Members and observers of the Science-Policy Interface
Mariam Akhtar-Schuster is senior scientific advisor at the Project Management Agency in the German Aerospace Center (DLR-PT) in Berlin, Germany. A Geographer, Dr. Akhtar-Schuster holds a PhD from the Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences, University of Goettingen, Germany. Since 1988, she conducted field research on desertification/land degradation and drought in northeast and southern Africa. Key expertise includes morphodynamics and biodiversity in semiarid/arid regions; land use systems with special emphasis on mobile animal husbandry; science-policy communication on DLDD. She was co-founder and co-chair of the independent scientific network DesertNet International. She was member of the scientific steering committees that organized UNCCD´s 1st and 3rd scientific conferences (2009 and 2015). In 2012-2013 she chaired UNCCD´s ad hoc working group to further discuss the options for the provision of scientific advice to the Convention. Since 2014, she is co-chair of UNCCD’s science-policy interface (SPI), and in 2017 she was nominated by the IPCC as review editor for its special report on “climate change and land” (to be finalized by September 2019).
Nichole Barger, an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado in the U.S., has worked as an ecologist to support sustainable land management and restoration of a broad variety of ecosystems throughout the world. Barger is currently a coordinating lead author on the IPBES global land degradation and restoration assessment. In her research program, she works in partnership with diverse governmental entities in the U.S. on land degradation and restoration issues such as the ecological risks of fire mitigation treatments, historical drivers and biogeochemical responses to woody plant encroachment, forest decline and regeneration, and more recently restoration of degraded dryland ecosystems. Barger also has extensive research experience working on conservation and management issues in dryland ecosystems across the globe. She has worked with international research teams in the semi-arid grasslands of Inner Mongolia and anthropogenic grassland ecosystems of Venezuela, in addition to recent work in southern Africa on plant invasions in the biodiversity hot spot of the Cape Floristic region of South Africa and vegetation dynamics of the Namib Desert of Namibia.
Ermias Betemariam is a land health scientist with research interest in land degradation, landscape ecology, restoration ecology, soil carbon dynamics and spatial sciences to understand land health constraints and targeting interventions to sustain ecosystem services. He worked as a watershed management expert in small and medium scale irrigation projects in Ethiopia. Ermias Betemariam served as a lecturer in Mekelle University, Ethiopia. Ermias Betemariam is currently working as land health scientist in the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) with major responsibilities of leading the land health surveillance work which involves developing land health measurement and monitoring protocols, lead research projects across Africa, resource mobilization and capacity development. He is also a focal point for the UNCCD at ICRAF. He has published more than thirty articles in peer reviewed journals mainly in areas of ecology, land use cover dynamics, land degradation and restoration. Ermias Betemariam holds a BSc. in Forestry (Alemaya University, Ethiopia); M.Sc. in Geoinformation sciences and Earth observation (ITC, Nethelands) and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Natural Resources (University of Bonn, Germany).
Jean-Luc Chotte is a senior scientist at IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement), France. His research topic deals with the impact of climate and land use changes on soil organic matter dynamics (stocks and fluxes). The objective of his research is to unravel the soil functioning and explore ways to sustain ecology intensification to achieve food security, to combat land degradation and propose science-based evidences to reinforce the role of soils in mitigating/adapting to climate changes. He has been involved in many international projects (see his web site http://www.jean-luc-chotte.fr). To date he has published about 100 publications in the fields of Soil Sciences and Soil Ecology. Since 2011 he is the Director of join Unit “Functional Ecology & biogeochemistry of soils & agro-ecosystems”. Since 2015 he has been nominated Deputy Director of one of the 5 Scientific Department at IRD. He is the focal point for IRD in the 4P1000 initiative. Jean-Luc Chotte is a member of Académie d’Agriculture de France.
Annette Cowie has a background in soil science and plant nutrition, with particular interest in sustainable resource management. She is Principal Research Scientist, Climate in NSW Department of Primary Industries. Annette is also Task Leader of the International Energy Agency Bioenergy research group Climate Change Effects of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems, and Land Degradation advisor on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility. Her current research focuses on sustainability assessment and greenhouse gas accounting in agriculture and forestry; investigating key aspects of soil carbon dynamics and biochar processes; and life cycle assessment of forestry, bioenergy and biochar systems.
