Executive Board

The Executive Board is the principal decision-making body of the Crop Trust.

The Board normally meets twice each year. Members of the Executive Board are appointed by key Crop Trust stakeholders:

  • 4 members appointed by the Governing Body of the Plant Treaty, at least two from developing countries
  • 4 members appointed by the Donors’ Council of the Crop Trust
  • 1 non-voting member appointed by the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization
  • 1 non-voting member appointed by the Chair of CGIAR
  • 2 members appointed by the Board itself
  • The Executive Director of the Crop Trust, ex officio.

The Executive Board ensures that:

  • The policies of the Crop Trust are in line with its mission, including support for the Plant Treaty and the overall policy guidance provided by its Governing Body, and are consistent with the aims of the Global Plan of Action;
  • The Crop Trust is managed effectively by the Executive Director in harmony with the agreed objectives, programs and budgets, in accordance with legal and 
regulatory requirements; and
  • The future well being of the Crop Trust is not jeopardized by exposing its financial
resources, its staff or its credibility to imprudent risks.

In order to ensure these qualities the Crop Trust’s Executive Board is responsible for approving:

  • The appointment of the Executive Director;
  • The annual programmatic work and budget of the Crop Trust;
  • The annual report (Annual Reports and Audited Financial Statements can be found here);
  • The Fundraising Strategy; and
  • Different policies and regulations to ensure fiscal and operational efficiency, accountability and integrity.

For the full details on the responsibilities of the Executive Board, please see the Crop Trust’s Crop Trust Constitution.

  • Executive Board Members

    • Sir Peter Crane

      Chair of the Executive Board

      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.

      Sir Peter Crane served on the Crop Trust Executive Board from 2007-2012, before returning in 2014. In 2019, he succeeded Ambassador Tim Fischer as Chair of the Executive Board.

    • Stefan Schmitz

      Ex Officio, Executive Director

      Stefan Schmitz joined the Crop Trust as Executive Director in January 2020.

      He previously worked as Deputy Director-General and Commissioner for the “One World – No Hunger” Initiative at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). He also chaired the Steering Committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).

      For more than 10 years, Stefan was leading the food security, agriculture and rural development work at BMZ. From 2007 until 2009 he worked as senior advisor to the Secretariat of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. Before joining the BMZ in 2001, Stefan held various posts in the German federal administration in the fields of geographical information systems, regional planning and international cooperation on urban issues.

      He received scholarships of the McCloy Fellowship of the American Council on Germany and of the German Academic Exchange Service. After studying in Bonn and St. Andrews, he graduated from Bonn University in geography and mathematics and received a PhD in geosciences from the Free University of Berlin in 2000.

    • Marcio de Miranda Santos

      Executive Board Member

      Marcio de Miranda Santos, a Brazilian national, is an Agronomist, MSc in Genetics and Plant Breeding and PhD in Biochemical Genetics. He is a former Visiting Scholar at Harvard University where he studied the impacts of intellectual property rights regimes on the access and ownership of plant genetic resources utilized for food and agriculture.

      Former major professional appointments include: Director General, National Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (1991-1995); Head, Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research (Embrapa) Department for Research and Development (1997-1999); Chair of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (today Bioversity International) Board of Trustees (1995-2002); Acting Director, Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research – Embrapa (1994 – 1995).

      Since 2001 Dr Santos is the Executive Director of the Center for Strategic Studies and Management in science, technology and innovation – CGEE. In this capacity, Dr Santos has supervised more than two hundred future studies aiming at promoting science, technology and innovation in distinct productive sectors of the Brazilian economy. These may be found at www.cgee.org.br. Dr Santos was also a member of the CGIAR (www.cgiar.org) Independent Science and Partnership Council – ISPC (2011 to 2015).

    • Emma Bartz Simmons

      Executive Board Member

      Emma Simmons is an independent consultant on international development issues with a focus on food, agriculture, and Africa.

      She serves as a non-resident senior advisor to the CSIS Global Food Security Project and as co-chair of AGree, an initiative that brings together a diverse group of interests to transform U.S. food and agriculture policy to meet the challenges of the future.

      She is a member of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, an international group focused on developing evidence-based policies to increase access to healthy, safe, and affordable diets. She also serves on the boards of organizations engaged in international agriculture and global development more broadly and sits on several advisory committees for initiatives focused on agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

      She completed a career of nearly 30 years with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2005, having served since 2002 as the Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade, a Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed position. Prior to joining USAID, she worked in the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs in Monrovia, Liberia and taught and conducted research at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria.

