Director, Generation Challenge Programme (GCP), MEXICO
Jean-Marcel Ribaut is the Director of the Generation Challenge Programme, one of the Programmes created by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), with the mission to use genetic diversity and advanced plant science to improve crops by adding value to breeding for drought-prone and harsh environments.
Trained in plant physiology and genetics at Lausanne University in Switzerland, Dr. Ribaut joined CIMMYT in 1993 as a post-doc in the Biotechnology Program. In 2001, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Applied Biotechnology Program, and in 2004 became the Group Leader for Biotechnology at CIMMYT. During his time at CIMMYT, Dr. Ribaut’s research activities focused on drought tolerance – a major objective of the GCP – and he is now an internationally recognized expert in the field. As Senior Scientist in the Genetic Resources Program, Dr. Ribaut has been in charge of the genetic dissection and marker-assisted selection (MAS) for maize and wheat improvement under abiotic stress conditions and development of new MAS strategies. In collaboration with a number of outside partners, he also pursued activities in metabolites quantification, proteomics, and bioinformatics. In addition to his research expertise and extensive collaborative activities, Dr. Ribaut has been responsible for the capacity building and training of many students and scientists from developing countries.
In 2005, he was appointed the position of Director of the GCP. GCP is operated through a network of more than 200 partners drawn from CGIAR Centres, academia, regional and national research programmes, and capacity enhancement to assist developing world researchers to tap into a broader and richer pool of plant genetic diversity. In this way, GCP strives to ensure that crops improved by cutting-edge research will reach farmers in the developing world.