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Robert D. Havener Seminar on “Innovations for Crop Productivity”

September 14, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

“The world today is facing so many challenges. In the agricultural field we are looking at rapidly growing populations, climate change, increasing urbanization, shifting demands in terms of disease and pests. Different challenges all around the world and we don’t have solutions to many of them. The only way that we can come up with proper solutions and ensure food security in the future is through innovation, coming up with new ideas, using new science, new approaches, and new ways of doing things.

The role of women in this is particularly important. Women, in many countries, are the backbone of the agriculture. If we target research only at men, we’re missing out the major users of the agricultural products and, in many cases, the actual producers are women. Is extremely important to get more women into science, get women excited by science and this Seminar is a great way to encourage more women to get involved and to contribute new ideas and new thoughts.” Geoffrey Hawtin, Chairman of CIAT’s Board of Trustees.

About Robert D. Havener

Robert “Bob” Havener was born in Summerfield, Ohio.  He received his B.Sc. and his M.Sc. in Agriculture from Ohio State University and his M.PA. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

During his professional career, Mr. Havener served in various positions for the Ford Foundation. He was the Director of the Arid Land Agricultural Development (ALAD) Program of the Ford Foundation in Lebanon and was later appointed Director General of the International Center of Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT) in Mexico. In 1985, he became President and CEO of the Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development.  He later served as Interim Director General of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia as well as Interim Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines.

Mr. Havener received the National Award for Agricultural Excellence, two honorary doctorates, and a fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He served on the board of directors of numerous agricultural and international institutions including the International Development Enterprises, the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center, the Sasakawa Africa Association and the Cornell University International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development. Mr. Havener passed away on August 3, 2005.

“Bob Havener dedicated his professional career to improve the livelihood of the rural poor in developing countries. His wisdom and leadership ensured that scientific excellence, innovations and impact are central to the mission of the CGIAR. Joe M. Tohme”.


9:00 – 12:30 Innovations for Crop Productivity

9:15 – 10:15 Pieces of the Phytobiome: Multitrophic and Environmental Influences on Plant Health

Jan Leach   
Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture and Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University
Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

10:15 – 11:15 From gene function to genome editing (virtual)

Pam Ronald
Professor in the Genome Center and the Department of Plant Pathology, and founding Faculty Director of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy (IFAL), UC DavisFellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

11:30 – 12:30 Exploiting the nature and influence of plant epigenetic memory on plant growth behavior and stress response for agricultural value

Sally Mackenzie 
Lloyd and Dottie Huck Chair for Functional Genomics, Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University
Fellow in the American Society of Plant Biologists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

2:00 – 3:30 Panel discussion on Women in Sciences


J. Michel Tohme


September 14, 2017
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Km 17 Recta Cali-Palmira
Cali, Colombia
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