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Masaru Iwanaga

Executive Board Member

Masa Iwanaga headshot

Dr. Masa Iwanaga is Special Advisor and former President of Japan’s 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 PhD degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, USA.

Dr. Iwanaga 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 as 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 the 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. A member of Management Advisory Group to Director General of FAO
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