chicago Botanic Garden, The Field Museum, The Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas, WWF-US and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. 

Professor Gebisa Ejeta (Ethiopia) Member from 2014-2016 Professor Ejeta is Distinguished Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics and International Agriculture and serves as Executive Director of the Center for Global Food Security at Purdue University.  Gebisa has been a member of the faculty of Purdue University since 1984. His career has been devoted to education, research, and international development with contributions in human and institutional capacity building, in technology development and transfer, as well as in advocacy for science in support of the cause of the poor. 

Professor Ejeta has served in advisory roles to several international development agencies. He currently serves on the boards of the Chicago Council for Global Affairs’ Global Agricultural Development Initiative (GADI), the National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR), and the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Professor Ejeta has served the United States Government in several capacities, including as Special Advisor to the USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, as Science Envoy of the U.S. State Department, before being appointed by President Obama as member of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) in 2010.

The 2009 World Food Prize Laureate and a recipient of a national medal of honor from the President of Ethiopia, Ejeta is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Crop Science Society of America.  

Dr. Prem Lal Gautam (India) Member from 2014-2016 Dr. Gautam is currently the Vice Chancellor of Career Point University, Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh) India. Dr. Gautam has served in different positions in India, including Chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers’ Rights Authority (2010–2012); Chairman, National Biodiversity Authority (2008 -10); Deputy Director General, Crop Science, ICAR (2007-2008): Vice Chancellor G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar (2002-2007); National Director, National Agricultural Technology Project, ICAR (2000-2002); Director, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources ICAR (1997-2000); and Dean, College of Forestry, YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan (1991-1997). He is Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and has served as Past President of Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding and Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources. He was Vicechair, Bureau of 5th Session of International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources.

Marie Haga (Ex Officio, Executive Director) Marie Haga joined the Global Crop Diversity Trust as Executive Director in March 2013.  She had previously been member and Deputy Chair of the Global Crop Diversity Trust Executive Board.

Ms. Haga has a background from Foreign Service as a career diplomat, from politics and private sector.

She has held various positions in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affaires including to the Norwegian Mission to the United Nations in New York and the Embassy in New Delhi. She was politically appointed and held the position as State Secretary/Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affaires 1997-1999.

Ms. Haga has wide experience from politics and served as a Member of Parliament in Norway from 2001-2009. She was political advisor to the Minister for Development Cooperation from 1997-1998. She was Chairperson of the Centre Party from 2003-2008. Ms. Haga has held three Ministerial positions: Minister of Cultural Affairs (1999-2000), Minister of Local Government and Regional Development (2005-2007) and Minister of Petroleum and Energy (2007-2008).

Marie Haga has held the position as Director for Renewable Energy in the Federation of Norwegian Industries (2009-2011) and as Secretary General of the Norwegian Air Ambulance (2011-2013) - the biggest voluntary organization in Norway.

Ms. Haga has been on several boards, including as Chair of the Governing Board of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) (2009-2013) and Chair of the Governing Board of the Industrial Development Corporation of Norway (2010-2013)

Marie Haga has also published three books - one novel and two on Norwegian politics.

Dr. Mauricio Lopes (Brazil) Member from 2014-2016 Dr. Mauricio Lopes is the President of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation – Embrapa. A plant geneticist by training, he received his BSc degree in Agronomy (1983) from the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil, his MS degree in Plant Genetics (1989) from Purdue University, Indiana, USA and his PhD in Molecular Biology (1993) from the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. He was leader of the Maize Breeding Program at the Embrapa Maize and Sorghum Center, and Head of Research and Development of the Maize and Sorghum Center, the Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Center, and the Department of R&D of Embrapa. He was responsible for the coordination of the process that led to the development and implementation of Embrapa´s current R&D Management System. Mauricio was also visiting scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO, in Rome, member of the Scientific Council of Agropolis Foundation, in Montpellier, France, and coordinator of Labex Korea, an international cooperation program of Embrapa in South Korea. He was the Executive Director of Research of Development of Embrapa until October 2012, when he became the President of the Organization.

Dr. Mary Ann P. Sayoc (Philippines) Member from 2014-2016 Dr. Mary Ann P. Sayoc is the General Manager of East-West Seed Company, Inc., Philippines. She has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of the Philippines and MBA units from the Ateneo de Manila University. Prior to her appointment as General Manager of East-West Seed Company in November 2000, she held the position of Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture. She was responsible for the implementation of agriculture programs and projects covering crops, livestock, fisheries, irrigation, farm mechanization, farm-to-market roads and agriculture extension and training in Southern Luzon, which is composed of eleven provinces including Metro Manila, 224 municipalities and 11 cities. As Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture, she was a member of the Board of Trustees of five state colleges/universities. She also held the position of Executive Director of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), the training arm of the Department of Agriculture.

Prof. Klaus Töpfer (Germany), Member from 2012-2014 Former Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) as well as Under Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr. Töpfer is currently Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainable Studies (IASS) based in Potsdam, Germany. A member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 1972, Dr. Töpfer was also a member of the German Bundestag from 1990 to 1998. He held office as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety from 1987 to 1994, and as Federal Minister of Regional Planning, Building and Urban Development from 1994 to 1998. Klaus Töpfer has received numerous honors and awards including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 and the German Sustainability Award in 2008. Prior to that, he served as Head of Department of Planning and Information of the Federal State Chancellery of Saarland, whilst also lecturing at the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer and evaluating development policy in Egypt, Malawi, Brazil and Jordan. From 1978 to 1979 Töpfer was full professor at the University of Hanover where he directed the Institute of Regional Research and Development, and during this time, he was also a member of the German Advisory Council on the Environment and of the KfW Bank’s Board of Supervisory Directors. In 1985 he became honorary professor of the University of Mainz and in 2005 he was made honorary professor by the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Tübingen University. He was also awarded an honorary professorship for environmental science and sustainable development by Shanghai University in 2007. Professor Dr. Klaus Töpfer is senator of the Helmholtz Association for the Research Field Earth and Environment. 

Dr. Ren Wang (UN Food and Agriculture Organisation), Member since 2013 Dr. Ren Wang serves as the Assistant Director-General, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Dr. Wang was appointed to the Crop Trust's Executive Board by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Dr. Wang held the post of Deputy Director of Programme Development at the International Institute of Biological Control at the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International in the United Kingdom. From 1995 through 2000 and again in 2010 he was appointed Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).  Mr Wang also held the position of Deputy Director-General for Research for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines from 2000 to 2007 and was later named as the Director of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) at the World Bank from July 2007 to October 2010.