Jenin Assaf, Communications & Development Specialist
Jenin Assaf joined the Trust in April 2009. She is responsible for communication efforts of the Trust, and provides development and fundraising support and coordination. Prior to this, Jenin worked at Bioversity International as Program Officer with the CGIAR ICT-KM Program. She has served in several positions in the US as well as overseas, most recently as Program Director for two international NGOs, Search for Common Ground and Vital Voices Global Partnership. Jenin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature; and a Masters of Arts in International Studies from the University of Washington. She has joint US/Palestinian nationality and is fluent in English and Arabic as well as good knowledge of Italian.
Nella Bause, Corporate Operations Assistant Nella Bause is the Corporate Operations Assistant at the Trust. Nella holds a BSc in Travel and Tourism Management as well as an MSc in Human Resources Management, both of which she obtained in the UK. Prior to joining the Trust Nella held operations and management assistant positions in renowned hospitality organizations such as The Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Colorado, Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai and The Wales Millennium Centre in the UK. Nella also provided administrative and operational support to the City of Hanover “KunstFestSpiele” Team during the classical arts Festival in 2010 and 2012. Nella is responsible for assisting with Corporate Operations and Human Resources support in the Trust. Nella speaks German, English and a little Swahili. She is German.
Paula Bramel, Assistant Executive Director
Paula joined the Trust from the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria, where she was Deputy Director General. At IITA she was responsible for the leadership and management of the Institute's research agenda, which has some 100 scientists and 250 support staff located in 12 African countries. She has more than 30 years of experience as a researcher and plant breeder in Africa, Asia and North America. This experience includes 11 years as a Tenured Associate Professor of Agronomy at Kansas State University, as a sorghum breeder, and 6 years at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in India as Principal Scientist, Genetic Resources.
Anne Clyne, Director of Finance
Anne joined the Trust in November 2004 shortly after the Trust was established as an international organization. She developed the finance department, drafting financial policies and procedures and establishing the financial systems required for the effective management of the Trust’s finances. She is responsible for managing all finance and investment operations of the organization and performs the Secretariat role to the Finance & Investment Committee of the Executive Board. As a member of the Senior Management Team she contributes to the corporate management and strategic direction of the Trust. Anne is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI), having trained with KPMG in Dublin, and holds a BA in Accounting & Finance and an MBS in Accounting.
Layla Daoud, Corporate Operations Manager
Layla Daoud is Corporate Operations Manager at the Trust. Prior to joining the Trust, Layla worked for Bioversity International in the Global Partnerships Programme from 1994 to 2007 focusing on project administration support, communications and information. Prior to this, Layla worked at the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the United Nations World Food Council Secretariat and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. A graduate in Human Development from the University of California Davis (UCD), Layla undertook advanced studies in education at UCD where she obtained a teaching credential. Layla is responsible for managing the Trust’s Corporate Operations and Human Resources functions. Layla is American. Her first language is English. She is fluent in Italian and has a working knowledge of Spanish.
Hannes Dempewolf, Scientist (Crop Wild Relatives)
Hannes Dempewolf is a scientist at the Trust and mainly works in the framework of the Trust's project "Adapting agriculture to climate change: collecting, protecting and preparing crop wild relatives." He has studied Botany at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh in Scotland and completed his PhD training at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He has been involved in and lead various research projects on plant genetic resources in Peru, the Caribbean, southern Kenya and Ethiopia in the past. His scientific interest focuses on the evolution, maintenance and conservation of agro-biodiversity, the importance of such diversity for farming communities and the role it can play for sustainable development and food security.
Amanda Dobson, Technical Administrative Assistant
Amanda has a BA in Business Administration from John Cabot University where she was active in the student body, serving as Vice President as well as President of the Student Ambassadors program. She joins us from Bioversity International where she worked as an intern for the Public Awareness Unit. Amanda has had additional administrative experience working in Rome at the Dalla Vedova International Law Firm and at Georgeson (a proxy solicitation company). Amanda speaks English and Italian. Amanda is an American citizen.
