Purdue University distinguished professor of agronomy and World Food Prize laureate Gebisa Ejeta has received a presidential appointment to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.
The board advises the administrator of the U. S. Agency for International Development on agricultural development priorities and on U.S. universities' involvement in Title XII (Famine Prevention and Freedom from Hunger) issues worldwide.
President Barack Obama made the three-year appointment April 22.
Ejeta noted that a predecessor to USAID built the high school and college he attended in his native Ethiopia.
"I have now gone full circle," Ejeta said, "from a young African child given an opportunity for education by an act of a U.S. government body such as this to now having the chance to offer a new vision or a new policy directive that may give a similar chance for an education to another African child or a life-saving act for another child somewhere. What a privilege and responsibility."
Ejeta received the 2009 World Food Prize for developing a drought- and disease-resistant sorghum.
He was appointed a science envoy for the U.S. State Department in 2010. He is executive director of the newly created Purdue Center for Global Food Security and serves on the boards of the Consortium of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Sasakawa Africa Association, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Agricultural Development Program.
Ejeta also is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy.
He received a bachelor's degree in plant sciences from Alemaya College of Agriculture in Ethiopia and a master's and doctoral in plant genetics and breeding from Purdue.