Executive Committee

  • Michael Gerba

    Michael Gerba

    Area Operations
    Title Chief Operating Officer
    Citizenship USA
    Location Lima, Peru
    Profile Summary

    Michael Gerba is a results-driven leader with over 17 years of experience in the fields of agriculture, international development and public accounting. He joined CIP in 2011 with a strong background in operational and financial change management through process improvements that drive effective and efficient organizations. He has built successful international teams that achieve superior results by forging consensus and enthusiasm within the organization. While at CIP, Michael has led the rollout of an integrated accounting and enterprise resource planning system for headquarters and 18 project offices located around the world, and the creation of the 10 year Corporate Strategy Plan. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua and has his B.S. in Business/Accounting from Miami University of Ohio.

    Languages Spanish, English
  • Barbara Wells

    Barbara Wells

    Area Director General’s Office
    Title Director General
    Citizenship US
    Location Lima, Peru
    Profile Summary

    Dr. Barbara H. Wells is an accomplished senior executive with extensive scientific and business experience in research, general management, strategic planning, regulatory processes, and the technical development and commercialization of products in agricultural and forestry markets throughout the world. She became CIP’s Director General in early 2014, an appointment in keeping with her ambition to improve the livelihoods of the world’s poor farmers and to advance CIP’s mission of improving food security and nutrition.
    Prior to coming to CIP, Barbara was Vice President of Global Strategy at Agrivida, Inc., a firm that develops enzyme solutions for animal nutrition and feed-stocks for the production of biofuels and bio-products. She was responsible for planning and implementing the company’s global commercial development strategy and scientific collaboration activities with an initial focus on Latin America.
    From 2002 to 2012 Barbara was President and Chief Executive Officer of ArborGen, Inc., a global forestry tree seedling, and tree breeding business. In this post she led the transformation of the organization from a start-up biotechnology company to a fully operational business with commercial sales of more than 250 million tree seedlings in the US, New Zealand and Australia. Prior to joining ArborGen, she was Vice President responsible for growth initiatives and investments in Latin America for Emergent Genetics, an agricultural investment firm.
    She previously spent 18 years at Monsanto as Co-Managing Director of Brazilian operations and in several leadership roles in field product development across the world for crops including cotton, corn, soybeans, tree crops and other products.
    Barbara grew up in Peru and Bolivia and spent much of her career based in Brazil. She received her Ph.D. in Agronomy from Oregon State University, her M.S. in Plant Pathology and her B.S. with Honors in Horticulture from the University of Arizona.

    Languages English, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Adiel Mbabu


    Adiel Mbabu

    Area RD
    Title Regional Director (SSA)
    Citizenship Kenyan
    Location Nairobi, Kenya
    Profile Summary

    As regional director for the International Potato Center (CIP) in sub-Saharan Africa, Adiel provides programmatic oversight for research and development portfolio; provides leadership in regional operational systems; and plays representational role for CIP in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
    He previously served as manager for Reaching Agents of Change, a project co-hosted by CIP and Helen Keller International (HKI). Before joining CIP, he was a senior adviser – agriculture development (AusAID) and as technical director, Agricultural Research and Development Support Facility in Papua New Guinea. Before that, he served as senior research fellow for organization and management of agricultural research program with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), ISNAR Division; technical officer, program planning at the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA); as planning, management and evaluation adviser/interim assistant director – socio-economics & biometrics division, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI); as research fellow at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR); and as resident scientist for the Small Ruminant Collaborative Research Support Programme (SR-CRSP), sociology project (Kenya site), on behalf of the University of Missouri-Columbia, in collaboration with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute.
    Areas of Expertise:

    • Organization and management
    • Innovation systems
    • Networks, institutional learning and change
    • Results based strategic planning
    • Results based programme planning
    • Results based project cycle management
    • Results based monitoring and evaluation
    • Participatory action research
    • Facilitation of multi-disciplinary teams
    • Mainstreaming cross-cutting development issues (e.g. gender, M&E).


