Leadership team

Arun Baral


Arun Baral

Chief Executive Officer

Arun Baral was appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of HarvestPlus on July 1, 2019, succeeding HarvestPlus founder Howarth Bouis. As CEO, Baral oversees the interdisciplinary, global effort of HarvestPlus to develop and deliver micronutrient-rich staple food crops to reduce micronutrient deficiency (or “hidden hunger”) among malnourished populations. He champions biofortification within the CGIAR system, the private sector, among national agricultural research centers, and in the international agriculture and nutrition communities. He focuses on developing effective partnerships to scale up biofortification and support development of sustainable biofortified food systems that provide access to nutritious food for all.  Baral also spearheaded the establishment of HarvestPlus Solutions, a non-profit entity that is working with partners in the private and public sector to fill gaps in biofortified food value chains to scale up biofortified products.

Baral joined HarvestPlus in 2017 as chief financial officer, after more than 30 years in the international agriculture sector, with roles in commercial operations, profit and loss (P&L) management, strategy, finance, business development, and marketing. He has been based in Asia, Africa, and the United States, and has also traveled extensively for work in Latin America. Baral spent over 24 years at DuPont Pioneer, including as Asia Regional Business Director, where he was instrumental in developing and executing a strategy that significantly grew the Asia business during his tenure. Baral holds a Master of Business Administration from Drake University in Iowa, and a Bachelor of Commerce (honors) from Delhi University in India.

Adam Mayaki

Chief Financial Officer

Adam Mayaki is the Chief Financial Officer for both HarvestPlus and HarvestPlus Solutions. He is an accomplished leader with over 15 years of experience in financial and operational management, organizational fiduciary oversight, effective planning and analysis, and human resources management. At HarvestPlus, Adam provides leadership for finance, risk management, human resources, and administration functions while actively supporting country programs and building capacity of in-country finance teams. For HarvestPlus Solutions, in collaboration with the CEO and the senior leadership team, he works on expanding the organization’s presence globally and establishing partnerships that help fill the gaps in biofortified seed and food value chains.
Prior to joining HarvestPlus, Adam was the Senior Director of Finance and Operations at the World Cocoa Foundation, where he provided fiduciary oversight for the organization, financial and revenue planning, cost control, risk management, and budgeting. Adam has served in leadership finance roles in other multimillion dollar international organizations in the private and nonprofit sectors, which allowed him to work in many countries and acquire a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with organizations that have an international presence. Adam holds an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management of Devry University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the Robert H. Smith Business School of the University of Maryland.

Dr. Ekin Birol

Ekin Birol

Director, Impact and Strategy

Ekin Birol is an accomplished research leader and senior manager with 15 years of post-doctorate experience in identifying evidence gaps; designing research portfolios, projects, and programs; fundraising and donor engagement; and implementing research projects with policy and programmatic implications in the fields of nutrition, agriculture, food, and environment. She has over 20 years of international experience working effectively with universities, research centers, donors, CSOs, and public and private sectors in countries of all regions. In 2010, after three years as a research fellow with the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Birol joined HarvestPlus in her current position. The department’s 10 full time staff working closely with some 40 collaborators to conduct research to inform the development of targeted and cost-effective biofortification interventions; to estimate their acceptance, reach and effectiveness and to communicate research results to a wide range of audiences. Birol holds a PhD, MPhil, MSc, and BSc (Honors) from the Department of Economics at University College London. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Cambridge. In 2010 and 2014, Birol received special awards in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments as an IFPRI/HarvestPlus employee. She has published two edited volumes, over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, and over 30 chapters in edited volumes. 


Lynn Brown

Director, Alliances and Policy 

Lynn Brown joined HarvestPlus in her current role in July 2020 after a long career focused on food and nutrition policy. She had an extensive career at the World Bank and held senior positions within the UN World Food Programme, including as its first Chief Economist. Since 2013 Brown has been a senior independent adviser to several leaders and organizations in the areas of gender, food and nutrition security, agricultural policy, and livelihoods/social protection. 

