FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON 22 AUGUST 2007
World’s Largest Alliance of International Agricultural Researchers Chooses Pioneering Chinese Scientist As New Leader
Dr. Ren Wang Brings Wealth of Experience in Asia and Africa to New Post
WASHINGTON, DC (22 August 2007)—The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has announced the appointment of Dr. Ren Wang as director of its global network of 15 research Centers. Dr. Wang has served for the last seven years as Deputy Director General for Research at the CGIAR-supported International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, where he developed new collaborative initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia and managed IRRI programs in 14 countries.
“We’re fortunate to have as our new director someone with such extensive experience as both a scientist and a manager of ambitious agricultural research initiatives in developing countries,” said Katherine Sierra, Chair of CGIAR and Vice President of the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network. “Dr. Wang has a deep understanding of the strategic contribution of the CGIAR’s scientific expertise in helping rural communities, governments, civil society and the private sector to achieve sustainable growth in agricultural productivity.”
“For a scientist committed to seeing agricultural science improve the lives of the world’s poorest people, it’s hard to imagine a higher honor than serving as CGIAR Director,” Dr. Wang said. “I look forward to supporting our thousands of scientists and staff in their efforts to enhance food production around the world in the face of immense global challenges.”
In addition to his work with IRRI, Dr. Wang has made important contributions in shaping China’s internationally renowned agriculture research services. He was Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), where he was the point person for China’s partnership with the CGIAR. Dr. Wang also helped foster an unprecedented level of cooperation with Japan in agriculture through the establishment of the Sino-Japan Center for Sustainable Agriculture at CAAS.
“There is an unfortunate perception that food security and agricultural productivity are no longer important issues in countries like China and Indonesia, which have witnessed strong economic growth,” said Wang. “Yet, even in these countries, there are still concerns because of continued population growth and the prospect of climate change and increased competition between food and fuel uses of crops.”
Dr. Wang is an entomologist by training and holds a PhD in entomology from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. As a researcher, he pioneered a program for biological control of exotic pests in China and later promoted integrated pest management initiatives internationally from various posts, including Deputy Director of the International Institute of Biological Control (IIBC) of CAB International in the UK.
Dr. Wang was selected as Director of CGIAR following an extensive international search, carried out by a committee of representatives from CGIAR co-sponsors, with support from an independent search firm as well as a strong advisory group, consisting of CGIAR Members and one CGIAR Center representative.
“The CGIAR is well positioned to help deal with the consequences of climate change for developing country agriculture and will be making this a high priority,” he said.
In December 2007, Dr. Wang will report on recent contributions of the CGIAR’s scientific expertise in helping rural communities achieve sustainable growth in agricultural productivity at the CGIAR Annual General Meeting in Beijing, China.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s leading rice research and training center. Based in the Philippines, with offices in 13 other countries, IRRI is an autonomous, nonprofit institution focused on improving the well-being of present and future generations of rice farmers and consumers, particularly those with low incomes, while preserving natural resources. IRRI is one of 15 centers funded through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an association of public and private donor agencies (www.cgiar.org).
For information, please contact:
Nathan Russell, +1 202 473-0167. Email at: nrusse[email protected];
Katy Lenard, +1 301 652-1558 ex 124. Email at: [email protected]
Duncan Macintosh, IRRI, DAPO Box 7777, Metro Manila, Philippines; tel +63-2-580-5600; fax: +63-2-580-5699; email [email protected] .
IRRI Home (www.irri.org),
IRRI Library (http://ricelib.irri.org),
Rice Knowledge Bank (www.knowledgebank.irri.org).