    Languages English (fluent), Kiswahili (fluent), French (basic) – See more at: https://cipotato.org/about-cip/leadership/executive-committee/#sthash.V6UF0FDc.dpuf
  • Carla Lazarte

    Carla Lazarte

    Area People and Organizational Development
    Title Head
    Citizenship Peruvian
    Location Lima, Peru
    Profile Summary

    Carla Lazarte is a senior-level manager with more than 20 years of broad–based and progressively responsible experience in management and human resources for international development. She has a proven ability to work with senior management teams to integrate human resources into the overall business operating strategy.
    Carla has been a human resources manager at CIP since 2009. Before joining CIP, she worked as an HR Business Partner at the World Bank, in Washington, D.C. Her areas of expertise include collective leadership, employee relations, organizational development, training and development, operations management, international HR and strategic leadership.
    Carla has a BA in communication from Marymount University, in Washington, D.C. and an MA in organizational development from Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland. – See more at: https://cipotato.org/about-cip/leadership/executive-committee/#sthash.jipZhUln.dpuf

    Languages Spanish, English
  • Amalia Perochena

    Amalia Perochena

    Area Director General’s Office
    Title Executive Officer to the DG
    Citizenship Peruvian
    Location Lima, Peru
    Profile Summary Amalia Perochena is an experienced, dynamic manager who has helped to make CIP a more effective organization. As Executive Officer to the Director General, her primary responsibility is to support the implementation of the Strategy and Corporate Plan, with emphasis in several key institutional projects. Amalia served as CIP’s Finance Manager from March 2008 to June 2010, when she was responsible for leading an institutional project to re-engineer the cost structures of the organization, including Genebank conservation activities, in order to facilitate migration into a new financial model compatible with CGIAR Research Programs. She then assumed the responsibility of managing the Research Support Units, which include three Experimental Stations, Science Laboratories and the Research Informatics Unit in CIP’s Peru Headquarters. Prior to joining CIP, Amalia served as CEO and board member of APC Corporacion S.A. and APC Selva S.A., two Peruvian multiservice companies specialized in the oil and mining sectors. She has experience in financial management and corporate financial planning, including administration, quality assurance, risk management and corporate strategic planning. Amalia studied economics and has an MBA with a specialization in Corporate Finance from Universidad del Pacifico, Peru. – See more at: https://cipotato.org/about-cip/leadership/executive-committee/#sthash.Kod1m5U2.dpuf 
    Languages Spanish, English, French, Italian
  • Oscar Ortiz

    Oscar Ortiz

    Area Director General’s Office
    Title Deputy Director General for Research and Development
    Citizenship Peruvian
    Location Lima, Peru
    Profile Summary

    Dr. Oscar Ortiz has worked at CIP for more than two decades, during which time he has made a major contribution to the organization’s research and programs. An agronomist by training, Oscar began his career at CIP in 1992 working on impact assessments of integrated pest management as a member of the Social Sciences Department. He was the leader of the Integrated Crop Management Research Division from 2004 to 2011, and was the leader of the Integrated Crop and systems Research Global Program in 2012, when he was appointed Deputy Director of Research for Regional Science Programs. In 2014, he was appointed Deputy Director General for Research and Development.

    Oscar has spent a decade leading and managing interdisciplinary teams involving both biophysical and social sciences. He has extensive experience in participatory research and training related to integrated insect and disease control; integrated crop management; agronomy and seed management; impact assessment of research and extension activities; and the use of agricultural knowledge and information systems and innovation system approaches for research and development. He has a PhD in agricultural innovation and rural development from the University of Reading, U.K. and has published extensively in peer review journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

    Languages Spanish, English
  • Luis Mendes

    Luis Mendes

    Area Finance
    Title Chief Financial Officer
    Citizenship Brazil
    Location Lima, Peru
    Profile Summary

    Luis Felipe Mendes is a finance and operations executive with 20 years of financial and administration management expertise developed in the private and non-profit sectors in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.


    Since 2014 he has served as Chief Financial Officer of The International Potato Center (CIP) and oversees all aspects of the Finance, Logistics and Risk. Before CIP he served as the Regional Associate Director of Finance and other senior positions in The Nature Conservancy, as Controller at Sigma-Aldrich Brazil, and as Financial and Administration Controller at Intertek Caleb Brett in India and United Arab Emirates.


    He is Chartered Public Finance Accountant, member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountancy in England.


    Mr. Mendes is fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish.



    . – See more at: https://cipotato.org/about-cip/leadership/operations/#sthash.2uGGkFWJ.dpuf

    Languages Portuguese (Native), English, Spanish
  • Lu Xiaoping

    Lu Xiaoping

    Area DDG-CCCAP
    Title DDG-CCCAP and Director of CCCAP
    Citizenship Chinese
    Location Beijing, China
    Profile Summary

    Xiaoping Lu, holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics, is the head of CIP-China Center for Asia Pacific (CCCAP), and joined CIP in 2011 after a career in senior positions the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. He has spent 30 years in the field of international agricultural policy, project management, macro policy evaluation and bilateral/multilateral agreement negotiations. He also has served as an agriculture economist working with international organizations such as UNDP, FAO, WFP and APEC.