Her expertise spans the food security agenda. She worked in both the agricultural  and nutrition sectors in the World Bank, including managing the World Bank’s nutrition portfolio in Bangladesh. At WFP, Brown also worked as the chief of social protection.  She was the representative for Rachel Kyte to the Global Panel on Agriculture, Food Systems and Nutrition, negotiated WFP’s entry into the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, and founded the Nutrition workstream in that Platform. Joining HarvestPlus completes a career cycle as she began her career at IFPRI, where she co-led IFPRI’s research on gender, which together with biofortification has been a career long commitment. 

Dr. Wolf Pfeiffer

Wolfgang Pfeiffer

Director, Research and Development;

Wolfgang Pfeiffer is a project manager and scientist with 35 years of experience in crop improvement, commercialization, and international agriculture. He has been with HarvestPlus for over 12 years, serving in a variety of capacities, including Global Director of Product Development & Commercialization and Plant Breeding Coordinator. Currently, Pfeiffer leads the research team and drives the development, delivery, and commercialization of biofortified crops through collaboration with over 400 partners in 50 countries. During his time with HarvestPlus, Pfeiffer has led HarvestPlus through the initial phases of gene discovery, product development, and commercialization while expanding organizational capacity. Under his direction, over 200 micronutrient-dense, high-yielding, and profitable varieties of key staple crops have been released in over 30 countries. He has also established country teams and created strategies to deliver seed and food products under social, commercial, and mixed marketing situations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Pfeiffer’s experience includes working with a wide range of crops, including rice, wheat, maize, cassava, beans, pearl millet, banana, plantain, cowpea, Irish potato, lentil, and sorghum. Pfeiffer received his PhD in agricultural sciences, a Master of Science in agricultural sciences with a focus on plant production, and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Hohenheim (Germany).

Donald Mavindidze


Donald Mavindidze

Regional Director, Africa    

Donald Mavindidze is a Zimbabwe national with more than 20 years’ experience in the agriculture sector in Africa. Donald started his career in Zimbabwe and previously worked for Monsanto for more than 16 years, where he held various positions in different locations. He started working for Monsanto in Zimbabwe as a Field Manager, then moved to Malawi where he held the role of Plant Manager and subsequently was appointed to the position of Operations Lead for the Central Eastern and Southern Africa Region, where he was responsible for supply chain operations covering Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. Donald relocated to Zambia in 2013 to be Country Lead. Donald transitioned into agricultural development in 2016, when he took up the role of Director of Commercialisation at the African Agriculture Technology Foundation before joining HarvestPlus in 2018. Donald graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture with honors in crop science. He also holds an ACCA diploma in financial management and a Master of Business Leadership degree obtained from the School of Business Leadership at the University of South Africa.

Marilia Nuti


Marilia Nuti

coordinator, Latin America & the Caribbean    

Marilia Nuti holds a Master of Science in food science from the State University of Campinas, Brazil. She earned post-graduate degrees in nutritional planning from the University of Gent, Belgium, and in consumer studies from the University of Guelph, Canada, while working as a full-time researcher and lecturer at the Department of Nutrition and Food Planning, State University of Campinas, Brazil.  Her work experiences in the private sector included technical director of Nutricia S.A. Produtos Dieteticos Nutricionais, work in regulatory affairs at Brahma and positions at Unilever Foods in Brazil. From 1996 until 2002, she was the general director of Embrapa Food Technology, and from 2002 to 2010, she coordinated the Brazilian Biofortification Network as a researcher at Embrapa. She joined HarvestPlus in 2011 and coordinated HarvestPlus LAC (Latin America & Caribbean) through 2017.  She has been in her current position since 2018, based at CIAT in Cali, Colombia and overseeing work in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Panama. Nuti represents HarvestPlus (on behalf of IFPRI) in the Codex Alimentarius Committees.

Dr. Erick

Dr. Erick Boy

Head, Nutrition  

Dr. Boy joined HarvestPlus in 2008. Previously he spent nine years at Nutrition International, where he developed and managed the iron and zinc research portfolios, established a consultative group of nutrition experts, promoted the adoption of micronutrient powders and introduced zinc supplements in Latin America. During the previous 10 years he worked at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama, providing technical assistance in maternal nutrition and iodine deficiency control to the health ministries of member countries.  In his current role, Dr. Boy leads the nutrition unit, which commissions crop related research studies comprising biomarkers development, food consumption and composition, deficiency prevalence, nutrient retention, micronutrient bioavailability, and the efficacy of biofortified crops. He manages relations with nutrition research collaborators, the World Health Organization and the Micronutrient Forum, and other programs that specialize in micronutrient nutrition.  He is a member of FPRI’s Institutional Review Board, the editorial board of the Food and Nutrition Bulletin, and the steering committee of the BRINDA working group. Dr. Boy obtained his medical degree from the San Carlos University in Guatemala and his PhD in nutrition from the University of California at Davis.

