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Frison, Emile

Special Representative

Emile Frison was the Director General of Bioversity International from August 2003 to July 2013.

Emile has spent most of his career in international agricultural research for development, starting at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria in 1979.

A plant pathologist by training, Emile served as a Senior Scientist with Bioversity International where he held special responsibility for the health of samples of crop diversity. He then served as Director of Bioversity International’s regional office for Europe and, until his appointment to the top position at Bioversity International, was Director of the organization’s International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain in Montpellier, France. Emile recently led the organization, its stakeholders and partners in the formulation of a new strategic vision, in which nutrition and agricultural biodiversity will play an important role in the overall goal of reducing hunger and poverty in a sustainable manner. 

As Director General of Bioversity International, a CGIAR Research Centre, he has led the CGIAR System-Wide Genetic Resources Policy Programme (SGRP) and is a member of the CGIAR Genetic Resources Policy Committee (GRPC).

He also served as Chair of the Alliance Executive of the CGIAR in 2007 and 2008. Emile is also a member of the Board of Directors of Ecoagriculture Partners. In September 2007, he was appointed as Extraordinary Professor in genetic resources by the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Since February 2008, Dr Frison has been a Member of the International Advisory Council of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. In March 2009, he was appointed Member of the Executive Board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. He is author and co-author of over 150 scientific publications and is a member of several scientific societies.