Photo of Gebisa Ejeta

Gebisa Ejeta

  • National Medal of Science
  • Biological Sciences

For outstanding contributions to the science of plant genetics. By developing sorghum strains that withstand droughts and parasites, he has improved food security for millions. His advocacy for science, policy, and institutions as key to economic development has lifted the fortunes of farmers and strengthened the souls of nations.

Gebisa Ejeta is distinguished professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics and International Agriculture, executive director of the Center for Global Food Security, and Presidential Fellow for Food Security and Sustainable Global Development at Purdue University. Ejeta has been a member of the faculty of Purdue University since 1984. His career has been devoted to education, research, and international development, with contributions in human and institutional capacity building, technology development and transfer, and policy advocacy for science, technology and innovations that change livelihoods.

Ejeta has served as a high-level science program and policy advisor for several international development agencies. He has served the United States government in several capacities, including as special advisor to the U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah and as science envoy of the U.S. State Department, before being appointed by President Barack Obama as a member of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) in 2011. In addition to BIFAD, he has recently served on the boards of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the International Water Management Institute, the Chicago Council for Global Affairs’ Food and Agriculture Program, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, and on United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s scientific advisory board.

A 2009 World Food Prize laureate and recipient of a National Medal of Honor for Science from the President of Ethiopia, Ejeta is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the African Academy of Sciences.