Marilia Nuti

Howarth Bouis

Founding Director, HarvestPlus 
emeritus Fellow, IFPRI 

Howarth Bouis, a recipient in 2016 of the World Food Prize, pioneered the concept of biofortification in the early 1990s and founded HarvestPlus in 2003. He has devoted his career to turning this idea into a global movement that currently reaches more than 50 million people in smallholder farming families in low-income countries. He continues to actively champion biofortification and the work of HarvestPlus in the international agriculture and nutrition communities. Bouis received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University and a master’s degree and PhD from Stanford University's Food Research Institute. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Bouis worked for three years as a volunteer in the Philippines with Volunteers in Asia. After receiving his PhD, Bouis was offered a postdoctoral position in 1982 in the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division of IFPRI to undertake a two-year research project on the Philippines. He subsequently worked as a Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow in the same division. His research concentrated on understanding how economic factors affect food demand and nutrition outcomes, particularly in Asia. Insights gained during this research led him to propose the concept of biofortification. Bouis also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Micronutrient Forum.  In 2017, he was awarded a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, by the University of Greenwich. In 2018, Bouis was named a Nutrition Champion by the African Leaders for Nutrition, a joint initiative of the African Development Bank and the African Union to promote high-level engagement and advance the nutrition agenda. Bouis currently resides in the Philippines.

HarvestPlus Staff

Our nearly 150 staff bring many years of experience across different disciplines and in the public, private, academic, and nongovernmental sectors to address the problem of micronutrient malnutrition through the advancement of biofortification. HarvestPlus staff are based at our head office at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C.; the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia; our Africa regional office in Nairobi, Kenya; and several country program offices.

