Dr. Geoffrey Hawtin, Chairman of CIAT’s Board of Trustees, has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). This honour was presented as part of the Queen’s Elizabeth II Official Birthday celebrations during the month of June. The award is a recognition for Dr. Hawtin services to Global Agrobiodiversity Conservation, Subsistence Livelihood Enhancement and Sustainable Food Programmes. This, of course, is supported in a long and successful career.

Dr. Hawtin was formerly a member of the board of trustees for Kew Gardens and a senior technical advisor for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources. He was also director general of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, now Bioversity International, for 12 years and CEO of Global Crop Diversity Trust from 2003 to 2005.

CIAT’s Director General, Ruben Echeverria, and Dr. Geoffrey Hawtin in CIAT Headquarters

From January 2008 to April 2009, Dr. Hawtin was Director General of CIAT. From 1991 until 2003 he was Director General of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI, now Bioversity International), a research center of the CGIAR headquartered in Rome, Italy. Dr. Hawtin obtained both his first degree and Ph.D. from Cambridge University, U.K., carrying out his doctoral thesis research at Makerere University, Uganda. He worked for the Ford Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as a plant breeder, based in Lebanon and Egypt, and was the first Leader of the Food Legume Improvement Programme of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Syria.

Dr. Hawtin has also served as Deputy Director General of ICARDA and Director of the Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Sciences Division of IDRC based in Ottawa, Canada. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 scientific and technical publications. His other responsibilities include membership of the Board of Directors of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), in Costa Rica, and he chairs the International Advisory Committee of Gardens for Life, Eden Project, and Cornwall.

The entire CIAT community is pleased that Dr. Hawtin’s lifetime work has been recognized with this high level honor and thanks him for his remarkable contributions to CIAT and agricultural research.

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