Board of trustees

Geoffrey Hawtin
Board Chair
Private Consultant
United Kingdom/Canada
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Dr. Geoffrey Hawtin, a British/Canadian citizen, is the Senior Advisorand until August 2005 was the Executive Secretary of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an international foundation that he helped create, to finance the conservation of the biodiversity of crops worldwide. From January 2008 to April 2009 he was Director General of CIAT. From 1991 until 2003 he was Director General of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI, now Bioversity International), a research center of the CGIAR headquartered in Rome, Italy. Dr. Hawtin obtained both his first degree and Ph.D. from Cambridge University, U.K., carrying out his doctoral thesis research at Makerere University, Uganda. He worked for the Ford Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as a plant breeder, based in Lebanon and Egypt, and was the first Leader of the Food Legume Improvement Programme of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Syria.

Dr. Hawtin has also served as Deputy Director General of  ICARDA and Director of the Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Sciences Division of IDRC based in Ottawa, Canada. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 scientific and technical publications. His other responsibilities include membership of the Board of Directors of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), in Costa Rica, and he chairs the International Advisory Committee of Gardens for Life, Eden Project, and Cornwall.

f_jcrestrepoJuan Camilo Restrepo
Private Consultant
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Juan Camilo Restrepo, a Colombian citizen, is the ex Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Colombia. A lawyer of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana of Bogotá, he has a Ph.D. in Administrative Law from the University of Paris and studies in Economic Law at the London School of Economics.

Between 1973 and 1975, he served as Representative of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation before the International Coffee Organization in London.

He served as Banking Superintendent between 1977 and 1978, was President of the National Values Commission between 1982 and 1986, and afterwards Commercial Manager of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation.

He later served as President of “Paz del Río” Steel Company. He was Minister of Mines and Energy of Colombia between 1991 and 1992, Senator of the Republic in 1994, and Minister of Finance and Public Credit of Colombia between 1998 and 2000. On several occasions during this latter period, he was also responsible for presidential functions. He then served as Ambassador of Colombia in France.

Dr. Restrepo has also had a dynamic role in the academia, being university professor in Fiscal Law and Public Finance at the Universidad de los Andes, the Universidad Externado de Colombia, and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in addition to being professor of Colombian Economics at the Universidad Sergio Arboleda.


Nancy O. Andrews
Former President and CEO of the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)
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Nancy Andrews is an American citizen that holds an Ms. in Urban Planning with a concentration in Real Estate Finance from Columbia University. Her career spans 30 years in finance and social investment.

Since 1998 to March 2018, Nancy O. Andrews was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF). LIIF is a $1 billion financial institution that invests in social enterprise development and poverty alleviation. LIIF has invested $1.8 billion of its own capital and leveraged $8.7 billion in private capital in poor communities across 31 states in the U.S. and generated $49 billion in benefits for families and societies. LIIF’s primary investors are banks and other regulated financial institutions.

She is a recognized expert in finance and social investing. Her most recent book, Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, has received over 2 million social media hits and is available at:

Previously, Ms. Andrews served as the Deputy Director of the Ford Foundation’s Office of Program Related Investments, where she assisted in the management of a $130 million social investment portfolio. She also designed and launched the foundation’s housing policy program, which focused on national housing and capital market issues.

During the Clinton administration, she consulted for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to restructure the $18 billion multi-family mortgage portfolio and for the Department of Treasury to establish the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

Sara Menker 
Founder and CEO of
Gro Intelligence
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Sara Menker is the founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, a data company dedicated to building products that change the way the world understands agriculture.

Prior to founding Gro, Sara was a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s commodities group. She began her career in commodities risk management, where she covered all commodity markets, and subsequently moved to trading, where she managed an options trading portfolio.

Sara is a Trustee of the Mandela Institute For Development Studies (MINDS) and a Trustee of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Sara was named a Global Young Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Institute.

Sara received a B.A. in Economics and African Studies at Mount Holyoke College and the London School of Economics and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.


Marion Guillou
President of Agreenium
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Dr Marion Guillou, a French national, is President of Agreenium, a public consortium that promotes research and higher education to meet the challenges of food security and sustainable development.

Prior to this, she was the President and CEO of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) for 12 years, where she was involved in the strategic and operational management of the organization and was responsible for 8,500 employees and a total budget of 830 million Euros. She also has 16 years’ experience with complex national and international contracts and partnerships.

Marion was a member of the High Level Panel of Experts that is the science-policy interface of the UN Committee on World Food Security (2013-2016); she co-created and then chaired (2010-2013) the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE) that involved 21 countries.

Marion holds a Doctorate in Food Sciences and is a Chartered Engineer. She is also a member of the French Academy of Agriculture, and of the French Academy of Technology. She is a member of the Strategic Research Committee for France. She completed her engineering training at École Polytechnique (promotion X1973), and then specialized in water engineering at École Nationale du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts (ENGREF, now known as AgroParisTech). She completed a PhD in physico-chemistry of biological processes at Nantes University (UA CNRS).

