Area: Director General’s Office
Title: Director General
Citizenship: United States of America
Location: Lima, Peru
Profile Summary: 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 Director General of the International Potato Center (CIP) 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 PhD in Agronomy from Oregon State University, her MSs in Plant Pathology and her BSc with Honors in Horticulture from the University of Arizona.
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese