Tuesday, September 13, 2016

IRRI strengthens commitment to South Asia with two appointments

LOS BAÑOS, Philippines—The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Nafees Meah as the new IRRI regional representative for South Asia.

In his new role, Dr. Meah will work with governments of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, including Nepal, Bangladesh, and India to represent and coordinate IRRI’s programs regionally. In consultation with key universities, civil society organizations, international donors and organizations in South Asia, Dr. Meah will lead the development of a regional strategy and support the development of individual country strategies for IRRI’s research, outreach, training and resource mobilization activities.

Dr. Meah comes to IRRI from the Government and UK Research Councils (RCUK), where he served from 2012 to 2016 as Director of RCUK India office. During his time there, Dr. Meah lead RCUK’s presence in India and developed a programme of activities to deliver the organization’s strategy for deeper research and innovation engagement with India. He is also a recognized expert on sustainable agriculture, food security, and climate change.

Dr. Meah holds PhD and MSc degrees in Chemistry from the University College London and the University of Toronto, respectively as well as an LLB from the University of London. He has authored research papers, articles, and reviews in energy and climate change, chemistry, food science and risk assessment.

Dr. Meah will be based in the IRRI India office in New Delhi and will officially join the team in October, 2016.

In a complementary role, Dr. Noel Magor will take over as interim IRRI country representative for Bangladesh, beginning in mid-September. This is in addition to his current role as head of Impact Acceleration. As interim IRRI representative, Dr. Magor aims to strengthen the longstanding relationship and commitment of IRRI to Bangladesh.

With his move to Bangladesh, Dr. Magor will be returning to a country he knows well, having lived in Bangladesh for 21 years and seen his three children born there. Dr. Magor has significant professional experience in Bangladesh, and has supervised food security and poverty alleviation projects in the country. Previously, he was also seconded to the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute for 6 years as a Farming Systems Agronomist and has served as an IRRI representative for Bangladesh from 2001 to 2006.

The two appointments align with IRRI’s commitment to further develop a rice sector research strategy in Bangladesh and the South Asian region. The representatives will work together to strengthen IRRI relations with government institutions, public and private sectors, and civil societies to further enhance research collaboration and ensure food security in Bangladesh and South Asia.

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