MONTPELLIER, FRANCE (19 March, 2012) – The CGIAR Consortium today announces the appointment of Dr. Frank Rijsberman as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following a rigorous and transparent recruitment process by the Consortium Board.
Dr. Rijsberman’s extensive experience in international agricultural research, especially in the field of water management, coupled with his valuable leadership and management skills, make him ideal for this vital role. In his current position as the director of the Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene strategy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he leads a team tasked with alleviating the burden of water-borne diseases and improving access to sanitation, especially in Africa and Asia.
“Dr. Rijsberman has proven himself to be the best candidate to take over the leadership of CGIAR as it continues its reform process,” said Carlos Pérez del Castillo, Chair of the CGIAR Consortium Board. “CGIAR is working on innovative solutions to some of agriculture’s most pressing issues, and Dr. Rijsberman has the necessary experience and skills to continue to mobilize this innovation in order to deliver quality agricultural research for sustainable development. He has established himself in the private and not-for-profit sector as a driving force in his field and I am certain his knowledge and passion for his work will serve CGIAR well as he takes on this important role.”
Dr. Rijsberman is a familiar face in CGIAR, as he served as Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), one of the 15 CGIAR Consortium Research Centers, from 2000 to 2007. At IWMI he initiated the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture and he developed and led the Challenge Program on Water and Food. He then moved to Google to lead their philanthropic team. He has over 30 years experience as a researcher and consultant in natural resources management in developing, transition, and developed economies. He has consulted for numerous international and bilateral organizations and co-founded “Resource Analysis”, a research and consulting firm in his native Holland. In 1997 he was appointed full Professor at UNESCO-IHE, International Institute for Water Education.
The new CEO obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, and earned a multidisciplinary Ph.D. in water resources planning and management and civil engineering from Colorado State University, USA.
As the CEO, Dr. Rijsberman will be responsible for leading the CGIAR Consortium, providing funding, leadership and oversight for the Consortium Office, forging effective research partnerships and overseeing the ongoing implementation of CGIAR’s strategic, results-based research programs. Dr. Rijsberman will start his new assignment at the Consortium Office in Montpellier on 28 May.
I’m excited to take up this position with the CGIAR Consortium,” said Dr.Rijsberman. “The new CGIAR’s Strategy and Results Framework and portfolio of research programs provide an excellent foundation to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, and improve health and nutrition while ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. I look forward to helping CGIAR deliver critical research for development outcomes in close partnership with investors, researchers, governments, the private sector, and the men and women smallholder farmers.”