Message from the Chair of the Board of Trustees The next half century: Taking the Legacy forward

In October 2016, I had the immense honor of taking over from John Snape, who made tremendous contributions as the chair of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)’s Board of Trustees. This change occurred at a particularly auspicious time in the Center’s history, as the depth and breadth of partnerships and donor support had just been evidenced in multiple events marking the Center’s 50th anniversary. These events showcased CIMMYT’s unique and distinctive comparative advantage in applying maize and wheat science to improve livelihoods.

Director General Martin Kropff and Nicole Birrell present a plaque to outgoing Board Chair John Snape.

As shown in the reports that follow and in the new “Strategic Plan 2017-2022: Improving Livelihoods through Maize and Wheat Science,” activities and outputs directly address efforts to meet key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, they target critical challenges of food insecurity and malnutrition, climate change and environmental degradation.

The board takes a keen interest in the continuous improvement of Center scientific and corporate processes, its ability to respond to new and existing threats and to take advantage of emerging opportunities for partnerships and collaborations.

To enhance the Center’s effectiveness, transparency and accountability, management is strengthening project management, with a focus on monitoring, evaluation, learning, and improving internal communications.

CIMMYT also played a significant role in the CGIAR’s 2016 transformation, with donors uniting to ensure that food and nutrition security can be realized through research with impact.

As we enter the next 50 years in CIMMYT’s history, I take this opportunity to thank our worldwide donors, collaborators, fellow board members, management committee, scientists and staff for their commitment and dedication to CIMMYT’s mission.

Nicole L. Birrell, Chair, Board of Trustees

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