Dr. Wells is a seasoned senior executive with extensive domestic and international leadership and management expertise. She has over 30 years of experience in developing commercial, technical and regulatory strategies for the launch of conventional seed and seedling products and products of renewable energy, crop protection and plant technology in agricultural and forestry markets throughout the world. She has a Ph.D., Agronomy/Weed Science, Oregon State University, MS, Plant Pathology/Nematology, and BS with Honors, Horticulture, University of Arizona.
Her previous post was Vice President Global Strategy, Agrivida, Inc., a firm that develops feed-stocks for the production of biofuels and bio-products from non-food agricultural residues and dedicated biomass crops. This was preceded as President of BHW Enterprises, a company specialized in providing consulting services in agriculture and renewable energy. From 2002 to 2012 she was President and Chief Executive Officer of ArborGen, Inc., a global forestry tree seedling, and tree breeding business. She led the transformation of the organization from a tissue culture start-up company to a fully operational business with over $30 million in revenues, and commercial sales of over 250 million tree seedlings. Prior to joining ArborGen, Dr. Wells was Vice President responsible for growth initiatives and investments in Latin America for Emergent Genetics, an agricultural investment firm.
In her early career, she worked in field product development with Monsanto where she moved from a scientific representative role to the leader of the development team across the world for many crops: tree crops, fruits and nuts, cotton, and others. Throughout her career, Dr. Wells and has worked with farmers and applied her science to improve the productivity of the farmer, framing science for applied solutions at the farmer level.
Dr. Wells has spent a large part of her life outside of the USA. She grew up in Peru and Bolivia, was based in Brazil for several years and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Her move to CIP corresponds with her ambition to improve the livelihoods of the world’s poor farmers, and to drive forwards the mission of CIP in rural development.
Patrick J. Murphy
Patrick J. Murphy serves on the executive committees of the boards of directors of IFDC, HarvestPlus and the Centro Internacional de La Papa He also serves as head of their audit committees and on the budget and Africa committees of the IFDC board.
Murphy served as the senior bank advisor for the Economic Policy Group in the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq in 2003. In this position, he started post-conflict lending activities at a major government commercial bank; planned the conversion/monetization of the UN Oil for Food Program to a smart card system; and negotiated and implemented micro-lending contracts to provide micro and small business loans throughout the country.
Murphy held several executive positions with Bank of America, including vice president and manager of the New York International Private Banking Office , senior marketing officer of the Global Network Initiative, senior debt negotiator of Global Public Debt Management and as a senior credit officer in the Bank’s Latin American Division. He worked many years in Latin America where he financed private sector enterprises and government development projects.
Murphy holds a master’s degree in international affairs (concentrating in development economics and Latin American studies) from Columbia University in New York.
Rodney D. Cooke (Board Chair)
Dr. Rodney D. Cooke is currently Board Chair of CIP, and works as an independent consultant in agriculture and rural development. He served as Director of IFAD’s Policy and Technical Advisory Division (PTA) since 2000. IFAD is an International Financial Institution and a Specialized United Nations Agency whose mission is to enable poor rural people to overcome poverty. Its main objective is to provide direct funding and to mobilize additional resources for programs designed to promote the economic advancement of the rural poor. From 1995-2000 Dr. Cooke was Director of CTA (ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, Wageningen, The Netherlands), whose programs reflect and respond to ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) needs. He has also served as Deputy Director NRI (Natural Resources Institute, Chatham, UK), Head of Natural Resource Management Division (1992-1995) and as Deputy Director NRI, Head of Finance and Central Services Division, including leader of Marketing Group (1989-1992).
Dr. Cooke obtained his BSc. In Biochemistry and his PhD. in Protein Chemistry and Enzymology from Bristol University, UK. He was a Visiting Scientist (plant biochemistry) at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, in 1970.
His key expertise is in institutional appraisal, corporate planning and management of change; project identification, implementation, monitoring and evaluation; R&D management and technology transfer and training programmes. His experience includes short and long-term assignments in Latin America, Africa, India and S-E Asia.
