Committee Members

The CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative and its activities are coordinated by a committee of plant and animal breeders, and social scientists from across CGIAR Research Programs, centers, and partners.

Alessandra Galiè

Gender Scientist, International Livestock Research Institute
Dr. Galiè has more than 10 years of experience working on gender issues in agricultural research for development. She obtained her PhD from Wageningen University, NL and currently works as a Gender Scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). She conducts gender research in livestock value chains in the framework of empowerment, food and nutrition security, seed governance, and participatory plant breeding.

Béla Teeken

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Béla Teeken is a gender postdoctoral research fellow at IITA working closely together with the cassava breeding unit. He is especially interested in how the biophysical environment, local institutions and culture shape and determine local agricultural innovations and practices and how such innovations and practices relate to those of formal scientific research. He worked shortly on grassroots innovations at the NGO ‘Sristi’ in India, before pursuing his PhD research at the Knowledge Technology and Innovation group of Wageningen University. He has an interdisciplinary background with an MSc thesis in rural development sociology and another in agronomy/plant physiology both with fieldwork in West-Africa. His PhD combined these disciplines and covered research on rice cultivation in West-Africa and particularly in the Togo Hills in Ghana and Togo.

Cynthia McDougall

Gender Research Leader, WorldFish and CGIAR Research Program on Fish
Cynthia McDougall is the Gender Research Leader for WorldFish and the CGIAR Research Program on Fish (‘FISH’). She is an interdisciplinary social scientist with over 20 years of experience in food security, gender and social equity, and natural resource governance. In her current role, she leads gender mainstreaming and the development of gender transformative approaches in aquaculture, fisheries and nutrition research. Her particular interest is in interdisciplinary, mixed methods, and participatory and participatory action research approaches and how these can leverage scalable shifts towards empowerment, equality, poverty reduction, and nutrition security and sustainability. Dr McDougall holds an MPhil (Geography) from Cambridge University in the UK and a PhD (Knowledge, Technology and Innovation) from Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Esther Njuguna-Mungai

Gender Specialist, International Centre for Research in Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
Esther Njuguna-Mungai, [PhD in development economics], is a social scientist, currently working as the Gender Specialist International Centre for Research in Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), East and Southern Africa Program. She is coordinating a portfolio of research that seeks to understand the ‘Gender Yield Gap’, ‘Women participation in agricultural value chains, ‘interface between gender research, women and crop breeding processes’ ‘Gender Norms’ ‘and capacity enhancement for gender research implementation’ in Sub Saharan Africa. She has been working with male and female smallholder farmers since 1996. She is a graduate of Wageningen University and Research Centre (Agricultural Development – Msc) and University of Nairobi – (Agricultural Development and Economics) – PhD.

Eva Weltzien–Rattunde

Honorary Associate, Agronomy Department, University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA
Eva Weltzien’s research has focused on the effective use of sorghum, pearl millet and barley genetic resources for variety development and seed systems that best meet women and men farmers’ needs in dryland production areas, in Syrian India, and West Africa. She coordinated research on sorghum improvement in West-Africa for ICRISAT for 17 years, focussing on methodologies for participatory plant breeding to address production constraints and meet family needs for food and other cereal products. Her research on enhancing local seed systems has resulted in an active network of farmer seed producer cooperatives in several West-African countries. In 2015 she was awarded the ‘Justus von Liebig Prize for World Nutrition’, jointly with her husband Fred Rattunde. She received her Doctorate degree from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Graham Thiele

Program Director, CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas
Graham Thiele, PhD, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers, and Bananas (RTB). Graham is a social scientist and expert in targeting, priority setting, and impact and adoption studies of new agricultural technologies. He spent 17 years with the International Potato Center (CIP), most recently as the Leader for Social and Health Sciences. Graham has worked in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Tanzania, Kenya, Benin, Rwanda, Indonesia, and the Philippines. He helped develop, implement, and assess several, novel participatory methodologies designed to link farmers with markets, inform research agendas, and promote innovation in policies, products, and technology uptake. Graham holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and an MSc in Agricultural Economics.

Hale Ann Tufan

International Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, United States
Hale Ann Tufan is Principle Investigator of the GREAT project. A molecular biologist by training, has worked for the John Innes Centre, CIMMYT, and the University of East Anglia, School of International Development. She joined International Programs, Cornell University in 2012 to manage the NEXTGEN Cassava project, for which she developed the NEXTGEN Cassava “Gender-Responsive Cassava Breeding” initiative to capture needs, priorities and challenges women and men face in cassava production, to prioritize gendered traits in breeding program design and implementation. Her current research focus is linking qualitative cassava trait descriptors with breeding and food science variables on station.

Juliet Kariuki

Post Doctoral Fellow, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Juliet Kariuki is a Post Doctoral Fellow working in gender and animal breeding at the International Livestock Research Institute. She recently completed her PhD in Agricultural Sciences under the Division of Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development, at the University ofHohenheim. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Environment, Culture and Society and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Her doctoral research focused on understanding the social dimensions of payments for ecosystem service schemes in Kenya with a focus on gender and governance. She has experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative research on pastoralists’ vulnerability to climate change in arid and semi-arid lands and in understanding marketing and intra-household dynamics of poor men and women in livestock-dependent households from Africa.

