November 7, 2013

Roger Beachy to Direct World Food Center

Announced TODAY, acclaimed plant biologist Roger Beachy will become the founding director of the new World Food Center at the University of California, Davis.

Beachy, internationally known for scientific leadership and groundbreaking research in crop disease-resistance, is charged with linking transformative research with partnerships to address challenges and opportunities at the intersection of food, agriculture and health.

  Celebrating the announcement are, from left, Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture; Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove; UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi; and Roger Beachy (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo)

The World Food Center’s mission is to increase the economic benefit from campus research; influence national and international policy; and convene teams of scientists and innovators from industry, academia, government and nongovernmental organizations to tackle food-related challenges in California and around the world.

"Based on the history of UC Davis and its role in helping make California agriculture the envy of the world, I believe the World Food Center can make a transformative difference positively influencing food production and consumption here and around the world," said Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

“UC Davis is one of the very few universities in the world equipped to address global food challenges in a comprehensive manner,” Beachy said, with the added advantage of being geographically located in California’s Central Valley — the nation’s most productive agricultural region, which drives the state’s $43.5 billion annual farm economy.

Beachy, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the 2001 recipient of the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture, is currently the founding executive director and CEO of the Global Institute for Food Security in Saskatchewan, Canada. He was appointed in 2009 by President Obama as the first director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, where he served until 2011.

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