Luigi Guarino, Senior Scienctist
Luigi served as a consultant for FAO and IBPGR from 1984-87, working in the South Pacific and Middle East on a number of germplasm collecting, characterization and documentation projects, and as a germplasm collector for IBPGR from 1987-1992. He was then appointed to work on genetic diversity issues in Bioversity International's Sub-Saharan Africa Group based in Nairobi, Kenya. Luigi then moved to the Bioversity Regional Office for the Americas in Cali, Colombia in 1997 which he coordinated Bioversity's global research agenda on measuring, locating and monitoring genetic diversity, with responsibility for the application of GIS, and also managed Biovesity's work on germplasm use in the region, including research on patterns of use of ex situ collections. He had responsibility for national and regional programme development in the Caribbean sub-region. From 2002 to 2006 he worked at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Fiji, where he co-ordinated and managed a regional PGR network for the Pacific Island countries and territories. He is author of some 30 refereed articles and more than 10 conference presentations, and has edited a number of books and proceedings. Luigi, an Italian national, holds BA and MA degrees in Applied Biology from the University of Cambridge, UK.
Åslaug Marie Haga (Executive Director)
Ms. Haga is the Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Previously, she was the Director of Renewable Energy of the Federation of Norwegian Industries. She is also the Head of the governing board of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). Ms. Haga has held senior positions in the Norwegian embassies in New York and New Delhi. Ms. Haga served as a Member of Parliament from 2001-2005 and again in 2008. She was elected Chairman of the Centre Party in 2003. Ms. Haga 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.
Charlotte Lusty, Scientist (Genebank CRP)
Charlotte joined the Trust as Scientist in 2008. She worked previously in the Commodities for Livelihoods Programme at Bioversity International, coordinating a Future Harvest Project on micronutrient-rich banana and working on the development of strategies and projects for banana, cocoa and coconut networks. Between 1993 and 2000 she worked as a Research Officer at the Species Programme of the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, UK. She was trained as a zoologist and spent a number of years in East Africa at the Jane Goodall Institute and other research stations studying primates. Charlotte is British.
Matija Obreza, Genesys II Project Manager
Matija joined the Trust in March 2013. He has extensive experience in software development and databases. Matija worked with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria, where he implemented genebank management software and several applications supporting management information systems. After his stay in Ibadan, Matija moved to Europe to work with Open University of the Netherlands as part of the team implementing an on-line learning environment. At the Trust, Matija is the GeneSys II Project Manager and is the Trust's focal point for informatics.
Anna Stolyarskaya, Finance Officer
Anna came on board at the Trust in September 2007. She is responsible for the management of the financial operations for the Trust and support its daily financial activities. Prior to joining the Trust, Anna worked in the Finance Department at CTBTO (Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) located in Vienna, Austria. She began her career at the United Nations Office in the Treasury Division in Vienna. Anna completed her degrees in Accounting and Business Administration at the Vienna University. Anna is a Russian citizen and speaks Russian, English, German, and Italian.
Stefan Thyen, Contracts and Grants Manager
Stefan joined the Trust early 2013. He is the primary contact for contractual issues and he is responsible for administration of scientific and corporate contracts and proposals across the organization. He advises project staff and the Assistant Executive Director on specific issues during project initiation and implementation. Stefan has a professional background in biology with a focus on ecology. He obtained a MSc and a PhD from the University of Oldenburg, Germany. Prior to joining the Trust he worked as a Project Development Specialist with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria.
