2015 was a remarkable year for CIMMYT, with scientific innovations that respond to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.
I am proud of the achievements of our 1,300 colleagues around the world whose devoted work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.
In 2016, CIMMYT will celebrate 50 years of improving food security and livelihoods. In particular I would like to thank Thomas Lumpkin who served as DG until 1 June 2015 for his commitment, wise counsel and support.
I would also like to thank the many donors who have generously funded CIMMYT’s work, as well as the many partners and stakeholders without whom we would never achieve impact.
Please continue helping us to offer productive, resource-conserving options for farmers.
Remembering Paula Kantor
On May 13, 2015, Paula Kantor, a gender and development specialist, died tragically at the age of 46 in a terrorist attack on the hotel where she was staying in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Kantor joined CIMMYT in February 2015 to lead a project aimed at empowering and improving the livelihoods of women, men and youth in important wheat-growing areas of Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Pakistan.
“Paula had vast experience – she spent most of her working life in these contexts – in very patriarchal societies – and had a great love for the people living in these regions,” said Lone Badstue, gender specialist at CIMMYT. “She also had a deep understanding of what she felt needed to change so that both men and women could have a better chance to influence their own lives and choose their own path.”
A US citizen, Kantor earned a master’s degree in Gender and Development from Britain’s Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in 1990 and then a doctoral degree focused on international economic development and gender from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000.
Before joining CIMMYT, Kantor served as a senior gender specialist with the CGIAR’s WorldFish organization. She also worked at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) in Washington, D.C., developing intervention research programs in gender and rural livelihoods, including a focus on gender and agricultural value chains.
Kantor was previously based in Kabul where she worked as director and manager of the gender and livelihoods research portfolios at the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), an independent research agency.
Although only a member of the CIMMYT team for a short time, Kantor’s involvement in “GENNOVATE,” a collaborative, comparative research initiative by gender researchers from a series of international agricultural research centers, was critical.
GENNOVATE focuses on understanding gender norms and how they influence the ability of people to access, try out, adopt or adapt new agricultural technology. Kantor provided key analytical and theoretical guidance, inspiring the group to take action and ensure that Gennovate took hold.
“Paula was a pillar in our gender work and a dear friend to many of us,” said Badstue.