      She began her international career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1962-64. She holds an M.S. degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University and a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

    • Eliane Ubalijoro

      Executive Board Member

      Éliane Ubalijoro, PhD, is the Executive Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age and the Global Hub Director in Canada for Future Earth. She is a Professor of Practice for Public-Private Sector Partnerships at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development. She is a member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) Special Policy Study on Post 2020: Global Biodiversity Conservation. She is a member of the Impact Advisory Board of the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet. Eliane is a member of Rwanda’s National Science and Technology Council. She is a member of the Capitals Coalition Supervisory Board. She is a member of the Expert Consultation Group on the Post COVID-19 Implications on Collaborative Governance of Genomics Research, Innovation, and Genetic Diversity. She is a member of the Advisory Board of ShEquity.

    • Masaru Iwanaga

      Executive Board Member

      Dr. Masaru Iwanaga is President of Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), a National Research and Development Agency under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and the Fisheries (MAFF), Japan. JIRCAS carries out various collaborative research projects in the field of agriculture, forestry and fisheries with more than 30 countries, mostly from developing regions. Dr. Iwanaga has always shown great concern for political, social and technological issues influencing plant genetic resources for food security and climate change. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, USA.

      Dr. Iwanaga had spent 27 years working for the following international research centers of CGIAR: International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru, for potato and sweet-potato genetic resources enhancement; International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia, as Head of Genebank; International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI, now renamed Bioversity International in Italy), as Deputy Director General for Research (DDGR); and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, as Director General (2002-2008).

      He was directly involved in international negotiations of ITPGRFA during 1993-2000 as DDGR of IPGRI representing CGIAR, and during 2000-2002 as a Japanese government representative for IT negotiation and served Chair of Working Group of drafting Article 15 (International Collections). He also served as a member of the Steering Committee of the High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security (CFS) from 2013 to 2015. He was Chair of the Program Committee of the Board of Trustees of Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) until April 2017.

      Dr. Iwanaga concurrently holds positions with the following international organizations/functions:

      1. Vice-Chair, Board of Directors of World Vegetable Center (AVRDC);
      2. Representative of Japan to the G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) and Chair of 8th Meeting of G20-MACS in 2019;
      3. Member and the past-Chair of Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA);
      4. Member of Advisory Panel on Science and Technology Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JAPAN;
      5. Member of System Council of CGIAR;
      6. Member of International Research Advisory Panel (IRAP) of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (Thailand).

    • Hanne Maren Blåfjelldal

      Executive Board Member

      Ms. Blåfjelldal is currently a teacher and Chair of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. She was Deputy Minister in the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food from October 2013 till November 2018. During her five years of duty, she gained thorough knowledge of the agricultural sector in general, as well as genetic resources. She has visited Svalbard Global Seed Vault three times, once together with FAO’s DG and potato farmers from Peru. She has been panel participant on the Benefit-sharing Fund during Grüne Woche in Berlin, organised by the Treaty Secretariat. In March 2018, she went on a field trip to Malawi to visit projects supported by the BSF. She knows well the work and objectives of the Treaty as well as of the Crop Trust. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is the responsible ministry for the Seed Vault on behalf of the Norwegian government, who owns the vault. Thus, she knows the Crop Trust well, which is one of the tree partners in managing the Seed Vault. In Norway, she has followed Norwegian policy on genetic resources closely, and has given speeches at several national conferences as well as handing out the national plant heritage award.

      She has held several positions in the Progress Party (a libertarian party), including being member of the municipality council in Sør-Aurdal and Vice-chair of the youth party of the Progress Party. She holds a master degree in Human Geography.

    • Mercedes Aráoz

      Executive Board Member

      H.E. Mercedes Aráoz is a Peruvian economist and politician. She currently serves as Vice-President of the Republic of Peru. She has a Bachelor Degree in Economics from Universidad del Pacífico, as well as an Masters degree in Economics from the University of Miami, where she also was a PhD candidate.

      In 2006, she was appointed as Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism. After serving briefly as Minister of Production, she was appointed in 2009 as Minister of Economy and Finance, the first woman in Peruvian history to hold this office. In 2011, she ran for President representing the outgoing government party. She served between 2011 and 2015 as the country representative for the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), in Mexico City. Before assuming her current role, Her Excellency served as Second Vice-President and member of Congress from 2016 to early 2018.

    • Jean-Christophe Gouache

      Executive Board Member

      An Agricultural Engineering graduate of the National Agronomic Institute in Paris, Jean-Christophe’s passion for plant breeding is well known. Jean-Christophe began his career at Limagrain as a corn breeder and progressed to Chief Operating Officer of LG Seeds, Illinois. He also held the position of CEO of Pharmaceutical Company Dolisos. He was a member of the Limagrain Executive Committee from 1998 to 2019.

