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.

 

Dr. Anna-Marie Ball

Anna-Marie Ball

Director, External Affairs

Anna-Marie Ball has been with HarvestPlus since 2006 in various roles, including Uganda Country Manager and Head of Strategic Alliances in Africa. She started her current position in 2017 and oversees communications, advocacy, donor relations, and partnerships activities. Ball brings a wealth of experience in research, leadership, and the design and implementation of intervention programs. She previously worked and lived in rural Africa for over 30 years, gaining experience in various sectors, including reproductive health (HIV/AIDS), water and sanitation (WASH), and agriculture-nutrition (biofortification) while leading large, multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural teams. Ball has received numerous awards for her research, including: the IDRC Young Canadian Researcher's Award, the Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Award for Population-Based Research, and the International Outreach Research Award. She has also been awarded several fellowships and scholarships, including the NHRDP Fellowship, Manitoba Health Research Council Fellowship, University of Manitoba Fellowship, University of Guelph Graduate Scholarship, and the Herbert F. Crown Award. She holds a PhD in community health services from the University of Manitoba, a master’s degree in international rural planning and development from the University of Guelph, and a Bachelor of Science in biology (honors) from Queen’s University (Canada).
 

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. 
 

Dr. Wolf Pfeiffer

Wolfgang Pfeiffer

Director, Research and Development;
REGIONAL DIRECTOR, ASIA

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

Regional Director, 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 
Research 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

More than 150 HarvestPlus 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

Benjamin Uchitelle-Pierce
Special Assistant to the CEO

 

Research & Development

Wolfgang H. Pfeiffer
Director

Daniel Alvarez
Research Fellow

Meike Andersson
Crop Development Specialist

Moira Angel
Research Analyst

Jairo Arcos
Research Assistant

Erick Boy
Head, Nutrition

Jen Foley
Senior Program Manager

Sonia Gallego
Research Assistant, Post-Harvest

Angelica Jaramillo
Research Assistant, Nutrition Quality Laboratory

Syed Khaleel 
Senior Transport Assistant

Luis Londono
Coordinator, Nutrition Quality Lab

Juan Camilo Orozco
Deputy Director

Gelver Patiño
Technician, Nutrition Quality Laboratory

Laura Pompano
Associate Research Fellow

V. Pravalika 
Data Entry Associate

Chelsea Reinberg
Program Coordinator

Victor Taleon
Research Fellow

Parminder Virk
Head, Crop Development

 

Finance & Administration

Katrina Boyd
Program Associate

Christine Flaherty
Budget and Contracts Assistant

Irene Huo
Budget and Contracts Analyst

Christelle Kazadi
Budget and Contracts Analyst

Brittany Leoboldt
Manager, Talent Management

Sarah Manning
Program Associate

Dahiana Merizalde
Administrative Assistant

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

Jenny Walton
Senior Specialist, Demand Creation & Business Development

 

External Affairs

Anna-Marie Ball
Director

Maggie Biruri
Head, Partnerships & Fundraising

Josephine Boyle
Senior Program Associate

Peter Goldstein
Head, Strategic Communications

Becky McDowell
External Affairs Senior Coordinator

Courtney Meyer 
Communications Specialist

Peg Willingham
Head, Advocacy and Policy

 

Impact & Strategy

Ekin Birol
Director

Richard Alioma
Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist

Destan Aytekin 
Knowledge Management Specialist

Lida de la Hoz
Information Systems Coordinator

Michael Tedla Diressie
Senior Research Analyst

Keith Lividini
Head, Strategy and Policy Research

Bho Mudyahoto
Head, Monitoring and Evaluation

 

Africa

Donald Mavindidze
Regional Director

Lister Katsvairo
Africa Technical Manager, Delivery

Marx Mbunji
Africa Business Development Manager

Nicholas Mwansa
Africa Seed Systems Manager

Dellings Phiri
Country Manager, Malawi

Democratic Republic of Congo

Sylvain Bidiaka
Country Manager, Cassava

Antoine Kanyenga Lubobo
Country Manager, Beans

Yahaya Basilwango
Driver

Bienveni Bigirimana Balola
Driver

Catherine Kalunga 
Research Assistant, Nutrition

Andrew Kambale Kiwaya
Administrative & Finance Assistant

Toussaint Kendenga
Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist

Byamungu Mbiye
Seed Systems Specialist

Sandra Mirambo
Administrative Assistant

Ruth Munkiba 
Secretary & Administrative Assistant

Paul Pandi
Finance & Administrative Assistant

Willy Soko 
Driver

Dan Sumbu
Seed System Specialist

Eulalie Mufunguzi Zawadi
Communications Specialist

Nigeria

Paul Ilona
Country Manager

Adedayo Adepitan
Stem Specialist

Lucia Apologun
Accounting & Administrative Officer

Victor Ekeleme
Creative Design and Social Media Officer

Oluwasegun Irinoye
Database Officer

Olatundun Kalejaiye
Nutrition & Post-Harvest Specialist

Olutunde Kehinde
Project Support

Veronica Ogueri 
Accounts Assistant

Ifeoma Okonkwo
Communications Support

Fouad Dollah Yusuf
Seed Delivery Specialist

Rwanda

Joseph Mulambu
Country Manager

Pascal Manzi
Research Assistant

Jean Pierre Mbagurire
Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation Officer

