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DG meets with national staff at El Batán

“We were created to help the poor people of the world who live on maize and wheat… about a billion people who live on less than 10 or 20 pesos per day, and CIMMYT has a tremendous responsibility,” said director general Tom Lumpkin at a meeting with national staff in Mexico on 20 July 2011. Whilst the meeting was held at El Batán, national staff at the experimental stations also had the opportunity to participate via remote linkups.

Speaking of CIMMYT’s achievements over almost 50 years, now recognized throughout the world, he said “it’s been CIMMYT staff who have been reliable in delivering improvements in maize and wheat. It’s your work.” He thanked all the national staff for their
contributions, and welcomed the new generation who have recently become part of the team as CIMMYT continues to grow rapidly.

Before a full auditorium, Lumpkin gave an inspiring introduction to CIMMYT’s mission and how the center works on a global scale. He talked about challenges for the future in terms of food security, climate change, and new technologies, and new initiatives including the MAIZE and WHEAT Research Programs, BISA in India, and MasAgro in Mexico. “While we have great challenges, there are also many great opportunities, and we have to grab those opportunities,” said Lumpkin.

Scott Ferguson, deputy director general for support services, talked about new Mexican donors, who are becoming increasingly important as CIMMYT’s partnerships with Mexico grow ever stronger. He also discussed construction and maintenance work planned for El Batán, for example the modernization of laboratories, and introduced some new work teams.

Miriam Mora from Human resources revealed a new plan for organizational development, a step-by-step initiative, to be known as DNC, proposed by the DG’s office. This will map staff talents, enabling managers to make sure the capabilities available within CIMMYT are being used effectively, and indicating how people can be helped to grow professionally and personally according to their backgrounds and needs. She also introduced her work team, as did MasAgro leader Karen García, who gave an introduction to the MasAgro initiative.

The final part of the meeting was set aside to address general questions submitted by staff; a further meeting will be organized by Human Resources to answer pending questions that could not be covered due to time constraints.

The meeting ended in a feeling of shared trust and confidence as both national and international staff go forward to build CIMMYT’s future together.