María Angélica Fernández García (CST Bureau member)
María Angélica Fernández García is an environmental engineer at the El Bosque University in Bogotá, Colombia; she is a specialist in Environmental Education and Management. She has over seven years of professional experience in research and management of soil degraded by erosion, salinization and desertification and sustainable soil management. María Angelica was part of the technical team for the formulation of the Policy for the Sustainable Management of Soils, in the preparation of the National Study of erosion and in the Protocols for the identification and evaluation of salinization and desertification. She has worked in entities such as the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies - IDEAM, has led the issue of soils in the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia and is currently representative of the Latin American region in the Bureau of Science Committee and Technology of the UNCCD.
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Carl Kojo Fiati (CST Bureau member)
Carl Kojo Fiati is the Director of Natural Resources at the Environmental Protection Agency, under Ghana’s Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. He provides technical guidance and oversight for assessment and mitigation of environmental risks associated with the development and exploitation of natural resources. His major efforts have been directed towards improving environmental quality governance and leveraging science, technology and traditional knowledge for developing solutions to problems of natural capital degradation and restoration of ecosystem resilience. He is currently coordinating the development and integration of innovative market-based offsets schemes into Ghana’s Environmental Impact Assessment System that would incentivize private sector-lead investment to address land degradation and loss of biological diversity. As head of natural resources programmes for the UNCCD national focal institution, Mr. Fiati has contributed to the formulation of policies and action plans related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements, including preparation and revision of the National Action Plans to combat desertification drought. Mr. Fiati holds an MPhil. in Oceanography and Fisheries from the University of Ghana; BSc(Hons) in Biology with specialization in plant water relations from the University of Cape Coast, and Certificate in Environmental Biosafety from the Institute of International Agriculture, Michigan State University.
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Marijana Kapović Solomun
Marijana Kapović Solomun is assistant professor and vice Dean for Scientific Research at Faculty of Forestry, University of Banja Luka. Dr. Kapović Solomun is member of UNCCD Roster of experts, and LDN national expert involved in LDN TSP process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is Alumna of JFDP programme of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of USA in area of Land degradation and conservation. Dr. Kapović Solomun has broad international and national experience in scientific projects, as leader or expert for soil, land degradation and forestry, who published significant number of scientific papers. She is Management Committee member of European Cooperation of Science and Technology COST Actions ES1306 “Connecting European connectivity research”; FP1304 “Towards robust projections of European forests under climate change” and CA16209 “Natural Flood Retention on Private Land“. Marijana Kapović Solomun is founder and President of Association for women’s empowerment and nature protection “Mother Nature”, President of Board Members “United States Alumni Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, and Vice President of “Association of Forestry Engineers „EcoForest“.
Professor Zahurul Karim has a background in soil management and crop production. He conducted research work at the world famous Rothamsted Experimental Station and obtained Ph.D. from the University of Reading U.K. Currently he is working as an International Advisor for Food Policy Research Program of a World Bank supported modern food project in Bangladesh. He has served in many key positions including Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), Director General of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Member-Director (Soils) of BARC. He has also worked for more than five years as Senior Advisor in Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Dr. Karim has experiences of working for more than 40 years as professor, researcher, research manager, senior public administrator & policy planner and national &international consultancy/advisors. His areas of specialization include management of degraded soils, climate change impact of food security and framing of public policies. He has 140 publications in peer reviewed journals, books and monographs. Dr. Karim is a fellow of many societies and leaned bodies including The World Academy of Sciences, New York Academy of Sciences, Member of the Pool of International Experts (PIE) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Netherlands. Currently he is chair of many professional bodies at home and abroad.
German Kust (CST Bureau member)
German Kust, from 2017, is principal researcher in the Institute of Geography of Russian Academy of sciences, head of the Scientific and Expert Centre for Desertification, Land Degradation and Droughts. He works on desertification/land degradation problems since 1988, as researcher and professor in soil science and environmental ecology at the Soil Science Faculty of the Moscow Lomonosov state university, then as Executive director, Head of the laboratory of soil resources and ecological projecting, at the Institute of Environmental Soil Science, and as a Head of the Department of Soil Erosion and Conservation in Moscow Lomonosov state university. His professional interests include sustainable management of natural resources, environmental land management, soil science, environmental and agricultural ecology, environmental education, biodiversity conservation, environmental services, remote sensing. He has also been working as independent consultant/expert for several international organizations including the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNCCD, GEF. In 1996, he gained the Doctor of Biology (Doctor habilitatus) degree in "Desertification and soil evolution in dry areas” and in 1988 a Ph.D. degree in “Soil alkalinity phenomenon and its diagnostics”. He gives/gave courses on: Soil evolution, Environmental doctrine, Remote sensing application in environmental sciences, Global mechanism of environmental/ natural resources management, Methodology of soil systematics, Theory and practice of landscape designing, GIS technologies in environmental sciences, and others.
