Authors of the Opportunities Report
Emile Frison BIO
Emile Frison is an internationally known agricultural researcher and Professor of Agricultural Sciences at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Frison has authored or co-authored over 175 scientific, technical and policy papers. He is the former Director-General of Bioversity International, part of the CGIAR Consortium, and during his tenure developed a strategy entitled “Diversity for Well-being,” which focuses on the contribution that agricultural biodiversity makes to the sustainability, resilience and productivity of smallholder agriculture and to the nutritional quality of diets. He is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) and a member of the executive board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
Toby Hodgkin BIO
Toby Hodgkin was trained as a geneticist and plant breeder, and joined the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (now Bioversity International) in 1989 to support its work on the maintenance and use of crop genetic diversity. Hodgkin was closely involved in developing Bioversity International’s on-farm conservation program and in the development of the organization’s work on the socio-economic aspects of the maintenance of genetic diversity and on forest genetic resources. He has published extensively on many aspects of the conservation and use of plant genetic resources, is a past director of the Global Partnerships Programme of Bioversity International and is currently Coordinator of the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research.
Authors of the Commentaries
African Centre for Biodiversity BIO
The African Centre for Biodiversity is an NGO based in South Africa that carries out research, analysis, advocacy, and information-sharing which informs and amplifies the voices of social movements fighting for food justice and food sovereignty throughout Africa.
Emigdio Ballon BIO
Emigdio Ballon is a South American native, is a founder of the Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute. He obtained his degree in Agricultural Engineering in his native country, Bolivia, and his Master’s degree in Colombia. After working as a high altitude crops director in Bolivia, he moved to the United States to pursue a PhD in plant genetics. Currently he works as the Director of the Agricultural Department at the Pueblo of Tesuque in New Mexico. He continues to incorporate traditional agriculture and the teachings of his ancestors into all of his work.
Cary Fowler BIO
Cary Fowler is the former executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and the Chair of the International Advisory Council of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Originally from rural Tennessee, Fowler has been a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, a senior advisor to the Director-General of Bioversity International and a representative of the CGIAR Consortium in the negotiations of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. He is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford University.
Jim Gaffney BIO
Jim Gaffney started with DuPont Pioneer in 2010 and in his role works on advancing agronomic traits, including those that help crops better use water and improve yield and yield stability. Gaffney earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s from South Dakota State University and a PhD from the University of Florida. He is particularly passionate about improving African agriculture—an interest that dates back to his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, where he worked at an agricultural technical school.
Bettina Haussmann BIO
Bettina Haussmann is the West Africa Liaison Scientist to the McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crop Research Program, and is based at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. Haussmann’s past work at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) Sahelian Centre in Niamey, Niger, resulted in a regionally coordinated strategy for pearl millet improvement in West Africa.
Winona LaDuke BIO
Winona LaDuke is the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, an indigenous environmental advocacy organization, and a founder of both the White Earth Land Recovery Project and Native Harvest. LaDuke is a member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg and lives on the White Earth Indigenous Reservation in Minnesota, United States. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Antioch University, is the recipient of multiple awards for her human rights work, and has authored six books on indigenous issues and the environment.
Muhabbat Mamadalieva BIO
Muhabbat Mamadalieva is one of the first women in Tajikistan to have earned a PhD in Plant Genetics. In 1999, together with other professional women, she founded Zan Va Zamin (Women and Earth), an NGO dedicated to tackling issues facing rural women, including land rights, livelihoods, and environmental degradation. Under Mamadalieva’s leadership, the organization won the Equator Prize in 2012 for showing leadership in promoting innovative ways to build resilient communities.
Pat Mooney BIO
Pat Mooney is the founder of RAFI (Rural Advancement Fund International)—later renamed ETC Group—and has decades of experience supporting civil society advocacy around development and trade issues. Much of Mooney’s work has centred on promoting agricultural biodiversity, with a more recent focus on the regulation of biotechnology. He is the author of several books on these issues, and is a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”).
Shoista Mubalieva BIO
Shoista Mubalieva is the Director of the Fruits Department of the National Centre for Genetic Resources in the Republic of Tajikistan.
Nelson Mudzingwa BIO
Nelson Mudzingwa is a farmer, a graduate of Mlezu Agricultural College of Zimbabwe and a founder of the Shashe Agroecology School. Mudzingwa is the National Coordinator of the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmer Forum (ZIMSOFF), and a member of the International Operating Secretariat of La Via Campesina, an international movement of farmers’ organizations working to defend small-scale sustainable agriculture.
Kubonali Partoev BIO
Kubonali Partoev is the Head Potato Specialist of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Jean-Louis Pham BIO
Jean-Louis Pham is a plant geneticist with Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), a French interdisciplinary research organization focused on rural issues in Africa, the Mediterranean, Latin America and Asia. Pham has a wealth of field experience in West Africa and the Philippines and is the author of dozens of peer reviewed research papers. He is currently the Chair of Agrobiodiversity
Programs at Agropolis Fondation, a French consortium of research institutions dedicated to agricultural development.
Maryam Rahmanian BIO
Maryam Rahmanian is a Research Associate at the Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA), an NGO based in her native Iran, where she initiated and led a national program on participatory plant breeding. Rahmanian is the Vice-Chair of the High Level Panel of Experts of the Committee on World Food Security and an advisor to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on agroecology and biodiversity.
Valasubramanian Ramaiah BIO
Valasubramanian Ramaiah is an agriculture and biotechnology professional with 15 years of experience in the seed and agribiotechnology industry. Ramaiah earned his PhD from the University of Madras, India, and has been at DuPont Pioneer since November 2006 as a member of the company’s Agbiotech Research and Development team. Committed to sustainable agriculture, his interests are to develop and commercialize technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve agricultural productivity and science communication.
Humberto Ríos Labrada BIO
Humberto Rios Labrada is the Latin America Program Director for ICRA, an agricultural research institute based in Spain. After earning a PhD in Agronomy in his native Cuba, he worked for over a decade at the National Institute for Agricultural Sciences, where he developed an innovative methodology for farmers to teach scientists how to increase crop diversity. He has applied these methods in various regions of Mexico and Bolivia. In 2010, he won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his successful efforts to improve agrobiodiversity.
Makhmadzamon Sulangov BIO
Makhmadzamon Sulangov is the Director of the Vegetable Department at the National Centre for Genetic Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan.