Yvonne Pinto

Yvonne Pinto is Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Yvonne has a BSc in Plant Sciences and Agriculture from Reading University, an MSc in Biotechnology and a Ph.D. in Virology from Imperial College, and a General Management Executive Education from Cambridge University. She has a long career focused mainly on technology generation, innovation ecosystems, and international development. Yvonne began her early career in agricultural research and academia followed by 15 years in private philanthropy, creating and implementing investments in agriculture, enterprise, finance, and education, including the establishment of successful institutions, particularly in Africa.

She has worked collaboratively with governments, UN agencies, international NGOs, the private sector, bilateral and multilateral donors (including the UK government), and independent private foundations.

She has worked respectfully to challenge them to think differently and to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of their work – always with an emphasis on robust evidence and an openness to a diversity of views. Her experience has ranged from working towards solutions to some of the most intractable disease problems facing African agriculture to understanding the successful elements of digital economies and technology ecosystems at the policy- and practice-level, globally. She has a keen interest in big data and its interface with science and sustainability in the bio-revolution that is upon us.