      Jean-Christophe served on the board of the French Seed Association (UFS), the European Seed Association, as well as the International Seed Federation.

    • Joachim von Braun

      Executive Board Member

      Joachim von Braun is the Director at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) University of Bonn, Germany, as well as the Chair of Department and Professor of Economics and Technical Change. Since 2019 he is also the Co-Coordinator of the Transdisciplinary Research Area “Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Futures” at the University of Bonn.

      Previously, von Braun was the Director General at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

      His main areas of expertise include research on development economics and policy, food security, nutrition and health, agricultural economics, natural resources, poverty, and science policy. Additionally, he is involved in policy advisory initiatives and civil society actions for development, sustainability, poverty reduction and improved food and nutrition.

    • Bernard Lehmann

      Executive Board Member

      Bernard Lehmann is an Agricultural and Food Economist. He is the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the High-Level Panel of Experts at the UN Committee on World Food Security and Nutrition (CFS) and a member of the Foundation Council of the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL).

      Previously, Lehmann was a Professor of Agricultural Economics and the Head of Department of Agricultural and Food Science at ETH Zurich. Then, he served as the Director General of the Federal Office for Agriculture and President of Agroscope (the Swiss Confederation’s center of research in the agricultural, environmental and food sciences).

      His main areas of expertise are agro-environmental economic research, teaching and policy design in the areas of local and global food security, the globalization of agricultural markets and climate mitigation and adaptation.

    • Rene Castro Salazar

      FAO Representative

      Rene Castro Salazar is the FAO Representative to the Executive Board and has no voting rights.

      Mr Castro Salazar, a national of Costa Rica, holds a Doctorate in design with emphasis in Natural Resources, Policy and Environmental Economics, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, both awarded by Harvard University. In addition, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universidad de Costa Rica. He was a Professor in the fields of Natural Resources, Environmental Economics and Policy at the post-graduate INCAE Business School, Costa Rica. He also lectured at the Harvard Institute for International Development and was a Fellow of the Mossavar-Rahmani Centre for Business and Government, Harvard University.

      He also lectured in prestigious universities such as Harvard, Tokyo, Yale, Zurich Tech, LSE, INCAE and several Latin American Universities. He was a Fellow of the Mossavar-Rahmani Centre for Business and Government, Harvard University.

      Mr Castro Salazar has held ministerial positions in Costa Rica as Minister of National Resources, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications between 1994 and 2014. In February 2016, Mr Castro-Salazar was appointed Assistant Director-General of the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Forestry Department (FO).

    • Barbara Wells

      CGIAR Representative

      Barbara Wells is the CGIAR Representative to the Executive Board and has no voting rights.

      Barbara Wells is an accomplished senior executive with extensive scientific and business experience in research, general management, strategic planning, regulatory processes, and the technical development and commercialization of products in agricultural and forestry markets throughout the world. Since 2014, she has held the position of Director General at the International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru.

      Prior to coming to CIP, Barbara was Vice President of Global Strategy at Agrivida, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer of ArborGen, Inc., and Vice President responsible for growth initiatives and investments in Latin America for Emergent Genetics.

    • Kent Nnadozie

      Treaty Representative

      Kent Nnadozie is the Treaty Representative to the Executive Board and has no voting rights.

      Mr Nnadozie is the Secretary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, he was the Senior Officer of the International Treaty, overseeing various technical areas of the Programme of Work of the Secretariat. Over the last decade, Mr Nnadozie has worked on legal and policy matters and intergovernmental processes, with both the International Treaty and FAO’s Commission for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

      Before joining FAO, Mr Nnadozie was in private legal practice and academic research. He has extensive practical experience in related international processes and legal instruments. A lawyer by training, Mr Nnadozie holds a Doctorate in Law (PhD) from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, with a focus on international relations and international legal systemic issues regarding genetic resources. Mr Nnadozie also has a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor’s in Law.

    • Hans Hoogeveen

      Donors' Council

      Hans Hoogeveen is the Donors’ Council Representative to the Executive Board and has no voting rights.

      Hans Hoogeveen serves as Ambassador / Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN Organizations for Food and Agriculture. Before that he was the Director General for Agriculture and Nature Management at the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs. As such, Dr. Hoogeveen is the most senior civil servant to lead the agriculture, agribusiness, food safety, food security, veterinary and plant health, international affairs, including the European Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy, international food security, the FAO and other UN affairs, trade liberalization (WTO), market access and nature/biodiversity managements agendas.

    • John Gandolfo


      John Gandolfo represents the Finance and Investment Committee and has no voting rights.