Jane Toll, Project Manager
Jane Toll is the Trust's Project Manager. Jane has extensive experience in programme and project management and has been involved in genetic resources conservation, research and capacity building for over 30 years. Prior to joining the Trust in 2007, Jane served as the Coordinator of the System-wide Genetic Resources Programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (1995 to 2007) and was Director of the Global Partnerships Programme of Bioversity International (2005 to 2007). She has worked for Bioversity and its predecessors IBPGR and IPGRI, in various capacities since 1980, primarily in central and west Africa and at Bioversity's headquarters in Rome. Jane holds a M.Sc.degree in the conservation and utilisation of plant genetic resources from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom and is a British national.
Senior advisors and consultants
Cary Fowler, Special Advisor (former Executive Director)
Prior to joining the Trust as its Executive Director, Dr. Cary Fowler was Professor and Director of Research in the Department for International Environment & Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. He was also a Senior Advisor to the Director General of Bioversity International. In this latter role, he represented the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in negotiations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
Cary's career in the conservation and use of crop diversity spans 30 years. He was Program Director for the National Sharecroppers Fund / Rural Advancement Fund, a US-based NGO engaged in plant genetic resources education and advocacy. In 1985 he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (the "Alternative Nobel Prize") in a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament. In the 1990s, he headed the International Conference and Programme on Plant Genetic Resources at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which produced the UN's first ever global assessment of the state of the world's plant genetic resources. He drafted and supervised negotiations of FAO's Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources, adopted by 150 countries in 1996. That same year he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary General of the World Food Summit. During the negotiation process of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, Cary chaired a series of off-the-record retreats with key delegates, sponsored by the Nordic countries. He is a past-member of the National Plant Genetic Resources Board of the U.S. and the Board of Trustees of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, and is currently Chair of the International Advisory Council of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. He holds a position as Associate Curator at the Memphis City Family of Museums.
Cary has been profiled by CBS 60 Minutes and the New Yorker, is the author of several books on the subject of plant genetic resources and more than 75 articles on the topic in agriculture, law, and development journals. Cary earned his Ph.D. at the University of Uppsala (Sweden), and in 2008 received an honorary doctorate from Simon Fraser University (Canada). In 2010, the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences awarded him the Vavilov Medal for his "exceptional contribution" to the cause of conserving plant genetic resources for present and future generations. He also received a 2010 Heinz Award for his “vision and efforts in the preservation of the world’s food supply”.
Kerstin Silvestre Garcia, Special Advisor
Kerstin has joined our team on a temporary basis on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support the Trust in its settlement in Bonn. The Trust acknowledges and thanks BMZ and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit) for this generous contribution. Kerstin is advisor on agricultural research for development and working for GIZ in Bonn. Originating from the Rhineland, she has studied at the university of Bonn agricultural sciences with the major field of studies in nature conservation and landscape ecology and did her PhD in the field of plant protection and molecular biology. She was involved in research projects with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and did part of her PhD research in Brazil funded by DAAD. Since working for GIZ she has managed the research priority 'Adapting African Agriculture to Climate Change' and advised the division rural development and global food security of the BMZ on agricultural research for development, rural development and global food security.
Lucy Harold, Consultant
Lucy is an English qualified lawyer specialising in intellectual property issues. Prior to her work for the Trust, she was a Partner at an international commercial law firm in London, UK, heading up its intellectual property practice. Lucy advises the Trust on its contractual issues. She has a BA in Law from Cambridge University, UK and a Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice from Bristol University, UK. As well as her work for the Trust, Lucy is an external supervisor of undergraduates on the BA Law degree at Cambridge University.
Brian Lainoff came on board as an intern at the Trust in August 2012 from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Brian is the first Rhodes College Fellow for the Trust. An American citizen, Brian graduated from Rhodes College with a double major in Environmental Studies and English. At Rhodes, Brian captained the Varsity Baseball team and led the Student Athlete Advisory Council. Previously, he worked for the Office of the Mayor of Memphis, where he was integral in the creation of the first annual GreenUp Memphis. Brian also spent time at The Leadership Academy, now the New Memphis Institute as a Communications Intern. At Rhodes, Brian researched the social and economic effects of green space in Memphis.