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Bioversity International announces appointment of new Director General

Juan Lucas Restrepo will join Bioversity International as Director General in March 2019, and will become CEO of the Alliance between Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in 2020.

Cali and Rome, 28 November 2018 - The Boards of Trustees of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) named Juan Lucas Restrepo as Bioversity International’s Director General and CEO-Designate of the Alliance between the Centres on 27 November 2018. Restrepo, who is currently director of Agrosavia, the Colombian Corporation for Agricultural Research, the country’s largest agricultural research organization, will take up his new assignment based in Rome on 1 March 2019.

Restrepo is a seasoned leader who brings decades of experience and a proven record of accomplishment improving the capacity, quality, effectiveness and impact of agricultural research-for-development organizations. During the dialogue with the Boards, both Chairs and the elected Director General/CEO-Designate showed their appreciation to the Directors General of Bioversity International and CIAT, as well as all their staff members for their commitment to building the Alliance.

"I am thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity,” said Restrepo. “I am looking forward to combining my experience supporting agricultural development in a variety of fields with the skills and knowledge of the excellent individuals working in both Centres. I am certain that together we will harness the strengths of the Alliance towards our vision and achieving greater impact."     

Geoff Hawtin, Chair of the CIAT Board said, “I am delighted at the appointment of Juan Lucas Restrepo. His outstanding success in leading a large and complex agricultural research organization, his international experience and his enthusiasm will all stand him in great stead as he contributes to building the Alliance during 2019 and leads it as its CEO thereafter.”

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Chair of the Bioversity International Board, said, “Juan Lucas is the right choice for this exciting international position, combining his deep experience and understanding of the research, development and governance opportunities and challenges in the establishment of the robust Alliance we are all committed to.” 

Bioversity International and CIAT are world leaders in research for agriculture, nutrition, the environment, biodiversity and technology. The Alliance between Bioversity International and CIAT will combine decades of research expertise to develop and deploy innovative, demand-driven, evidence-based and scalable solutions for sustainable food systems and improved land management. The research-for-development agenda will harness agrobiodiversity and explore frontiers of the digital and genomic revolutions.

Through the Alliance, the Centres will contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement, Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Bonn Challenge, among other critical global objectives. The Alliance will deepen the Centres’ involvement in regional and national research-for-development agendas in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Working with government agencies, the private sector, multilateral institutions, development banks, non-governmental organizations and civil society, the Alliance will deliver greater impact.

The Alliance’s strategic presence in Rome will strengthen partnerships with the Rome-based UN organizations, especially the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme.