Following the untimely passing of Dr. Barbara Wells on 16 February last, the Board of Trustees of the International Potato Center (CIP) has appointed Dr. Oscar Ortiz as Director General ad interim.
Dr. Ortiz had been Deputy Director General for Research and Development since 2014 where he was responsible for the strategic positioning of CIP’s three research programs on potato and sweetpotato agri-food systems, and biodiversity for the future. Ortiz has guided CIP through many years of growth and impact for millions of small-scale farmers and poor consumers globally. By the end of 2021, CIP’s research innovations under Dr. Ortiz’s guidance had reached more than nine million households across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
An agronomist by training, Ortiz began his career at CIP in 1992 working on impact assessments of integrated pest management. Since then, he has spent a decade leading, integrating, and managing interdisciplinary teams involving both crop and social sciences. Prior to assuming the role of Deputy Director General for Research and Development, he served as CIP’s global leader for the Integrated Crop and Systems Program and as Deputy Director of Research for Regional Science Programs.
A Peruvian national, Ortiz holds a PhD in agricultural innovation and rural development from the University of Reading, an MSc on Crop Production and Agricultural Extension from Peru’s National Agrarian University, and a number of executive training certificates from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He has also been published extensively in peer review journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.
CIP management also appointed Research Director, Hugo Campos, as Deputy Director General for Research and Development ad interim. Prior to joining CIP in 2016, Dr. Campos held several senior research and executive management roles in the private and public sector in Latin America, the US and UK. A Chilean national and expert in crop genetic improvement and innovation, Campos earned a PhD from the UK’s John Innes Centre, a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile.