Juan Lucas Restrepo joined as the Director General of Bioversity International on 1 March 2019 and will become CEO of the Alliance between Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in 2020.
A Colombian and French national, Juan Lucas has worked in the agricultural domain, both in public and private sectors, for the past 25 years. He has significant experience in policy, value chains, markets and in leading agricultural research. He has supported the work of CGIAR through the various governance roles he held over the years in the Committee of Genetic Resources, Oversight and Executive Committees, and as the representative of the Colombian Government on the CIAT Board of Directors as an ex-officio member.
Among other positions, Juan Lucas has served as the Vice Minister of the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Chief Commercial Officer of the Colombian Federation of Coffee Growers, and for the last eight years as the Executive Director of AGROSAVIA, the largest agricultural research organization of the country. During his time in AGROSAVIA, he has helped strengthen its reputation, human resources, finance and infrastructure. Most importantly, he helped set up its novel collaborative schemes for research, knowledge management and innovation that have contributed to improvements in the quantity and quality of the organization's outcomes and overall impact.
As its Chair, Juan Lucas also led the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR), hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), and its efforts to better integrate the agricultural research for development community, with change and innovation by farmers. He also participated in the negotiations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture where he served as head of the Colombian delegation.
In 2017, Juan Lucas led a government effort in Colombia that resulted in a National Agricultural Innovation System, which will facilitate research, education and extension, and promote innovation by farmers, help improve their livelihoods and protect and recover natural capital.
He holds a degree in civil engineering from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University in the USA.
Follow Juan Lucas Restrepo on Twitter: @jlucasrestrepo