In memory of Dr. Ronald P. Cantrell, IRRI Director General (1998 – 2004)

Share this to :

It is with sadness that IRRI marks the passing of Dr. Ronald P. Cantrell, IRRI Director General 1998 – 2004, at the age of 81. Ronald is credited with broadening the range of scientific tools and options available to IRRI, and with settling management of the organization after a bumpy period, thereby providing a solid and stable basis for our work and achievements over the past twenty years.

Dr. Cantrell was born in Texas, USA, and graduated with a doctorate in plant genetics and breeding from Purdue University in 1970. He first worked for Cargill Inc. as a plant breeder before returning to Purdue as Associate Professor, then Professor of Agronomy, roles he held until 1982. He then became team leader of Purdue’s Farming Systems Unit in Upper Volta in West Africa for two years, before moving to CIMMYT for six, as director of the maize program. In 1990, he was appointed head of the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University, where he served until joining IRRI as its eighth Director General in 1998.

At IRRI, Dr. Cantrell was keen to explore and help the institute take advantage of the new technologies available to breeders at the time, including the new science of genomics. He also positioned and promoted IRRI as the unbiased expert ‘broker’ of the rice improvement institutions in the world, enhancing IRRI’s ability to support National Agricultural Research and Extension Services in partner countries that remains at the core of our…

Share this to :