Thomas Payne’s contributions to CIMMYT through the genetic resources and global wheat programs are wide-ranging, focusing on the conservation, access to and benefit sharing of the enhanced use of germplasm. His tenure with CIMMYT includes postings in Ethiopia, Mexico, Syria, Turkey and Yugoslavia, which have sensitized him towards the importance of cultural diversity, respect and collaborations. He has been a strong advocate of integrative team work that reaches out beyond institutional barriers.
As an active member of the CGIAR Article 15 group of genebank managers, he fosters partnerships with the Global Crop Diversity Trust on obtaining secured funding to sustain the operating and research budgets for the 11 CGIAR genebanks. He manages CIMMYT’s wheat germplasm bank and International Wheat Improvement Network, which serves researchers and breeders from more than 100 countries.