Executive Office

Arun Baral
Chief Executive Officer

Lynn Brown
Director of Alliances and Policy

Benjamin Uchitelle-Pierce
Special Assistant to the CEO


Research & Development

Wolfgang H. Pfeiffer

Jairo Arcos
Research Assistant

Erick Boy
Chief Nutritionist

Jen Foley
Senior Program Manager

Sonia Gallego
Research Assistant, Post-Harvest

Luis Londono
Coordinator, Nutrition Quality Lab

Juan Camilo Orozco
Technician, Nutrition Quality Laboratory

Gelver Patiño
Technician, Nutrition Quality Laboratory

Victor Taleon
Research Fellow

Parminder Virk
Head, Crop Development

Jenny Walton
Senior Specialist, Demand Creation and Business Development


Finance & Administration

Adam Mayaki
Chief Financial Officer

Christine Flaherty
Budget and Contracts Assistant

Irene Huo
Budget and Contracts Analyst

Christelle Kazadi
Budget and Contracts Analyst

Jocelyn (Olyn) Panlilio
Business Manager, Budgets, Contracts and Grants


External Affairs

Maggie Biruri
Head, Resource Mobilization and Partnerships

Katie Foley
Administrative Coordinator

Josephine Boyle
Senior Program Associate

Peter Goldstein
Head, Strategic Communications

Mahwish Khan


Impact & Strategy

Ekin Birol

Richard Alioma
Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist

Lida de la Hoz
Information Systems Coordinator

Michael Tedla Diressie
Senior Research Analyst

Keith Lividini
Head, Strategy and Policy Research

Rewa Misra
Head, National Policy and Innovative Finance 

Bho Mudyahoto
Head, Monitoring and Evaluation



Donald Mavindidze
Regional Director

Katharina Diehl
Scaling Expert

Tassy Kariuki
Administrative Assistant

Brenda Mareri
Business Development Associate

Penina Muoki
Program Manager, Kenya

Liz Ogutu
Policy and Advocacy Officer

Paul Omollo
Research Associate


Democratic Republic of Congo

Antoine Kanyenga Lubobo
Country Manager

Yahaya Basilwango

Catherine Kalunga 
Research Assistant, Nutrition

Andrew Kambale Kikwaya
Administrative and Finance Assistant

Byamungu Mbiye
Seed Systems Specialist

Sandra Bahati
Administrative Assistant

Ruth Munkiba 
Secretary and Administrative Assistant

Paul Pandi
Finance and Administrative Assistant

Willy Soko 

Dan Sumbu
Seed System Specialist

Jodel Pierre
Project Manager

Gideon Irebahose
Associate Officer

Ayoni Ogunbayo
Associate Scientist


Dellings Phiri
Country Manager

Sophie Muhuwa
Demand Creation Specialist 


Fouad Dollah Yusuf
Acting Country Manager/Seed Delivery Specialist

Adedayo Adepitan
Stem Specialist

Lucia Apologun
Accounting and Administrative Officer

Victor Ekeleme
Creative Design and Social Media Officer

Isang Pius James
Finance Manager

Olatundun Kalejaiye
Nutrition and Post-Harvest Specialist

Olutunde Kehinde
Project Support

Goodluck Ogu
Program Manager


Jean Pierre Mbagurire
Interim Country Manager/Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation Officer

Viateur Ndayizeye
Lab Technician


Sylvia Magezi
Country Manager

Ignatius Abaijuka
Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist

Liliane Adeke
Seed System Officer

Jude Asiimwe
Marketing and Product Development Specialist

Angella Atero
Nutrition Communication and Advocacy Specialist

Laira Kyazike
Nutrition Officer

Cletie Lukusa
Marketing and Product Development Officer

Charles Musoke
Seed System Specialist

Rachel Wakulira
Finance and Contract Officer



Emely Mwale Banda
Communication and Demand Creation Specialist

Kaumba Sakungo
Finance and Administration Officer

David Samazaka
Crop Development Specialist


Sakile Kudita 
Interim Country Manager/Demand Creation Officer

Tinashe Gwaze

Lorence Mjere

Isabella Nyamhingura
Finance Analyst



Khairul Bashar
Country Manager

Sakil Ahmed
Finance and Administrative Officer (BIeNGS)

Wahidul Amin
Senior Specialist, Monitoring and Evaluation

Nuhara Begam
Communications and Advocacy Officer

Manik Debnath
Project Officer (BIeNGS)

Palash Goswami
Project Officer (BIeNGS)

Md Azizul Haq
Project Officer (BIeNGS)

Md Syed Abu Hanifa
Grain Marketing Officer 

Zakiul Hasan
Agricultural Research and Development Officer

Jahid Hussain
Agricultural Research and Development Officer

Habibur Khan
Project Coordinator (BIeNGS)

Ruhul Amin Mondol
Agricultural Research and Development Officer

Abu Sayed Al Muktadir
Assistant Manager, Budget and Finance

Mohammad Nurulla
Office Attendant

Md Habibur Rahman
Office Assistant (BIeNGS)

Md Ziaur Rahman

Manuel Sangma

Mozibar Rahman
Seed Systems and Marketing Officer

Mostafizur Rahman
Finance Specialist

Ruhul Quddus
Project Officer

Mohammad Abu Saleque
Senior Manager, Project Coordination


Binu Cherian
Country Manager

Ravinder Giri
Project Manager

Ravinder Grover
Program Head (Commercialization of Biofortified Crops)

Mahalinagam Govindraj
Senior Crop Development Specialisit

Syed Khaleel
Senior Transport Assistant

Suja Johnson
Senior Administrative Associate

Amit Kumar
Administrative Coordinator

Birendra Mendali
Senior Project Manager

Khusbu Noor

K. Sai Prasad
Senior Administrative Associate

V. Pravalika
Data Entry Associate

Suyashi Purwar
Program Manager

Debaranjan Pujahari
Senior Program Manager, Bihar-Odisha

CV Ramesh
Senior Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation

K. Yadi Reddy 
Office Attendant

Sanya Sharma
Project Coordinator

Prateek Uniyal
Project Manager


M. Yaqub Mujahid
Interim Country Manager/Crop Development Specialist

Makhdum Hussein
Consultant/Technical Assistant

Javed Iqbal

Muhammad Imtiaz

Latin America & Caribbean

Diana Lopera
Research Assistant

Byron Reyes
Research Fellow 


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