Dr. Idah Sithole-Niang
Chair, representing Southern Africa
Sithole-Niang is a Professor of Molecular Biology and Virology at the University of Zimbabwe. She serves as the Technical Advisor for sub-Saharan Africa in the Program for Biosafety Systems, and is a coordinator of the Network for Genetic Improvement of Cowpea for Africa. She is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, and a member of the Rhodes Scholarships Selection Committee, the Partnership to End Hunger in Africa, and the Research Council of Zimbabwe. Sithole-Niang holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Michigan State University.
Dr. Samuel Bruce-Oliver
Vice Chair, representing CGIAR
Bruce-Oliver is Advisor to the Director General of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), a center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), providing administrative and research management backstopping and advice. He brings more than 25 years of combined experience in agricultural research and development, and science and technology. As a National Agriculture Research System Senior Visiting Fellow at the Global Forum on Agricultural Research, Bruce-Oliver was responsible for strategic thinking and advocacy in opening national agricultural research systems to the participation of other partners. From 1997 to 2002, he served as Director General of the National Agricultural Research Institute of the Gambia, providing leadership in agricultural research and development nationally and in the sub-region. He has also served as Vice-Chair of CORAF/WECARD and as a board member of the International Trypanotolerance Centre. Bruce-Oliver holds a PhD and an MSc in Entomology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Florida, Gainesville, U.S.A.
Dr. Rose Emma Mamaa Entsua-Mensah
representing West Africa
Entsua-Mensah is the Deputy Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Ghana. She holds a BSc (Zoology), a Diploma in Education, an MSc (Aquatic Biology) from the University of Cape Coast, and a PhD in Fisheries Science from the University of Ghana. She also holds a Certificate in Aquatic Resource Management from the University of Hull, U.K., a Certificate in Environmental Impact Assessment, and a Certificate in Aquaculture Production, Environmental Consideration, and Food Safety from Israel, as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. In 2009, she participated in a CGIAR senior leadership program at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Entsua-Mensah's research activities include studies on the coastal ecology and waterfalls of Ghana, women in water management and sanitation, and science education and policy. She has done extensive research nationally and internationally on lagoons in Ghana and other countries in West Africa for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and was a consultant for FAO and the World Bank. In 2005, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Tennessee, U.S.A. In addition to having several publications and books to her credit, she taught as a part-time associate professor at the University of Cape Coast (2001-2009). She was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award in 1978 and the Tonolli Memorial Award for Limnologists in 1994.
Entsua-Mensah has attended several international scientific conferences and workshops in Asia, Europe, America, and Africa, and has served on several local and international committees and boards. She was among the few African scientists involved in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment from 2004 to 2005. She is the Vice-Chair of the Christian Health Association of Ghana and served on the Fisheries Commission, Ghana from 2007 to 2008.
Haven D. Ley
representing Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Ley is a program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and oversees its relations with AWARD. She previously worked for the Environmental and Social Assessment group at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, where she helped to develop and implement the organization's comprehensive and lauded gender policy. She also worked on several gender, rural development, and economic competitiveness USAID programs with Chemonics International, notably in Albania, Mongolia, and southern Africa. Ley holds an MSc in Gender and Economic Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Dr. Peter Matlon
serving as Senior Advisor
Matlon is the former Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, based in Kenya, providing oversight and support to the foundation's agriculture, education, and health initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa. He has extensive senior leadership experience in agricultural development, and served as Interim President of Programs for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Prior, he was at the United Nations Development Programme in New York and was Director of Research at the West Africa Rice Development Association in Côte d'Ivoire. Matlon holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University.
