Beginning January 2014 the Executive Board will consist of the following members:
Ambassador Walter Fust (Chair)
Ambassador Tim Fischer (Vice-Chair)
Lewis W. Coleman (USA)
Sir Peter Crane (UK)
Prof. Gebisa Ejeta (Ethiopia)
Dr. Prem Lal Gautam (India)
Ms. Marie Haga (Ex officio, Executive Director)
Dr. Mauricio Antonio Lopes (Brazil)
Prof. Klaus Töpfer (Germany)
Dr. Ren Wang (China)
Walter Fust (Switzerland), Member since 2010 and Chair of the Executive Board
After his studies in public administration/international relations at the University of St. Gallen, he 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 holds 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 experts, which acted as the interim Board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust prior to the establishment of the Executive Board. Amb. 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 since 2013 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 and Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee
Mr. Coleman was appointed President of DreamWorks Animation, a NASDAQ company, in December 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 has taken on the position of Chief Financial Officer as well. Previously he was the President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation from its founding in November 2000 to December 2004, and currently serves as one of the Foundations trustees. Prior to that, Mr. Coleman was employed by Bank 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 Academy of Arts and Sceince and served as a director of Bank of America Corp., Chiron Corp., Regal Enterainment and Northrop Grumman.
Marie Haga (Ex Officio, Executive Director)
Ms. Haga is the Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Before starting her tenure as Executive Director of the Crop Trust, Ms. Haga served on the Executive Board of the Crop Trust from 2010-2012. She is also the Head of the governing board of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). Previously, she was the Secretary General of Norwegian Air Ambulance - the biggest voluntary organisation in Norway. She has also held the position as director of Renewable Energy of the Federation of Norwegian Industries. Ms. Haga has a background from the Foreign Service as a career diplomat. She has held senior positions in the Norwegian mission to the United Nations in New York and in the embassy in New Delhi. She also has a background from politics and served as a Member of Parliament in Norway from 2001-2009. She was the 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 from 1999-2000, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development from 2005-2007, and Minister of Petroleum and Energy from 2007-2008. Marie has also published three books - one novel and two on Norweigian politics.
Ibrahim Assane Mayaki (Niger), Member from 2011-2013
Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) functioning as the Interim African Union (AU) Office in South Africa, headquartered in Midrand, South Africa.
Dr. Mayaki served as Prime Minister of Niger (1997-1999), which followed his appointment as Foreign Minister of Niger between 1996-1997. In January 1996, he also served as a Ministerial Delegate in charge of the African Integration and Cooperation. In August 2000, he set up the Analysis Centre for Public Policy. In 2004, he served as the Executive Director of the Platform in support for Rural Development in West and Central Africa, the Rural Hub, based in Dakar Senegal.
Roberto Rodrigues (Brazil), Member from 2011-2013
Roberto Rodrigues has served as Brazilian Minister of Agriculture (2003-2006), Co-chairman of the Interamerican Ethanol Commission (IEC), Coordinator of the Getulio Vargas Foundation Agrobusiness Center (GV Agro) as well as President of the Superior Agriculture Council of São Paulo’s Federation of Industries (FIESP). He is an agricultural producer and an agricultural engineer by training and is also a Professor (currently on leave), holding the Chair of Rural Economics at the São Paulo State University in Jaboticabal.
A strong supporter of the cooperative movement Minister Rodrigues chaired the Brazilian Cooperatives Organization, the World Committee on Agricultural Cooperatives and the International Cooperative Alliance. He has traveled the word in that capacity, visiting 80 countries while performing his duties.
A well-known agribusiness leader, Roberto Rodrigues served as President of the prestigious Brazilian Rural Society and the Brazilian Agribusiness Association. He is also a member of the Board of dozens of Brazilian producer’s associations. In that capacity, Minister Rodrigues represented the Brazilian agribusiness sector in several advisory committees established by the Government, such as the National Agricultural Policy Council, the National Monetary Council, and the National Foreign Trade Council. He also chaired the National Agribusiness Forum.
Prof. Klaus Töpfer (Germany), Member since 2012
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 (China), 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 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 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.