Martin Kropff, a Dutch national, was Director General of CIMMYT from 2015 to 2021. Since July 2021, he is seconded to CGIAR as the Global Director of the Resilient Agrifood Systems Science Group.
Most of his career has been focused on research for development in the breadth of CGIAR’s mission —agriculture and nature conservation. For two years he was on the CGIAR Consortium Board, where he worked to improve cohesion and develop a new CGIAR strategy. From 1990 to 1995 he was a systems agronomist at IRRI, where he led an interdisciplinary program on the introduction of systems analysis and simulation in rice production research. Upon his return to the Netherlands in 1995, he served successively as full Professor of Crop and Weed Ecology, Scientific Director of the C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation, and Director General of the Plant Sciences Group.
Before joining CIMMYT, Kropff was the Rector of Wageningen University. During his 10 years’ tenure, it developed into the highest-rated agricultural university in the world, by modernizing its scientific quality management, management functions, financial structures, and resource mobilization strategy.
In his six years as Director General of CIMMYT, he led the development and implementation of a new Strategic Plan for the institution, to continue doing great science with impact at scale — just the breeding impact is estimated at $4.5 billion annual extra benefits for smallholder farmers in the developing world. He led the reform of the CGIAR in 2016-2017 and was interim chair of the new System Management Board. He has been promoting the development of One CGIAR and contributed to the strategy as co-chair of the advisory group and several other teams working on the new organization strategy and structure.
He is connected as professor to Wageningen University.
Kropff earned a graduate degree in biology at Utrecht University and a doctoral degree agricultural and environmental sciences at Wageningen University, both cum laude. He holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of the Ukraine and the Czech University of Life Sciences.