Dr. Marie Rarieya
Rarieya, a Kenyan national, joined the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in 2009 as Program Officer with the Soil Health Training and Education sub-program. She plays a key role in shaping that program, which is directed at capacity building in the integrated soil fertility management of extension workers, laboratory technicians, and soil scientists, as well as other stakeholders across 13 AGRA focal countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Prior to joining AGRA, Rarieya was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Sustainable Development Governance Program at the United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies in Yokohama, Japan. She has more than 16 years of experience working on sustainable development issues in Africa at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the International Livestock Research Institute, both based in Nairobi, Kenya. Rarieya has contributed to the development of a new conceptual framework termed "agrocomplexity", which is designed to enhance understanding of sustainable development challenges and related complexities. Her work was published in January 2010 in a special issue on land use and environmental sustainability in Sustainability Science Journal. Rarieya holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, U.S.A.
Dr. Meredith Soule
Soule is the Team Leader for West Africa in the Country Strategy and Implementation Office, Bureau for Food Security for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She supports USAID's work in agriculture and food security, with an emphasis on agricultural research and the work of the CGIAR. Much of her work focuses on Africa and issues of gender in agriculture. She previously worked as an agricultural economist at the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. She helped develop the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program for Women in Science. Soule holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Emily Kabushenga Twinamasiko
representing East Africa
Twinamasiko is the Director General of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) in Uganda. The organization's first female Director General, she previously worked as Senior Research Officer and acting Deputy Director General in charge of outreach and partnership initiatives at NARO. She also worked as center manager at the Mbarara Agricultural Research and Development Center, and later as acting Deputy Director General of Outreach, and Senior Research Officer and Programme Leader of NARO's Cattle Diseases Research Program.
Twinamasiko is an accomplished writer with a number of publications in technical journals, books, and conference papers to her credit. She is also a board member of several organizations, both locally and internationally, including National Agricultural Advisory Services, Uganda Coffee Development Authority, and Water Efficient Maize for Africa. She holds a PhD in Livestock Economics and Planning from the University of Reading in the U.K., an MSc in Tropical Veterinary Science from the University of Edinburgh, and a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery from the University of Nairobi.
Dr. Anne-Lucie Wack
representing Agropolis Fondation
Wack is the Director of Agropolis Fondation and is leader of its scientific network. This foundation, based in Montpellier, France, supports scientific programs in agricultural sciences and sustainable development. Prior to joining Agropolis, she spent 20 years in agricultural research and scientific cooperation for tropical and Mediterranean regions, in charge of various research units and programs, strategic planning, evaluation and ethics. She holds specific expertise in processing of agricultural raw materials for food and non-food purposes, and food quality and safety, and has published more than 130 papers, of which 40 are in refereed international journals. She is also a member of the ERAfrica Scientific Advisory Council, the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRISP) Oversight Committee, the evaluation committee of the Industrial Chairs Program within the French National Research Agency, and the Science Council of AgroParisTech.
Wack holds degrees in Agricultural Engineering from the National Institute of Agronomy in Paris and from the French Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering. She has a PhD and an accreditation as Research Supervisor in Process Engineering from the University of Montpellier. She has had executive training in General Management and Finance (INSEAD Business School), as well as at the Institut des Hautes Etudes pour la Science et la Technologie (Paris).
serving as Steering Committee secretary
Wilde is known internationally for her expertise in gender and diversity issues in agricultural development, natural resource management, emergency food aid, and organizational change programs. In 2008, she founded AWARD, a professional development program that strengthens the research and leadership skills of African women in agricultural science, empowering them to contribute more effectively to poverty alleviation and food security in sub-Saharan Africa. AWARD has directly engaged hundreds of researchers and institutions across 11 countries. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, Agropolis Fondation, and AGRA, AWARD is hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
From 1999 to 2012, Wilde was the Director of the CGIAR's Gender & Diversity Program, which served 15 international agricultural research centers. Before joining the CGIAR, she worked with farmers and rural communities in Asia and Africa for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. She focused on gender-responsive participatory approaches to the formulation and evaluation of agriculture, forestry, and food-security programs. She holds an MA in Environmental Psychology from the City University of New York, and a BA in Social Ecology from the University of California.