Mr. Jim Eckles
Jim Eckles (USA) joined the CIP board of trustees in 2015. He is currently a partner in the agribusiness consulting company “The Context Network” where he manages projects around the world for organizations involved in agriculture. He is responsible for the Context business in Latin America (www.contextnet.com).
Eckles has worked close to agriculture for 40 years. His experience includes farming in Belize and managing businesses for multinational companies such as Cargill, ICI and Zeneca. He managed seed companies in both Mexico and Brazil. He was highly involved in the early development of agricultural biotechnology through the 1990s. He has been a management consultant to agribusiness since 2000.
Eckles is an expert at strategy, business development and implementing alliances between organizations. He has established and managed many development collaborations with academic and scientific organizations and is skilled in technology licensing. He is a certified M&A advisor.
Eckles has a degree in Anthropology from the University of Texas and a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University. In addition to English, he speaks Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
Dr. Linley Chiwona-Karltun
Dr. Chiwona-Karltun´s (Sweden/Malawi) training includes a PhD in International Health from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition from Uppsala University, Sweden and a Bachelor´s degree in Food Nutrition and Institutional Management from East Carolina University, USA.
Dr. Chiwona-Karltun is currently serving as a lecturer and research fellow at The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Sweden since 2002. Dr. Chiwona-Karltun conducts multidisciplinary research that include food safety and food security with particular focus on complementary food-feed-energy systems that are central to rural and urban Africa populations in achieving good nutritional and health outcomes. She has published peer-review papers, book chapters, teaching materials, popular science, media debates, conference papers, and is currently editing a book. Dr. Chiwona-Karltun has also served at the International Foundation for Science (IFS) as a Scientific Coordinator and trainer in partnership with the African Women in Agriculture Research and Development (AWARD 2008-2010).
Additionally, Dr. Chiwona-Karltun serves in several national and international managing and advisory boards of scientific, government, social and economic organizations. For example, she is a member of the AMBIO a journal of the Human Environment and The African Nutrition Society. Dr. Chiwona-Karltun is the co-founder of the Chinangwa ndi Mbatata Roots and Tubers Enterprise (CMRTE) in Malawi that has membership of over 3000 farmers and more than 80% are women. Dr. Chiwona-Karltun is also a founding member of The African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora-Europe (AAAPD) and The Network of African European Women Scientists (NAWES). Dr. Chiwona-Karltun is involved in social entrepreneurial activities that include empowering Africans interested in farming and agribusiness with capabilities that enable them to positively affect their livelihood trajectories. For example, Women in Agribusiness Sub-Saharan Africa Alliance (WASAA) and Market Matters Incorporated (MMInc). Dr. Chiwona-Karltun has recently received scientific recognitions as an African Agricultural Role Model by the Modernizing African Food Systems Consortium (MAFS). Dr. Chiwona-Karltun was born and raised in Malawi and has been living and working in Sweden for the last twenty-six years. Dr. Chiwona-Karltun is married and has two children.
Andrés Casas, Agronomist (Perú) is Professor at Univ. Nac. Agraria La Molina (UNALM) since 1979. He has been Head of the Vegetable Research Center (1990 – 1995) and Head of the Department of Horticulture (2009 – 2011), both of UNALM. He obtained his B.S. in Agronomy from Univ. Nac. Agraria La Molina and his M. S. in Vegetable Crops from Univ. of California at Davis. He is working in vegetable crops production and post harvest handling. Main areas of research are native vegetables germplasm evaluation, asparagus production and post harvest handling, production technology in peppers, onions, artichoke and cucurbits (plant density, fertilization, irrigation). He has published several research papers and bulletins. He has been President of the Sociedad Peruana en Horticultura (Peruvian Society in Horticulture) participating in the organization of local meeting and international symposia related to vegetable crops (asparagus, peppers, artichoke).