Josephine Mukakigeri
Research Assistant

Viateur Ndayizeye
Lab Technician

Theogene Rukundo
Market Assistant

Laetitia Umulisa
Communications Officer

Raissa Uwihirwe
Stores Assistant

Uganda

Sylvia Magezi
Country Manager

Ignatius Abaijuka
Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist

Liliane Adeke
Seed System Officer

Jude Asiimwe
Marketing & Product Development Specialist

Angella Atero
Nutrition Communication & Advocacy Specialist

Laira Kyazike
Nutrition Officer

Cletie Lukusa
Marketing & Product Development Officer

Charles Musoke
Seed System Specialist

Desire Namara
M&E Officer

Fred Sempijja
Driver

Robert Ssebagala 
Driver

Rachel Wakulira
Finance and Contract Officer

Amos Wandera
Driver

Zambia

Lister Katsvairo
Interim Country Manager/Head, Africa Region Partnership Countries

Emely Mwale Banda
Communication & Demand Creation Specialist

Susan Chipandwe
Seed System Specialist

Fackson Kaima
Driver

Kaumba Sakungo
Finance and Administration Officer

David Samazaka
Crop Development Specialist

Zimbabwe

Charles Mutimaamba
Country Manager

Gore Chinyoka
Seed Systems Specialist

Rowai Grison
Research Assistant, Seed Systems

Tinashe Gwaze
Research Assistant, Seed Systems

Martha Katsi
Research Assistant, Communications

Sakile Kudita 
Demand Creation Officer

Fungai Primrose Kutyauripo
Research Assistant, Nutrition

Lorence Mjere
Seed Systems Specialist

Simbarashe Mudani 
Seed Systems Officer 

Freddy Murimoga
Research Assistant, Seed Systems

Emilia Nhorido
MLA Specialist

Isabella Nyamhingura
Finance & Administration Officer

Farai Steven Ziweya
Research Assistant, Seed Systems

 

Asia

Bangladesh

Dr. Khairul Bashar
Country Manager

Sakil Ahmed
Finance & Administrative Officer (BIeNGS)

Wahidul Amin
Senior Specialist, Monitoring & Evaluation

Nipa Barua
Administrative Officer

Nuhara Begam
Communications and Advocacy Officer

Manik Debnath
Project Officer (BIeNGS)

Palash Goswami
Project Officer (BIeNGS)

Abu Hanifa
Grain Marketing Officer

Forhanul Haque
Project Officer (BIeNGS)

Zakiul Hasan
Agricultural Research & Development Officer

Jahid Hussain
Agricultural Research & Development Officer

Mohammad Saiful Islam
Agricultural Research & Development Officer

Serajul Islam
Project Officer (ENRICH)

Tariqul Islam
Agricultural Research & Development Officer

Zahedul Islam
Research Technician

Md Shahinul Kabir
Monitoring & Evaluation Officer (BIeNGS)

Habibur Khan
Project Coordinator (BIeNGS)

Runa Laila
Accounts Officer

Ruhul Amin Mondol
Agricultural Research & Development Officer

Abu Sayed Al Muktadir
Assistant Manager - Budget & Finance

Mohammad Nurulla
Office Attendant

Md Habibur Rahman
Office Assistant (BIeNGS)

Mozibar Rahman
Seed Systems and Marketing Officer

Mamnur Rashid
Project Officer (ENRICH)

Tonmoy Kumar Saha
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

Mohammad Abu Saleque
Senior Manager, Project Coordination

Manuel Sangma 
Driver

India

Binu Cherian
Country Manager

Ravinder Giri
Project Manager

Suja Johnson
Senior Administrative Associate

Amit Kumar
Administrative Coordinator

Birendra Mendali
Senior Project Manager

K. Sai Prasad
Senior Administrative Associate

CV Ramesh
Senior Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation

K. Yadi Reddy 
Office Attendant

Pakistan

Dr. M. Yaqub Mujahid
Interim Country Manager/Crop Development Specialist

Muhammed Iqbal Makhdum
Consultant/Technical Assistant

Latin America & Caribbean

Marilia Nuti 
Regional Director

Andre Dusi
Seed Systems, Brazil (Embrapa)

Carolina Gonzalez
Deputy Director

Crhistian Guerrero
Field Technician

Luz Adriana Jimenez
Country Coordinator, Colombia / Marketing Analyst

Diana Lopera
Research Assistant

Bryan Lopez Londono
Marketing Analyst

Pedro Santiago Mello
Country Coordinator, Brazil

Apes Falcao Perera
Delivery, Brazil (Embrapa)

Carlos Andres Rodriguez Aráuz
Agronomist, Nicaragua

Byron Reyes
Research Fellow, Impact / Central America Coordinator 

Diana Rojas
Agronomist, Colombia

Salomón Pérez Suárez
Country Coordinator, Guatemala

Sandra Vargas
MLA Analyst

Jose Luis Viana de Carvalho
Country Manager, Brazil (Embrapa)

Graciela Vedevoto
MLE, Brazil (Embrapa)

María Fernanda Yusty
Administrative Analyst

Christian Zapata 
Communications Analys

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