Rattan Lal, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, The Ohio State University, and an Adjunct Professor of University of Iceland. He received B.S. from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana; M.S. from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. He served as Sr. Research Fellow with the University of Sydney, Australia (1968-69), Soil Physicist at IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria (1970-87), and Professor of Soil Science at OSU (1987-to date). He has authored/co-authored 866 refereed journal articles and 496 book chapters, has written 20 and edited/co-edited 69 books. He is included in the Thomson Reuters list of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (2014, 2015), and among the most cited scientists in agriculture globally (2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017). Dr. Lal is recipient of the Honoris Causa degree from five universities in Europe and Asia, and is fellow of the five professional societies. Dr. Lal has mentored 106 graduate students and 320 visiting scholars from around the world. He is the former President of the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (1987-1990), International Soil and Tillage Research Organization (1988-1991), Soil Science Society of America (2006-2008) and the current President of the International Union of Soil Sciences (2017-2018).
Armando López Santos
Armando López Santos is a professor of the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo with adscription in the Unidad Regional Universitaria de Zonas Áridas (UACh-URUZA) in Bermejillo, Durango, Mexico, institution where since more than 20 years ago has doing matching between teachings, researching and linkage with stakeholders in the improvement of the standard of living of the settlers drylands. Also, during some years as professional consultor accredited by Federal Funds (FIRA) he worked in the design and execution of rural projects. In the past five years he has been part of research projects related to the study of climate change and its local effects in northern and central Mexico. As a result of this, in 2014 he was awarded the State Prize for Science, Technology and Innovation by the Council of Science and Technology of the State of Durango. In this same year, he was recognized as National Researcher, level 1 (SNI-1) by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyt) of Mexico. Actually, is part of Main Academic Group of teaching in the Graduate Program (Master and Doctorate) in Natural Resources and Environmental of Dryland of URUZA-UACh.
Graciela Metternicht is Professor of Environmental Geography in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales Australia (UNSW). She has over 20 years of experience in sustainability and environmental management to address land degradation. Her work encompasses the fields of earth observation science, physical geography, environmental monitoring and management. She has a special interest in applications of geospatial technologies for the management and analysis of natural resources. Graciela’s past appointments include Regional Coordinator of Early Warning and Assessment of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Professor of Geospatial Systems and Environmental Management (University of South Australia); and as Professor of Spatial Sciences (Curtin University of Technology). She is Deputy Chair of the Australian Academy of Sciences National Committee of Geographical Sciences; co-chair of the Dryland Ecosystems Specialist Group of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, and member of the Global Land Programme Scientific Steering Committee. Metternicht holds a PhD in Geography (summa cum laude) from the University of Ghent, Belgium.
André Francisco Pilon
André Francisco Pilon, currently is Associate Professor, University of São Paulo (USP). Along his career, held the positions of Psychologist, São Paulo’s State Court of Justice; Director, Ministry of Health; Editor-in-Chief, journal Academus, Collaborator, Journal da USP. Academic Background: Masters of Public Health Education, University of Puerto Rico; Doctorate (and Post-Doctorate), University of São Paulo. Affiliations: International Academy of Science, Health & Ecology; UNCCD Science-Policy Interface; EuroScience; World Alliance for Citizen Participation: IUHPE; WSSCC; Center for Healthy Cities. He presented in different national and international events and has authored several scientific publications about his four-dimensional ecosystemic approach to environmental problems, quality of life and the state of the world. His proposal for public policies, research and teaching programmes encompasses politics, economics, culture, education, culture and ethics and implies the shifting of the paradigms of growth, power, wealth, work and freedom embedded into the cultural, social, political and economic institutions, in view of quality of life, biodiversity, resources, living-spaces, landscapes, natural and built environments. Instead of the effects (reduced, fragmented, taken for granted issues), his proposal emphasizes the general phenomenon, in the core of the “boiling pot”, where the problems that menace life survival on Earth emerge and where they should be dealt with.
Omer Raja (CST Bureau member)
Omer Raja is working as Deputy Inspector General of Forests in the Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan. He has a PhD in Vegetation Ecology from the University of Aberdeen, UK and Masters Degree in Forestry from University of Peshawar, Pakistan. He has specifically worked on classification and efficiency of use of forage resources under Semi-Arid Conditions in the Hindukush, Karakoram and Himalayan Region of Pakistan. Besides that he has experience in management of forestry resources in both mountainous and sub-mountainous forests. Integrated management of water resources in dryland areas for forestry, rangeland and agriculture through “Sustainable Land Management” has also remained as one of the areas of interest for improving the transhumance grazing and agriculture systems prevalent in the area. He continuously remain involved in policy and planning for forestry and allied natural resources. Furthermore, he also looks after the implementation of provisions related to UNCCD, CMS and FRA.
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Ahmet Senyaz (CST Bureau member)
Ahmet Şenyaz is advisor to the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs in Ankara, Turkey. Dr. Şenyaz obtained a BSc from Faculty of Forestry, an MBA from Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences and a PhD in Fire Economics from the Institute of Science and Technology of Istanbul University, Turkey. From 2000 to 2003 he coordinated the FAO supported project in order to formulate National Forestry Action Program of Turkey for the years 2004-2023. From 2003 to 2010, he served as Head of Research and Development Department of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. During his term, he coordinated the activities of working group on LULUCF in order to submit first national communication of Turkey under the UNFCCC activities. He also coordinated applied research projects of 11 forest research institutes of the Ministry. Since 2011, he has been contributing to scientific and international activities of the General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion. He contributed to the formulation of Turkish National Strategy and Action Plan for Combating Desertification for the years 2015-2023. He served as co-chair of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Future Strategic Framework of the UNCCD in order to formulate “the UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework”.
As the NDMC’s Director, Svoboda administers and oversees the center’s staff and mission, which involves the research, operational, planning and education/outreach programs of the NDMC and NOAA’s Drought Risk Management Research Center. Mark works closely with federal, tribal, state, basin, local and international officials and governments on drought monitoring early warning information systems, drought risk management planning and collaborative research. He provides expertise on a wide range of climate-water management issues and is responsible for assessing user product needs and responding to information and decision support requests. Svoboda is involved with drought monitoring, assessment and prediction committees and activities at the state, regional, tribal, national and international levels. Mark Svoboda is the co-founder (1999), and served for 17 years as one of the principal authors of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu). His work with the Core Team of the Western Governors’ Association led to the development of a report and recommendations on creating a National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) for the United States, which was authorized by Congress into public law in 2006. Mark Svoboda is a member of the World Meteorological Organization/Global Water Partnership Integrated Drought Management Programme’s Advisory Panel and currently serves on the NIDIS Executive Council.
Peter Verburg is currently chairing the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on the Food-Water-Energy Nexus. He has established an internationally recognized leading position in the field of land system analysis. He has developed and applied a large portfolio of methods to analyze spatial patterns of land use and ecosystem services at scales from local to global. Methods originate from different disciplines, including social sciences (interviews, participatory approaches, choice experiments, socio-cultural valuation, foresight studies), econometrics (efficiency analysis, spatial econometrics), geography (accessibility analysis, spatial modelling, remote sensing) and earth sciences (biogeochemical modelling). Having worked with collaborators from this wide variety of fields, Peter has established insight in the different disciplinary traditions and vocabularies which facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration. His work on regional-scale land use modeling has resulted in one of the most frequently used land use models worldwide (CLUE-s). His international reputation is acknowledged by being elected as the chair (2012-2016) of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Global Land Project (http://www.globallandproject.org), an international network of the IGBP and Future Earth global change programmes.
Peter is leading the Environmental Geography group, part of the Institute for Environmental Studies, at VU University Amsterdam and was appointed as a lead author for the Global Biodiversity Outlook and IPBES.
Graham von Maltitz
Graham von Maltitz is a principle researcher and research group leader of the Global Change and Ecosystems Dynamics group of the Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) unit, CSIR, South Africa, where he has over 25 years of experience. He trained as a systems ecologist, and rural development specialist, with a focus on the coupled socio-ecological aspects of savanna and grassland regions of southern Africa. He has a specific research interest in areas of communal land tenure and on the unique problems associated with resource management in these areas, especially as they are impacted by global change. This has focused extensively on what is often termed community based natural resource management (CBNRM), where sustainability of the resource can be used to support energy provision, local livelihoods, tourism, or downstream and global benefits. Identifying drivers of sustainability has underpinned this research which has been used to better understand land use planning and sustainable land management. He has a long term research interest in desertification and degradation, having been linked to both national and international initiatives and policy development, including being a coordinator of South Africa's initial National Action Program (NAP) on Desertification, and a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPBES Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment.
Ana Vuković is Assistant Professor at Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Serbia, part time employed at Faculty of Forestry, and received all levels of her education at Department of Meteorology, Faculty of Physics. She teaches courses on meteorology, climatology and climate change. Her main expertise is related to numerical modeling of atmospheric processes and their interaction with land surface, including airborne dust transport. As external science associate she is engaged in the activities of WMO Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System. In the recently initiated COST action (InDust), related to the airborne dust transport and strengthening interconnection between data providers and end users, she is the leader of the working group responsible for dust modeling. Her professional interest is mainly focused on the development of high-resolution forecasts, which comprehend local risk problems and weather extremes. Her other research activities and expert engagements are related to implementation of high-resolution climate change modeling and risk assessment in sectors of economy and environment protection.
