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Director General

CIMMYT is led by a Director General, who is appointed and reports to the CIMMYT Board of Trustees.

The Director General develops and articulates strategies and operating plans to realize the vision and mission of CIMMYT. He/she is responsible for developing a coherent, effective and efficient organization, including the development of work programs, research projects and innovations, budget and fundraising, all while ensuring sustained progress towards the achievement of the mission: to improve livelihoods through maize and wheat science. Overseen by the Director General, CIMMYT strives to achieve this through excellent science for impact, carried out by partnerships with strong emphasis on capacity development.

A key task of this role is to establish and nurture alliances and relationships with partners in the public and private sectors. The Director General represents CIMMYT in international fora and to funding and research partners. In addition to representing CIMMYT, the Director General manages planning, finance, human resources, administration and control systems ensuring compliance.

Current Director General ad interim

2021 to present | Bram Govaerts

Former Directors General

2015 to 2021 | Martin Kropff

2009 to 2015 | Thomas A. Lumpkin

2002 to 2008 | Masaru Iwanaga

1995 to 2002 | Timothy G. Reeves

1985 to 1994 | Donald L. Winkelmann

1978 to 1985 | Robert D. Havener

1972 to 1978 | Haldore Hanson

1966 to 1971 | Edwin J. Wellhausen

Gender equality, youth and social inclusion

Gender equity is one of the best solutions for hunger. Why? The numbers speak for themselves.

Gender equality, youth and social inclusion

Martin Kropff sits down with scientists involved in maize breeding, wheat quality and crop data to discuss their successes and passion behind the work that they do to help CIMMYT and CGIAR reach the Sustainable Development Goals.


CIMMYT’s tried and tested approaches in varietal turnover and decades of experience in strengthening maize and wheat seed systems have a lot to contribute to CGIAR’s plan of building robust food systems by 2030.

Climate adaptation and mitigation