    Languages Chinese (native), English
  • André Devaux

    André Devaux

    Area LAC region and Strategic Program for Resilient Food Systems Approach
    Title Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) Regional Director
    Citizenship Belgian
    Location Quito, Ecuador
    Profile Summary

    André Devaux, (a.devaux@cgiar.org), Ph.D in Agriculture Science, Université Catholique Louvain (UCL), Belgium, with 30 years’ experience. Most of his career has been associated with the International Potato Center (CIP). He has also worked with FAO and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). He has developed expertise in strengthening agriculture research and development programs with multidisciplinary teams in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

    Extensive research experience in:

    • potato production technologies
    • innovation systems
    • inclusive value chain development
    • food and nutritional security

    He has published more than 50 articles, books and reports. He is now based in Ecuador as CIP’s Latin American Regional Program Director, coordinating CIP activities in this region and contributing to research activities for the CRP “Policy, Institution and Market (PIM)” on Inclusive Value Chain Development with other CGIAR centers in the region and in a more global context. He is also coordinating CIP’s strategic program on Resilient Food Systems (SO5) addressing the food security challenges in roots and tubers production based systems.

    Languages French, Spanish, English
  • Elmar Schulte-Geldermann

    Elmar Schulte-Geldermann

    Area Seed Potato for Africa (SO3)
    Title Program Leader: Seed Potato for Africa (SO3)
    Citizenship German
    Location Nairobi, Kenya
    Profile Summary

    Dr. Elmar Schulte-Geldermann is the Leader of CIP’s Seed Potato for Africa Program, based at the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) regional office in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a PhD in Agronomy from the Faculty of Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Systems at Kassel University, Germany. He joined CIP-SSA in April 2009 as an integrated crop management specialist, supported by the Integrated Expert Program of the Center for International Migration and Development (CIM) Germany. In August 2012, he assumed responsibility for the implementation of CIP’s potato research portfolio in SSA.
    Elmar’s recent research has concentrated on integrated crop management, especially disease control strategies for potato late blight and bacterial wilt, and soil fertility management in potato and sweetpotato based cropping systems. Another strong focus of his work in recent years has been the improvement of potato seed systems and seed quality in SSA. He has conducted research on rapid multiplication seed potato technologies such as aeroponics and hydroponics. He is involved in the backstopping of private and public sector potato seed multipliers at all levels of multiplication and has conducted research on low cost, on-farm seed quality maintenance technologies such as positive selection, small seed plot technology, and net tunnel technology to produce healthy sweetpotato, among others. He is also involved and the selection and evaluation of potato breeding lines. He is leading regional projects related to the above-mentioned topics in eight Eastern and Central African countries.

    Languages English, German
  • Pietro Turilli

    PietroPietro Turilli


    Area Resource Mobilization
    Title Director
    Citizenship Italian
    Location Lima, Peru
    Profile Summary

    Pietro is currently the Director of Resource Mobilization for the International Potato Center (CIP), where he works to identify and pursue opportunities for partnership and funding for CIP globally, including multilateral, bilateral, private sector and innovative financing partners.

    Before joining CIP in February 2016, he was a Partnership Officer at the CGIAR Fund Office at the World Bank, where he was part of the two-person team responsible for identifying, developing and stewarding partnerships and funding opportunities to mobilize resources for the CGIAR system. At present, CGIAR funding stands at approximately USD 1 billion per annum. 

    Previously, Pietro was the Vice President for Partnerships and Business Development at Heifer Project International in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he provided leadership in developing Heifer’s strategic global partnerships with the objective of enhancing the impact of Heifer’s work. In this role he focused on developing institutional business pipeline, as well as public private partnerships with the likes of Groupe Danone and other multinationals. Concurrently with his Partnerships portfolio, he was also Vice President for Central and Eastern Europe, managing a 10 country programmatic portfolio.

    Earlier in his career, Turilli was an Evaluation Officer with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy, where he carried our project evaluations and participated in country program, corporate and thematic evaluations for the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE). Prior to his work as an evaluator, Pietro was a Country Programme Manager in the Near East and North Africa Division.  In this role, he managed, developed and directly supervised an investment portfolio which reached more than USD 80 million in commitments in a number of different countries including Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova and Romania.

     Turilli received his bachelor’s degree in International Politics from the School of Foreign Service in Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and his master’s in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs in Columbia University in New York. He is fluent in Italian, English and French. 

    Languages Italian, English and French
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