Dr. Miguel Barandiaran
Agronomist, specialist in genetic plant breeding, germplasm development and seed production. Dr. Barandiaran has wide experience in transfer of technology, agricultural extension and project development. He also has solid experience in the management of national agricultural research institutions, including the organization of national and international events. He graduated as an Agronomist from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Ruiz Gallo in Lambayeque, Peru, and obtained his MSc in Plant Genetics from the University of Wales, England and his PhD also in Plant Genetics from Iowa State University, USA.
Dr. Baradiaran is currently the Head of the National Institute for Agricultural Research of Peru (INIA). He has worked for INIA since 1973, where he started as an Agricultural Researcher in the Cajamarca Experimental Station. He later headed the National Programs for Maize and Pastures, was National Director for Crop Research, Director General of the Agricultural Research and Technical Consultant for the Head of the Institute.
Dr. Barandiaran is the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture of Peru in the CIP Board of Trustees.
Dr. Qu Dongyu
Dr. Qu Dongyu (China) is currently Vice Minister of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China. Dr. Qu obtained his PhD from the School of Plant Breeding in plant breeding and genetics at Wageningen University. As an expert in potato breeding and biotechnology, he was one of two leading initiators for the International Potato Genome Sequence as the project leader of the China team. Their research results were published as cover story on NATURE in 2011.
Dr. Qu was selected as the leading young scientist for the 21st century in the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in 1997. Over the past 30 years, he had led more than 20 key national science and technology projects, and assumed leadership positions including Director General of the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, CAAS in 2000, and Vice President of CAAS in charge of international cooperation, auditing and inspection, infrastructure and finance since 2001. In 2008, he was appointed as assistant to the Chairman of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, responsible for science and technology, culture and media, and from 2011, as Vice Chairman responsible for agricultural science-tech, agri-industrial development and poverty alleviation. He began to supervise master’s degree and PhD candidates in 1996 and has so far promoted more than 20 candidates with Master’s Degree and PhD candidates, cultivating young talents for genetic breeding in China. Dr. Qu took the office as Vice Minister of Agriculture in 2015, in charge of international affairs, logistics, marketing and internet affairs, state farm reform and agricultural promotion, etc.
Vo-Tong Xuan (Vietnam) Presently Rector of Nam Can Tho University (NCTU) and member of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Professor Vo-Tong Xuan, former-Vice Rector of Can Tho University (CTU), Rector of An Giang University (AGU) and Rector of Tan Tao University (TTU) has been participating in the Boards of Trustees/Directors of several scientific organizations and international voluntary organizations such as International Rice Research Institute (IRRI, the Philippines), the International Potato Center (CIP, Peru, 1996-1999), the Rockefeller Foundation (USA). He is also currently a member of the Board of Asian Institute of Management (AIM, Philippines), the International Fertilizer Development Center (Alabama, USA), and the Asia Rice Foundation. He was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (TAC-FAO), and the Policy Advisory Council of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research. He is famous all over Vietnam and in West Africa as “Dr. Rice.” He conducted a popular television program to teach high-yielding rice cultivation method for farmers and agricultural workers in the Mekong River Delta. He and his colleagues and students of CTU made a “revolution” in agricultural development of Vietnam after the end of wars by introducing a reform in the methods of rice production in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which can be seen as a catalyst for innovation policy in 1986, which contributes to Vietnam’s position number 2 among the rice exporting countries of the world.
He supports applied research and projects on food security and land-use management, coordinates the Vietnam Farming Systems Research and Development Network and conducts research and development on rice production in seven African countries, and potato varieties trials in Thai Binh Province, Northern Vietnam. He is a recipient of several prestigious international awards, notably the Ramon Magsaysay award, Nikkei Asia award, Derek Tribe award, D.L. Umali award, France’s “Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite agricole” award, Canada’s Certificate of Recognition for Sciences, Vietnam Labor Hero award, Vietnam People’s Teacher title.
Dr Xuan obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural chemistry from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (1966, 1969). He has a doctorate in crop science from Kyushu University in Japan (1975).