Marco Wopereis (The Netherlands) joined the World Vegetable Center as Director General in April 2016 and is based in Taiwan. An agronomist with a Doctorate in Tropical Agronomy from Wageningen University, The Netherlands, he has global expertise in agricultural science and management, and previously served as Deputy Director General and Director of Research for Development of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) in Benin and as the Director of the Annual Crops Department of the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) in France. He also worked in different capacities for the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) in Togo, the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA, now AfricaRice) in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire and for the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. His specific strengths include fostering productive, action-oriented partnerships for efficient and effective research among international research institutes, national research systems, the private sector and community organizations.
David W. Johnson (United States of America) joined the Center as Deputy Director General – Research in January 2017. He is an agronomist and plant geneticist by training, with over two decades of experience in plant breeding, variety development and farming systems. Most recently, he served as the Director of Research and Plant Breeder at Cal West Seeds, an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences, leading the clover and alfalfa breeding program. He also served as a member of the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture. David is based at WorldVeg Headquarters.
Yin-fu Chang (Taiwan) joined the Center as Deputy Director General for Administration and Services in 2005. Trained as an entomologist with expertise in IPM and biological control, he was formerly Assistant Professor at the Institute of Tropical Agriculture & International Cooperation, National Pingtung University of Science & Technology in Taiwan. He also served with the Council of Agriculture and the Taiwan Mission in the USA as Agricultural Attaché where he was actively involved in international agricultural trade negotiations and developing agricultural science cooperative programs. In addition to his administration and services he is also responsible for host country liaison. He has a PhD in entomology from Cornell University.
Nagaraj Inukonda (India) joined the World Vegetable Center in 2009. He is the Director of Human Resources, Management Advisor to the Director General and gender focal point. He has expertise in a range of organizational management areas, including strategy and policy development, resource management, organizational behavior and organizational performance. He holds a Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the area of organization strategy and performance and has undergone specialized training from Harvard Business School, USA in Social Enterprise Management. He is a certified trainer in Emotional Intelligence (TalentSmart, USA) and Workplace Diversity (SHRM, USA). Prior to joining the social sector in 2001 at ICRISAT, he worked in management functions in the corporate sector (energy and chemicals) for over two decades. His research interests are in the areas of organizational performance, positive behavior, gender and diversity.
Dirk Overweg (The Netherlands) is Director of Finance. He is a commercial engineer with a doctorate in Applied Economic Sciences from KU Leuven, Belgium. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial management, IT and administration, and has worked in several countries in Africa and Asia. Prior to joining AVRDC in 2013, Dirk was Regional Finance Manager-Asia for Belgian Technical Cooperation based in Hanoi, and Chief, Finance & Administration for the Mekong River Commission in Lao PDR. He has also served as an independent consultant in management control matters.
Thomas Dubois (Belgium) is the Regional Director of the Eastern and Southern Africa office, based in Tanzania. Dr. Dubois received his PhD in Entomology from Cornell University, USA in 2003. From 2005 to 2012 he served as a scientist with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), where he managed aflatoxin mitigation activities, developed seed marketing systems for East Africa, and worked on strategies for harmonization of biopesticide regulations and coherence in biotechnology applications. His recent activities have emphasized value chains for rice in 11 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, developing banana as an income-generating crop through linkage with the private sector, and enhancing technologies to reduce aflatoxin contamination of crops at a commercial scale. Dr. Dubois received the 2006 Young Promising Scientist Award from the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research).
Fenton Beed (United Kingdom) joined the Center in 2014 as Regional Director, East and Southeast Asia/Oceania. An experienced plant pathologist in crop protection and biological weed control with extensive managerial experience in temperate and tropical environments. Fen worked for Ciba-Geigy, and then obtained his PhD in Plant Pathology from University College London in 1993 before working as a research scientist at the University of Nottingham in collaboration with ADAS. In 2000 he was appointed Plant Pathologist for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). During his 14 year IITA tenure, he was based in Benin, Uganda and then Tanzania, and managed a diverse portfolio of regional projects focusing on pathogen diagnostics, epidemiological studies, disease control interventions, mycotoxin mitigation, microbial genetic resources for agriculture, and facilitation of mechanisms and networks to increase communication between farmers, extension, regulators, policy makers, trade sector and donors for the pre-emptive and sustainable management of crop diseases. He is the author of more than 85 scientific papers and relishes the challenge of promoting profitable, safe and nutritious vegetables for all.
Warwick Easdown (Australia) is the Regional Director of the South Asia/Central & West Asia office in Hyderabad, India and responsible for developing regional partnerships and projects. His areas of expertise include communications, agronomy and rural internet applications. He has more than 30 years of experience in extension, administration, teaching and research. He joined the Center in 2006 as Head of Communications from a similar position at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya. Prior to this he ran extension training and research at the University of Queensland and worked in extension agronomy in subtropical Australia. He holds degrees from Australia and South Africa, and a PhD from the University of Illinois, USA.
Mamadou Kabirou Ndiaye (Mali) joined WorldVeg as Regional Director for West and Central Africa – Dry Regions in Bamako, Mali in February 2017. He is an agronomist with extensive experience in irrigated systems and crop diversification. Previously he served as the Regional Representative – Sahel for AfricaRice, and has held posts with IFDC and the Institute of Rural Economy (IER) in Mali. Dr. Ndiaye holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences from the National Polytechnic Institute, Toulouse / École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse, France.
Victor Afari-Sefa (Ghana) was appointed as Regional Director for West and Central Africa – Coastal and Humid Regions in April 2017. He has extensive experience in performance monitoring and impact assessment of horticultural value chains on smallholder livelihoods. His research focuses on assessing opportunities and challenges in vegetable production systems, analyzing constraints in the value chain, and policy in interdisciplinary context. Prior to joining the Center in 2010, he worked as the Monitoring, Evaluation (M&E) and Impact Specialist for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ghana, where he implemented the M&E framework of the Sustainable Tree Crops Program. He also has international experience in integrated economic-biophysical optimization modeling of agricultural water use. Victor holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany.