World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Gebisa Ejeta Named Science Envoy

Above: Dr. Gebisa Ejeta is one of three eminent Americans
who are selected to represent the U.S. as scientist-diplomats.

Tadias Magazine
Events news

Updated: Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New York (Tadias) – Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, a distinguished Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University and an acclaimed plant breeder and geneticist, has been named an envoy in the U.S. Science Envoy Program, established to nurture science and technology collaborations between the United States and nations throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.

Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) made the announcement on September 17 at an event hosted by the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation. “The Science Envoy program, announced by President Obama in Cairo in June 2009, is a centerpiece program to implement U.S. global engagement in science and technology,” the State Department said in a press release. “These preeminent scientists will seek to deepen existing ties and foster new relationships with foreign counterparts and gain insights from other nations about potential areas of collaboration that will help address global challenges and realize shared goals.”

The Ethiopian-born scientist, who was also winner of the 2009 World Food Prize, is one of three Americans who are selected to represent the U.S. as scientist-diplomats, including Dr. Rita Colwell, a Professor at both the University of Maryland College Park and Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Alice Gast, President of Lehigh University.

Professor Gebisa, whom along with a Purdue colleague, discovered the chemical basis of the relationship between the deadly parasitic weed striga and sorghum and was able to produce sorghum varieties resistant to both drought and striga, won the 2009 World Food Prize for his major contributions in the production of sorghum, one of the world’s five principal grains. His work has dramatically enhanced the food supply for millions of people in sub-Sahara Africa.

Per the U.S. State Department: “Secretary Clinton announced the first three science envoys in November 2009: Dr. Bruce Alberts, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, and Dr. Ahmed Zewail. During 2010, they traveled to 11 countries in North Africa; the Middle East; South and Southeast Asia; and Europe. The science envoys travel in their capacity as private citizens, and they advise the White House, the Department of State, and the U.S. scientific community about the knowledge and insights they gain from their travels and interactions.”

Related News:
2009 World Food Prize winner to speak at Loras College

Related past video:
Ethiopian American Named 2009 World Food Prize Laureate

3 Responses to “World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Gebisa Ejeta Named Science Envoy”

  1. 1 Gigi Oct 4th, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Congadulations Dr Gebisa, You are one true hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 2 Yeshimebet Tilahun Oct 4th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    This is great news. I have followed Dr. Gebisa Ejeta’s research with keen interest. He is doing an amazing work and the U.S.A is lucky to have him as a world ambassador! Congratulations Professor Ejeta!!

  3. 3 moon Oct 7th, 2010 at 8:25 am

    great man from great land

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