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Hans R. Herren, President & CEO

Hans Herren

Hans Herren, an internationally recognized scientist, was appointed MI's president in May 2005. Prior to joining MI, he was director-general of the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, Kenya. He also served as director of the Africa Biological Control Center of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in Benin.

At ICIPE, Hans developed and implemented programs in the area of human, animal, plant and environmental health (the 4-H paradigm) as they relate to insect issues. At IITA, he conceived and implemented the highly successful biological control program that saved the African cassava crop, and averted Africa’s worst-ever food crisis.

Over the years, Hans has moved his interests toward integrated sustainable development, in particular, linking environmental, plant, animal, and human health issues.

As MI's president, Hans' priorities are to internationalize the Institute, and develop its public sector component with new core and project funding. This funding will enable developing countries to implement MI’s Threshold 21 (T21) integrated planning model. He envisions regional MI training centers that promote the institutionalization of T21 at sub-national, country, and regional levels. At the global level, Hans will promote the use of T21 for assessments such as Global Environment Outlook, Africa Environment Outlook and International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology. MI's private sector activities, such as the partnership with General Motors, will continue and be expanded. New models will be developed for use in settings such as primary and secondary educational institutions to teach environmental and societal issues.

Hans earned his Ph.D. at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, and holds numerous awards that recognize his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. These include:

  • Election to the U.S National Academy of Sciences in 1999
  • Election to the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World (TWAS) in 2005, for his contribution to the development and support of sciences in Africa
  • Recipient of the 1995 World Food Prize, the highest award given to an individual for advancing human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world
  • Recipient of the 1995 Kilby Award, given to individuals who have made significant contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention, and education
  • Recipient of the 2002 Brandenberger Preis, for improving the living standards of Africa's rural population through the development of agricultural projection methods that is in harmony with the environment
  • Recipient of the 2003 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, awarded to individuals whose contributions to environmental science, energy and medicine confer great benefit upon mankind
  • Recipient of the 1991 Sir and Lady Rank Prize for Nutrition, awarded by the former Prime Minister of Britian, Lady Margaret Thatcher

Hans serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including co-chairing the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology, (IAASTD); chairman of BioVision, a Swiss foundation with a global mandate to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of poor people while maintaining the precious natural resource base that sustains life; president of the International Association of the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS); and member, US Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR).