Dr. Roger Beachy to spearhead GIFS effort to feed a growing world
SASKATOON, Jan. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The recently established Global
Institute for Food Security (GIFS) is pleased to announce the
appointment of Roger Beachy as its founding Executive Director and CEO
effective January 1, 2013. World-renowned with a prolific body of
scholarly research over his 40-year career, Beachy is internationally
recognized for his groundbreaking research in food crops, production
agriculture and the applications of biotechnology in agriculture,
nutrition, and human health.
"I was drawn to the vision of the new Institute and the spirit of
innovation and collaboration that led to its creation," said Beachy.
"With Saskatchewan's unique strengths in bio-science and agriculture, I
am committed to helping GIFS take its place among the most exceptional
in the world."
Beachy will draw on his experience as founder of the world-class
Danforth Plant Science Centre in Missouri, first Director of the
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Chief Scientist of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, to help launch the Institute onto the
world stage. After the start-up phase, Beachy will remain actively
involved in the Institute in a senior oversight capacity.
The Province of Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan and Potash
Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (PotashCorp) formally launched the
Institute on December 10, 2012. The Institute will be housed at the
University of Saskatchewan.
"Dr. Beachy's appointment to GIFS reflects our continued effort and
ability to attract top talent to Saskatchewan," said Lyle Stewart,
Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture. "His leadership will be the
foundation for advancing the targets in our government's plan for
growth and will position Saskatchewan to help meet the growing global
demand for food. It is my pleasure to welcome Dr. Beachy to the
Research under Beachy's leadership has led to a number of issued
scientific patents and pending applications, 50 book articles and more
than 230 journal publications. He is a member and fellow of a number of
scientific societies, including the American Society of Plant
Biologists, American Association for the Advancement of Science,
American Academy of Microbiology, American Society for Biochemistry and
Molecular Biology, and American Society for Virology. He is a current
member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and past president of
the International Association for Plant Biotechnology.
"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Beachy to the university and look
forward to the vision and passion he will bring to the work of the new
Institute," said Dr. Ilene Busch-Vishniac, President of the University
of Saskatchewan. "His leadership and expertise in agriculture and
food-systems research will contribute greatly to our university's
preeminence and research capacity in these areas."
Beachy has received numerous awards and honors for his research and
leadership. He has been recognized by the American Phytopathological
Society with the coveted Ruth Allen Award, the Bank of Delaware's
Commonwealth Award for Science and Industry, the Dennis Robert Hoagland
Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists, and the William D.
Phillips Technology Advancement Award from the St. Louis County
Economic Council. He was once named R&D Magazine's Scientist of the
Year and is a past recipient of the esteemed Wolf Prize in Agriculture.
"To have a tangible impact on food security, the Institute requires
strong, respected leadership," said Bill Doyle, President and Chief
Executive Officer of PotashCorp. "Roger brings immediate credibility to
this initiative and is the best person to lay the groundwork that will
help the Institute achieve its long-term goals. Roger is a builder with
a rare combination of insight, experience and understanding that will
help establish this Institute as a positive force for improving
long-term sustainable food production around the world."
Beachy holds a Ph.D. in plant pathology from Michigan State University
and a B.A. in biology from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana.
About the Global Institute for Food Security
The Province of Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan, and
PotashCorp formally established the Global Institute for Food Security
on December 10, 2012. With initial commitments of up to CDN $35 million
from PotashCorp and CDN $15 million from the Province over the next
seven years, the institute will apply Saskatchewan's unique resources,
innovation and expertise to address the increasing global demand for
safe, reliable food. Background information and video about the
Institute is available for download at www.globalinstituteforfoodsecurity.org.
SOURCE: Global Institute for Food Security
For further information:
University of Saskatchewan
Director, Research Communications
Province of Saskatchewan
Senior Director, Public Affairs