Stefania Grando

Honorary Fellow, ICRISAT, India and International Consultant
Stefania is a plant breeder with more than 30 years of experience in research for development spanning across Africa and Asia and research management and leadership, mentoring, inter-organizational relations and communication skills. Her research focused on crop (barley, sorghum, and millets) improvement for adaptation to difficult environments and users’ needs, by an effective use of genetic resources and the development and adoption of participatory research methodologies. She is currently working as an international consultant. Stefania was a lead author in the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development and served on the Program Advisory Committee of the CGIAR System-wide program on Participatory Research and Gender Analysis.Stefania holds a Doctorate from the University of Perugia, Italy in Productivity of Crop Plants/Plant Breeding.  

Alessandra Galiè

Gender Scientist, International Livestock Research Institute
Dr. Galiè has more than 10 years of experience working on gender issues in agricultural research for development. She obtained her PhD from Wageningen University, NL and currently works as a Gender Scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). She conducts gender research in livestock value chains in the framework of empowerment, food and nutrition security, seed governance, and participatory plant breeding.

Béla Teeken

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Béla Teeken is a gender postdoctoral research fellow at IITA working closely together with the cassava breeding unit. He is especially interested in how the biophysical environment, local institutions and culture shape and determine local agricultural innovations and practices and how such innovations and practices relate to those of formal scientific research. He worked shortly on grassroots innovations at the NGO ‘Sristi’ in India, before pursuing his PhD research at the Knowledge Technology and Innovation group of Wageningen University. He has an interdisciplinary background with an MSc thesis in rural development sociology and another in agronomy/plant physiology both with fieldwork in West-Africa. His PhD combined these disciplines and covered research on rice cultivation in West-Africa and particularly in the Togo Hills in Ghana and Togo.

Esther Njuguna-Mungai

Gender Specialist, International Centre for Research in Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
Esther Njuguna-Mungai, [PhD in development economics], is a social scientist, currently working as the Gender Specialist International Centre for Research in Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), East and Southern Africa Program. She is coordinating a portfolio of research that seeks to understand the ‘Gender Yield Gap’, ‘Women participation in agricultural value chains, ‘interface between gender research, women and crop breeding processes’ ‘Gender Norms’ ‘and capacity enhancement for gender research implementation’ in Sub Saharan Africa. She has been working with male and female smallholder farmers since 1996. She is a graduate of Wageningen University and Research Centre (Agricultural Development – Msc) and University of Nairobi – (Agricultural Development and Economics) – PhD.

Eva Weltzien–Rattunde

Honorary Associate, Agronomy Department, University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA
Eva Weltzien’s research has focused on the effective use of sorghum, pearl millet and barley genetic resources for variety development and seed systems that best meet women and men farmers’ needs in dryland production areas, in Syrian India, and West Africa. She coordinated research on sorghum improvement in West-Africa for ICRISAT for 17 years, focussing on methodologies for participatory plant breeding to address production constraints and meet family needs for food and other cereal products. Her research on enhancing local seed systems has resulted in an active network of farmer seed producer cooperatives in several West-African countries. In 2015 she was awarded the ‘Justus von Liebig Prize for World Nutrition’, jointly with her husband Fred Rattunde. She received her Doctorate degree from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Graham Thiele

Program Director, CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas
Graham Thiele, PhD, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers, and Bananas (RTB). Graham is a social scientist and expert in targeting, priority setting, and impact and adoption studies of new agricultural technologies. He spent 17 years with the International Potato Center (CIP), most recently as the Leader for Social and Health Sciences. Graham has worked in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Tanzania, Kenya, Benin, Rwanda, Indonesia, and the Philippines. He helped develop, implement, and assess several, novel participatory methodologies designed to link farmers with markets, inform research agendas, and promote innovation in policies, products, and technology uptake. Graham holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and an MSc in Agricultural Economics.

Hale Ann Tufan

International Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, United States
Hale Ann Tufan is Principle Investigator of the GREAT project. A molecular biologist by training, has worked for the John Innes Centre, CIMMYT, and the University of East Anglia, School of International Development. She joined International Programs, Cornell University in 2012 to manage the NEXTGEN Cassava project, for which she developed the NEXTGEN Cassava “Gender-Responsive Cassava Breeding” initiative to capture needs, priorities and challenges women and men face in cassava production, to prioritize gendered traits in breeding program design and implementation. Her current research focus is linking qualitative cassava trait descriptors with breeding and food science variables on station.

Juliet Kariuki

Post Doctoral Fellow, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Juliet Kariuki is a Post Doctoral Fellow working in gender and animal breeding at the International Livestock Research Institute. She recently completed her PhD in Agricultural Sciences under the Division of Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development, at the University ofHohenheim. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Environment, Culture and Society and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Her doctoral research focused on understanding the social dimensions of payments for ecosystem service schemes in Kenya with a focus on gender and governance. She has experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative research on pastoralists’ vulnerability to climate change in arid and semi-arid lands and in understanding marketing and intra-household dynamics of poor men and women in livestock-dependent households from Africa.