From 1996 to 2000, she was responsible for the food safety directorate in France and during this time proposed the new French food safety organization (1999 law on food safety). From 2000 to 2012, she was first the CEO, then President of INRA where she prioritized research on agriculture, food and environment. She widened the scope of research topics towards global matters. She put in place interdisciplinary meta-programs, for instance on integrated plant protection or on food consumers’ practices.

From 2008 to 2013, she was the Chair of the Board of the prestigious École Polytechnique (l’X) and during her mandate, École Polytechnique put a greater emphasis on the scientific and technological training. The creation of a new research center on interfaces between biology and engineering sciences was decided and financed.

She has written articles and chapters of books on food safety, agroecological dynamics and global food and nutrition security (FNS), as The World’s Challenge: Feeding 9 Billion people (Ed Springer).

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Cristián Samper 
President and Chief Executive Officer of
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
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Cristián Samper joined the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) as President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2012. Prior to this appointment, he was Director of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). During his tenure, he served as Acting Secretary to the Smithsonian Institution (2007–2008). Before joining MNH as Director in 2003, Dr. Samper was deputy director and staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

From 1995–2001, he was founder and first director of the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, Colombia’s national biodiversity research institute. For his contributions, he was awarded the National Medal of the Environment and the Order of San Carlos by the President of Colombia.

From 1999–2001, Dr. Samper was chair of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), where he helped develop a global strategy for plant conservation and launched the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He also served as Vice Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, as a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and a member of the board of overseers at Harvard University.

Dr. Samper earned his master’s degree (1989) and doctorate degree (1992) in Biology from Harvard University, where he was awarded the Derek Bok Public Service Prize for excellence in teaching. Known for his work in the ecology of the Andean cloud forests, conservation biology, and environmental policy, Dr. Samper is currently on the board of the Carnegie Institution for Science, CIAT, and Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).


agnes_casiple-rola-biosketchAgnes Casiple Rola
Agricultural Economist.
University of the Philippines, Los Baños.
The Philippines
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Agnes Casiple Rola, Philippine, holds a PhD degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin- Madison; an undergraduate degree in Statistics and a Masters’ degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of the Philippines. Currently, she is professor of public policy and research methods at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). She is an alumna of the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) of the University of California-Berkeley.

Her long term research on the economics of pesticide use was instrumental in the pesticide policy change in the Philippines and paved the way for rapid adoption of Integrated Pest Management in rice. She was one of the Principal Investigators of a long running USAID funded Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP); major results of her engagement are contained in two books on “Winning the Water War” and “An Upland Community in Transition: Institutional Innovations for Sustainable Rural Development”. Her current research on water governance for development aims to influence national and watershed level policies for water security.

Dr. Rola has been member (2000-2003) and Vice Chair (2003-2006) of the Board of Trustees of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); and member of the Oversight Committee of the McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) from 2001-2006, among other international engagements. She was one of 18 Asian scholars that participated in the Asian Regional Consultation of the International Development Research Centre in Singapore, to develop IDRC’s Asian Research and Development Agenda for 2010-2015 and one of the Global Authors of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) in 2006-2007.

She is member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, Philippine Journal of Crop Science and is reviewer in several other journals. She is member of the National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines. As dean at the UPLB from 2006-2012, she led in the institution of two graduate degree programs, the Master of Science in Development Management and Governance and the PhD program in Development Studies. She also instituted the Journal of Public Affairs and Development.

f_recheverriaRuben G. Echeverría
(ex officio)
Director General CIAT
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Dr. Ruben G. Echeverría, a citizen from Uruguay, has worked on agricultural and rural development issues for 30 years. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Agriculture from the University of Uruguay and a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Agriculture and Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota, USA.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, before studying in Minnesota, Dr. Echeverría worked for the Uruguayan Land Reform Institute, heading its extension service.

In the mid 1980s, as part of his Ph.D. thesis, he conducted field research in Mexico and Guatemala, based at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico.

He then worked on agricultural research policy issues and strengthening national research capacities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, based at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) in the Netherlands.

In 1992, he joined the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. where he worked in the preparation of several agricultural and rural development projects in Latin America.

From 2000 to 2004, he was Director of agriculture and rural development at the IDB from where he promoted the development of a regional rural development strategy for LAC; the creation of the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology [(Fontagro), an endowment that funds competitively regional research programs]; and the creation of the Inter-Agency Group for Rural Development in LAC.

From 2004 to early 2009, he was the Executive Director of the Science Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), based at FAO in Rome. Since 2007 he is the President of the International Board of the Center for Rural Development in Latin America (RIMISP). Since April 2009 Dr. Echeverría is the Director General of CIAT in Colombia.

Dolly Montoya Castaño
(ex officio)
President National University
of Colombia
​Andrés Valencia Pinzón 
(ex officio)
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – Colombia
Jorge Mario Díaz Luengas
(ex officio)
Executive Director Agrosavia