I am a Swiss citizen, now working and living in Washington DC and Capay, California, who studied agronomy and entomology in Switzerland and the USA. I worked for 27 years in Africa in biological control, plant, human and environmental health.
My main interest and experience is in holistic, integrated and sustainable development. I have hands-on experience in research (designed and led one of the largest and most successful biological control program across Africa), capacity development, management of agricultural and bio-science research organizations and I am now active at the policy level, to assure that knowledge, science and technology contribute effectively to sustainable and equitable development by informing development policies at national, regional and global levels.
Professional Background: Millennium Institute (MI) USA: President and CEO since May 2005. International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) Kenya: Chief Executive and Director General, 1994 - 2004. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Nigeria: Director Biological Control Program 1979 -1991; Director Plant Health Management Division 1992 to 1994. Coordinator of the Agriculture chapter of the UNEP Green Economy Report, 2011 and of the UNEP Report on the Ecological Bases of Food Security, 2012. Co-Chair of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), 2003-2009. Member CGIAR Science Council (2005-2010). Member IPES-Food.
Founder / President, Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development, Switzerland, 1998.
Education: University of California, Berkeley, Biological Control Division. Post-Doctoral position in entomology/agronomy 1977 - 1979. Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland 1969 – 1977 (MSc in plant breeding and entomology; PhD in biological control of insect pests).
Awards and Honors: Sir and Lady Rank Prize for Nutrition, 1991; Kilby Award for Extraordinary Contribution to Society through Science, Technology, Innovation, Invention, and Education, 1995. World Food Prize, 1995, in recognition for having advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity and availability of the world’s food supply; Brandenberger Prize 2002; Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 2003 for outstanding contributions to the field of environmental health; One World Award 2010; Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) 2013; Foreign Associate US National Academy of Sciences, 1999; Member of the Third World Academy of Sciences, 2005; Honorary Doctor of Science Kenyatta University, Kenya, 2003; Honorary Professor, Hubei University, Wuhan, PRC, 2004.
World Board Candidacy
I am interested to serve on the World Board to further promote the growth of sustainable food systems through both work on the demand and supply of quality, quantity and affordability of healthy organic food, in support of IFOAM’s main goals, mission and vision. The world is facing tremendous environmental, social and economic challenges from the pressure of industrial and conventional agriculture practices and unsustainable consumption patterns. Ecological/Organic agriculture can contribute substantially to address these challenges head on and from the cause, providing the sustainable solutions that are needed. I see my role as supporting the development of national, regional and global policies that will support the transformation of agriculture and the food system in line with the recommendations of the IAASTD and follow-up reports.