      As Vice President & Treasurer of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector, John Gandolfo leads a global team responsible for managing IFC’s financial position, safeguarding its international triple-A rating and maintaining its standing as a premier issuer in the global capital markets.

      He leads IFC’s Treasury and Syndications’ global team in delivering on IFC’s strategy to create markets and mobilize private capital for development. The team manages over $100 billion of liquid assets, global market borrowings, and derivatives transactions and is responsible for strengthening local currency financing by arranging and executing local currency and risk management transactions for clients, and raising third-party capital through innovative syndication and mobilization platforms such as the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP).

  • Former Executive Board Members

    • Alexander Müller

      Member from 2015-2020

      Alexander Müller received a diploma in sociology at the Philipps University in Marburg in 1985. He was elected as city councilor in Marburg (1985 -1992) with the responsibility for social and environmental affairs and was chair of the board of the municipal utilities (electricity, natural gas, water and public transport). From 1992 to 1995 he was appointed as state secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Family Affairs and Health in the state of Hesse. From 1995 to 2000 he was member of the parliament of Hessen and served inter alia as chair of the caucus and member of the budget committee. From 2001 to 2005 he was State Secretary in the Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture in the Federal Republic of Germany. From 2006 until June 2013 he served as Assistant-Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and was responsible for the Department for Natural Resources and Environment. The Secretary-General of the UN nominated him as a member of the Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC) in June 2009 to advise him on the energy-related dimensions of the climate change negotiations. From 2008 to 2011 he was chair of the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN). May 2013 until Oct. 2014 he was Senior Fellow in the cluster Global Contract for Sustainability of the IASS working on governance of sustainability, with a focus on soils and its role in the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy and on the German Energiewende. He was also appointed as study leader of the UNEP project “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Agriculture and Food” (TEEB AG and Food).

    • Knut Storberget

      Member from 2015-2020

      Knut Storberget (born 6 October 1964) is a Norwegian lawyer and politician for the Norwegian Labour Party. From 1992 to 2002 he worked as an attorney-at-law, participating in several high-profile cases, including at the supreme court. On the local level he was a member of Elverum municipal council for the Labour party from 1991 to 1999.


    • Marie Haga

      Former Executive Director 2013-2019

      Marie Haga served the Global Crop Diversity Trust as Executive Director from March 2013 to December 2019. 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. Prem Lal Gautam

      Member from 2017-2019

      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.

    • Dr Mary Ann P. Sayoc

      Member from 2017-2019

      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.

    • Professor Gebisa Ejeta

      Member from 2017-2019

      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.

    • Timothy Andrew Fischer

      Former Chair of the Executive Board and Member from 2013-2019

      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.

      Tim Fischer joined the Crop Trust in 2013, serving as Vice Chair of the Executive Board until 2017, before becoming Board Chair. He was elected for a second term in 2018 but stepped down both as Chair and Board member in 2019, for health reasons.

    • Margaret Catley-Carlson

      Member from 2007-2012

      Margaret Catley-Carlson served as the Chair of the Crop Trust’s Executive Board. Chair of the Global Water Partnership, and the International Advisory Committee for Group Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, Ms. Catley-Carlson is a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board, the Rosenberg Forum, and of the Council of Advisors of the World Food Prize. She serves on the Boards of the Biblioteca Alexandrina, IMWI (the International Center for Water Resource Management); the IFDC (Fertilizer Management) and IIED (the International Institute for Environment and Development). She has been chair of the ICARDA and CABI Boards and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Vice Chair of the IDRC Board and a commissioner of Water for the 21st Century. She was President of the Canadian International Development Agency 1983-89; Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF in New York 1981-1983; President of the Population Council in New York 1993-98; and Deputy Minister of the Department of Health and Welfare of Canada 1989-92. Ms. Catley-Carlson is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

    • Cary Fowler

      Former Executive Director 2007-2012

      Prior to joining the Crop 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.

      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.  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.

      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”.

    • Jorio Dauster

      Member from 2007-2010

      Ambassador Jorio Dauster is the Board Chairman of Brasil Ecodiesel. He is a former Ambassador of Brazil to the European Union, and Chief Negotiator of Brazil’s foreign debt for the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Finance. Ambassador Dauster has also served as President of the Brazilian Coffee Institute and as Coordinator of the Project for the Modernization of Brazil’s Patent System.

