The Governing Board of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has appointed Dr David Bergvinson as the next Director General for a five-year term, effective from January 01, 2015. He will replace the current Director General, Dr William D Dar who has served the institute with admiration and distinction since 1999.
Till date, Dr Bergvinson has been with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, USA, as Senior Program Officer, Crop Value Chains and Digital Design for Agriculture Development. He has been with the Foundation since 2007. In this role, he has accelerated the development and delivery of farmer-preferred products and services for staple crops in the developing world through formulating strategies, forging partnerships and applying digital technologies. He currently represents the Foundation on the CGIAR Fund Council.
“Science should not be an end in itself. Science is a means to mitigate poverty, eradicate malnutrition and provide environmentally sustainable solutions to the most pressing challenges faced by the smallholder farmers,” said Dr Bergvinson.
He further added, “ICRISAT can achieve the impossible by forging strong partnerships with the public, private and civil society sectors. I look forward to working closely with all the staff and partners to realise ICRISAT’s vision of a prosperous, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics.”
Prior to joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr Bergvinson was a senior scientist with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) at its Mexico headquarters for over 12 years. He has a research background in crop improvement, plant biochemistry, integrated pest management, and entomology.
Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT