GLOBAL – The Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR), a global partnership that unites international organizations engaged in research about food security has appointed Dr. Ismahane Elouafi as the Executive Managing Director (EMD).

With a resolute dedication to advancing science and innovation for a world striving towards food and nutrition security, Dr. Elouafi is poised to steer CGIAR into a future of transformational solutions.

Currently serving as the Chief Scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Dr. Elouafi boasts a resumé replete with impactful roles.

Notably, she has represented FAO on the CGIAR System Council and has previously lent her expertise to the CGIAR System Board. She’s also held the mantle of Director General at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, located in the United Arab Emirates, and has been a guiding force in both scientific and leadership capacities, even advising the Canadian government on critical matters.

Professor Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chair of the CGIAR System Board, lauds Dr. Elouafi’s visionary leadership, citing her prowess in navigating the complex landscape of agrifoods-focused research and advocacy.

Her career has been marked by strategic thinking in addressing some of the world’s most pressing environmental and human challenges.

As CGIAR readies itself for enhanced integration and stronger partnerships, the Board is confident in Dr. Elouafi’s ability to spearhead the organization’s mission in an era of climate crisis.

Call to transform lives through science

Dr. Elouafi’s accolades mirror her dedication and impact. She’s been honored with esteemed awards, including the National Reward Medal from King Mohamed VI of Morocco and the Excellence in Science Award from the Global Thinkers Forum.

Her academic journey took her from the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine in Morocco to the University of Cordoba in Spain. Her educational foundation in Agricultural Sciences and Genetics serves as a testament to her profound commitment to fostering transformative change in the field.

The incumbent’s rich biography highlights her multifaceted contributions to science, policy, and global welfare. Her journey spans continents, organizations, and critical initiatives, all directed towards promoting sustainable agricultural practices, diversifying crop choices, and empowering women in science.

Speaking on her impending role, Dr. Elouafi emphasizes the urgency of the challenge at hand: providing nourishing sustenance for all. She is deeply committed to enabling small-scale farmers and consumers in the global South to access the science and innovations required to navigate a multitude of obstacles, particularly the impacts of climate change.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead CGIAR as it builds on its 50-year legacy and continues to deliver transformational solutions that improve lives,” she said.  

Dr. Elouafi is slated to take the reins as EMD on December 1, 2023. In the interim, Professor Andrew Campbell will serve as the acting Executive Managing Director.

Glimpse into CGIAR’s significance

CGIAR stands as a globally impactful research network, dedicated to agrifoods research, with an extensive workforce of nearly 9,000 personnel stationed across over 80 countries.

In 2019, it embarked on an ambitious journey to reimagine its mission and strategy, aiming to transform into a more unified and impactful entity, primed to address the intricate interdependencies of the present age.

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