    • Adel El-Beltagy

      Member from 2007-2011

      Prof. Dr. Adel El-Beltagy is currently the Chair of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR). He was Chairman of the International Dryland Development Commission (IDDC) and Professor at the Faculty of Agriculture/Ain Shams University He was Director General of the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) (1995-2006); Director/Board Chairman of Agricultural Research Center, Egypt (1991-1995); Fellow of the University of Wales (1993); Chairman for the Scientific Technical Council of the International SAHARA and SAHEL OBSERVATORY (SSO) (1993-2002); First Under-Secretary of State for Land Reclamation, Egypt (1986-1991); Foreign Member of the Russian academy of Agricultural Sciences, Moscow; Academician (Foreign Member) of the Tajik Academy of Agricultural Sciences; and Honorable Academician of Kyrgyz Agrarian Academy. Dr. El-Beltagy is Honorable Professor of the Scientific Council of Azerbaijan Agricultural Academy; Fellow of Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and has been awarded Al-Istiklal Medal by His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Hussein of Jordan. He has authored/co-authored more than 140 scientific publications.

    • Emile Frison

      Member from 2009-2013

      Dr. Emile Frison is the former Director General of Bioversity International. A plant pathologist by training, Dr. Frison served as a Senior Scientist with Bioversity where he held special responsibility for the health of samples of crop diversity. He then served as Director of Bioversity’s regional office for Europe and, until his appointment to the top position at Bioversity, was Director of the organization’s International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain in Montpellier, France, promoting research on bananas and plantains, the world’s fourth most important staple crop. As Director General of Bioversity, Dr. Frison recently lead the organization, its stakeholders and partners in the formulation of a new strategic vision for Bioversity, in which nutrition and agricultural biodiversity will play an important role in the overall goal of reducing hunger and poverty in a sustainable manner. He is author and co-author of over 150 scientific publications and is a member of several scientific societies.

    • John Lovett

      Member from 2007-2012

      Professor John Lovett is the Chairperson of the Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity, Australia. He has held professorships at the University of Tasmania and the University of New England, of which he now is a Professor Emeritus. Professor Lovett previously served as Chairperson of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting and of the Oilseeds Research Council, as Managing Director of the Grains Research and Development Cooperation and as President of the Australian Society of Agronomy.

    • Wangari Maathai

      Member from 2007-2011

      Professor Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. She was the founder of the Green Belt Movement, a grassroots environmental organization that has assisted women and their families in planting more than 35 million trees across Kenya to protect the environment and promote sustainable livelihoods. She was a Member of Parliament and a former Assistant Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya. Among the many honors and awards Wangari Maathai has received are the Right Livelihood Award (1984); the Global 500 Roll of Honor (1991); the Goldman Environmental Prize (1991); the Africa Prize (1991); the Edinburgh Medal (1993); the Sophie Prize (2004) and the Legion d’Honneur (2006).

      It is with great sadness that we learned of Professor Wangari Maathai’s passing on 25 September 2011. We are immensely grateful for her dedication and commitment to our cause, for which she found space in a life full of important works.

    • Ibrahim Assane Mayaki

      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.

    • Karl Erik Olsson

      Member from 2007-2010

      Mr. Olsson was the Minister of Agriculture in Sweden, a member of Parliament, and a member of the European Parliament.

    • Dr. Shivaji Pandey

      Member from 2007-2009

      Dr. Pandey worked for over 30 years in international agricultural research and development, serving as a scientist, regional representative for South America, Director of Maize Program and Director of African Livelihoods Program at CIMMYT. In 2005 Dr. Pandey joined the UN FAO as Director of Agricultural Support Systems Division and was appointed Director of the Plant Production and Protection Division in 2006.

    • Dr. Mangala Rai

      Member from 2007-2009

      Dr. Rai was the Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Dr. Rai also served on the Executive Board of CIMMYT, ICRISAT, and served on the Executive Council of the CGIAR. In 2008, Dr. Rai was elected as President of the prestigious National Academy of Agricultural Sciences in India for a term of three years.

    • Roberto Rodrigues

      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 world 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 boards 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.

    • Modibo Tiémoko Traoré

      Member from 2009-2011

      Dr. Modibo Tiémoko Traoré, a former Minister for Rural Development with the Government of Mali, was the FAO Assistant Director-General charged with the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department. He joined FAO as Regional Representative for Africa after heading the African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources for three years. A veterinarian and livestock expert, Dr. Traoré was also Mali’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China between 2000 and 2005. Mr Traoré, a former National Director of Mali’s Livestock and Veterinary Services was his country’s Minister for Rural Development (Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries) between 1994 and 2000, and also held responsibility for the Environment and Water Resources.

    • Dr. Mauricio Lopes

      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.

    • Walter Fust

      Former Chair of the Executive Board and Member from 2010-2017

      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 Geneva, 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 was a member of the Executive Board of the Crop Trust from 2010-2017.