World Food Center recruits permanent director

UC Davis has mounted a recruitment for the first permanent director of the World Food Center.

Photo: Roger Beachy mugshot

Roger Beachy’s term as the founding director comes to an end Jan. 31, after which he will stay on as a senior fellow and continue his work on partnerships in China. They include a memorandum of understanding to establish the World Food Center-China.

Beachy, a renowned plant scientist, joined UC Davis in January 2014 to start the World Food Center on its path to innovative and transformational solutions to global challenges in food and health.

“We have benefitted greatly from Roger’s experience as a scientist and as a leader who has started similar institutions,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said. “Our World Food Center is poised to make tremendous contributions in food security, health and sustainability.”

Beachy, recipient of the Wolf Prize in Agriculture, previously served as founding director or founding president at the Global Institute for Food Security in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center near St. Louis.

He is a former chief scientist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and served as the first director of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture from 2009 to 2011, having been appointed by President Barack Obama.

Recruitment committee

Beachy joins nine other administrators and faculty members named by the chancellor to the recruitment advisory committee for the World Food Center’s permanent director.

“This will be a critically important hire for UC Davis, filling in behind Roger Beachy who has done an excellent job as our founding director,” the chancellor wrote in a letter to the committee members.

Helene Dillard, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is the committee chair.

The World Food Center is structured to convene teams of scientists and innovators from industry, academia, government and nongovernmental organizations to tackle food-related challenges in California and around the world, while at the same time boosting the economic benefit of campus research, and influencing national and international policy.

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