Martin Kropff, CGIAR Global Director of the Resilient Agri-food Systems Science Area (RAFS)

Martin Kropff is the Global Director of CGIAR’s new Resilient Agro-Food Systems science area. In this role, he is building the world’s largest scientific group on resilient agri-food systems and uniting scientists across 6 regions in Asia, Africa and Latin America and through 15 Research Initiatives in themes such as farming, cropping and livestock/aquatic food systems.

From 2015 and up until the middle of 2021, he was Director General of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). At CIMMYT, he led the development and implementation of a new Strategic Plan for science with impact at scale. He also helped frame the One CIMMYT philosophy, which encourages a shared mission and vision through scientific excellence, impact through partnerships and capacity development.

Before joining CIMMYT, Kropff was rector magnificus of Wageningen University and vice chair of the executive board of Wageningen University and Research. During his 10 years’ tenure, it developed into the highest-rated agricultural university in the world. He was also a member of the Top Team developing the Agri & Food TopSector in the Netherlands.

Kropff has had a critical role in the development of One CGIAR, leading the 2016 reform, serving on the first System Management Board, and contributing to the CGIAR 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy as co-chair of the advisory group.

Kropff earned a graduate degree in biology at Utrecht University and a Ph.D. at Wageningen University, both cum laude. He holds honorary doctorates from the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences, Ukraine and the Czech University of Life Sciences. He concurrently holds a professor position with Wageningen University.

His scientific background is in systems agronomy, agroecology, crop modelling and climate smart agriculture. He has supervised more than 30 Ph.D. students, many of them working in developing countries.