Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze is the fifth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), having served from April 2007 to March 2017. He is currently an FAO Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger, Africa Region, and serves on the CGIAR System Management Board and the Board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Dr. Nwanze has over 40 years of professional experience in three continents and a strong record as an advocate and leader of change and a keen understanding of the complexity of development issues with emphasis on smallholder producers and rural development. Prior to IFAD, he was Director General of the Africa Rice Center for a decade. Dr. Nwanze previously held senior positions at a number of research centers affiliated with the CGIAR in Africa and Asia. He has received national honors from governments of over a dozen countries in Africa, Europe and Latin America in recognition of his service to the rural poor of developing countries. He was awarded a doctor of science degree honoris causa from McGill University, Canada, in 2012 and the University of Warwick, UK, in 2015. Dr. Nwanze was also awarded the inaugural Africa Food Prize in 2016 for his outstanding leadership and passionate advocacy in putting Africa´s smallholder farmers at the center of the global agricultural agenda. He serves as Chairman and Chief Executive of FAYODE (Facility for Youth Development), which he incorporated as a foundation in January 2018. The facility aims to support, train and mentor Africa’s youth in developing their entrepreneurial skills.
He holds a B.Sc. in Agricultural Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Entomology from Kansas State University, Kansas, USA.