Ismahane Elouafi

Chief Scientist

Dr. Ismahane Elouafi is currently the Chief Scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and is a member of FAO’s core leadership team.

From 2012 until her appointment with FAO in November 2020, Dr. Elouafi was Director General at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), headquartered in the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Elouafi had previously held senior scientific and leadership positions, including Senior Advisor to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Branch in Ottawa, Canada (2006-2007), and Manager then Director of Research Management and Partnerships Division at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (2007-2012).

She also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations, including the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

Dr. Elouafi has been a member of various strategy expert panels and advisory groups, including the Global Commission on Adaptation and HarvestPlus.

She sat on several Board of Directors, including the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI, 2015-2020), the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI, 2019-2020), and the CGIAR System Management Board (2020).

She is also a member of the Scientific Group for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

Dr. Elouafi holds an M.Sc. in Genetics and Plant Breeding (1995) from the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, Morocco, and a Ph.D. in Genetics (2001) from the University of Cordoba, Spain.

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