Jonathan Davies (representing IUCN as observer)
Dr. Jonathan Davies coordinates IUCN’s Global Dryland Initiative and is the focal point on desertification and land degradation. He has 25 years of experience in the fields of agricultural development and conservation, and specializes in the restoration and sustainable management of arid and semi-arid lands. His current work areas include: assessment of rangeland and grassland health; natural resource rights and governance; scaling up rangeland restoration to achieve LDN; policy implementation for sustainable rangelands management; and developing the links between agriculture and conservation in the drylands. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and an M.Sc. in Tropical Livestock Production.
Jian Liu (representing UN Environment as observer)
Dr. Jian Liu is currently the Chief Scientist of UN Environment and Acting Director of the Science Division, UN Environment. Jian LIU has over 30 years of professional experience in science and policy, in the specific domains of ecosystems management, agriculture, environment and climate change at national, regional and global levels, in particular in developing countries. Jian holds a doctorate degree in Physical Geography from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. He was the Director of UN Environment’s International Ecosystem Management Partnership, the first global centre on ecosystem management in the global south, which he established, as the founding director. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Chief of UN Environment’s Climate Change Adaptation Unit and the Deputy Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His earlier posts include Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Resources and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Director of the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, and Manager of Environment Program of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
Eduardo Mansur (representing FAO as observer)
Mr. Eduardo Mansur, a national of Brazil, currently is Director, Land and Water Division, at the FAO’s Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry from the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil and an M.Sc. in Forest Economics from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Mr. Mansur started his career in 1981 as a Researcher (Silviculture) in a collaborative programme of the Federal University of Paraná and the Eduardo Mondlane University of Mozambique. He worked as Project Officer in Mozambique and Ecuador, and served from 1995 to 1996 as Regional Forest Conservation Officer for South America with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Mr. Mansur joined FAO in May 1997 as Chief Technical Adviser in the FAO Representation in Mozambique. In 2002, he transferred to FAO Headquarters in Rome as Project Co-ordinator and then served as Forestry Officer with the Forestry Economics and Policy Division (FOED). From 2007 to 2008 he worked as Senior Forestry Officer, Regional Office for Africa, Accra, Ghana. Between 2008 and early 2012 he was Assistant Director, Reforestation and Forest Management with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in Japan. In March 2012, Mr. Mansur returned to FAO HQ in Rome, as Director of the Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division with FAO Forestry Department.
Marioldy Sanchez Santivanez (CSO representative)
Marioldy Sanchez Santivanez is a Forest Engineer responsible of the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of AIDER, a Peruvian NGO with 23 years of experience promoting and supporting sustainable drylands management in the north coast and Andes of Peru. Since 1992, AIDER develop capacities and give technical assistance to communities and governments at local level for addressing land degradation issues by developing initiatives of dryforests conservation and restauration, agroecology and sustainable cattle raising. Marioldy started her career working with local communities in dryforests, giving technical assistance for forest inventory and environmental education. She has been part of the technical teams of several projects and initiatives developed by AIDER in drylands, in charge of the participative monitoring and evaluation of progress toward the expected objectives, involving local communities and stakeholders. She has been involved in the process of implementation of the UNCCD since 2011, has attended several UNCCD meetings as an observer and is CSOs alternate observer to the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface. She coordinated the participation of AIDER in the UNFCCC COP 20 in Lima and currently coordinates the communication component of the International Network of ONGs Combating Desertification (RIOD) in Peru. Marioldy has led the participatory process of designing a dryforests conservation strategy for two local communities and currently coordinates the project titled “Improving capacities for dryforest management in the north coast of Peru" with the purpose of enhance the work of the national forest authority in the subnational level.
Robert Stefanski (representing WMO as observer)
Robert Stefanski is currently Chief of the WMO Agricultural Meteorology Division of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland. His duties include developing the scientific and technical aspects of this division and providing technical and scientific support to the WMO Commission for Agricultural Meteorology. He is also the Head of the Technical Support Unit of the Integrated Drought Management Programme which works with countries in developing drought early warning systems and national drought policies. From 2005 to 2010, he was the Scientific Officer in the same Programme at WMO. From 1991 to 2004, he was an agricultural meteorologist for the United States Department of Agriculture where he monitored worldwide weather and climate conditions and how they impacted global agricultural production. He has a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Climatology from Iowa State University (1988) and B.S. in Agricultural Meteorology from Purdue University (1986).