CGIAR’s System Board Appoints Dr. Claudia Sadoff as Head of Multi-Disciplinary Executive Management Team
Jul 27 2022
The changes aim to enhance CGIAR’s impact with a focus on science and innovation, partnership and leading evidence-based calls for food, land and water systems transformation
July 27, 2022 – CGIAR’s System Board has appointed Dr. Claudia Sadoff, current Convener of the inaugural CGIAR Executive Management Team (EMT) established for a two-year term in August 2020, and Managing Director for Research Delivery and Impact, as CGIAR’s single top executive.
In the role of CGIAR’s Executive Managing Director (EMD), Dr. Sadoff will lead a multi-disciplinary EMT, comprising six Managing Director direct reports, as part of the broader CGIAR Senior Leadership Team (SLT), with the SLT maintaining its pivotal role as stewards and leaders of a globally dispersed, and locally mandated staff.
Dr. Sadoff will report directly to the System Board for a term of one year. Her successor will be identified through a global, competitive search process led by the System Board – to be launched in September 2022. The transition – from an EMT with a number of Managing Directors at the head to an apex structure – was decided by the System Board after an in-depth review and consultation process that incorporated the views of the SLT members.
“The single Executive Managing Director model is the natural evolution of the two-year term-limited inaugural executive management structure – timed to conclude in August 2022 – in a way that responds to CGIAR’s critical need to connect global science with regional and local partners in an effective and innovative way,” said Marco Ferroni, Chair of CGIAR’s System Board.
“Claudia’s expertise and proven and exemplary leadership skills, make her the right person to complete the reforms that position CGIAR for a new era of interconnected and partnership-driven research,” Ferroni added.
The six Managing Director roles reporting directly to Dr. Sadoff are CGIAR’s three global science leaders: Managing Director, Genetic Innovation (Sonja Vermeulen), Managing Director, Resilient Agri-Food Systems (Martin Kropff), Managing Director, Systems Transformation (Johan Swinnen); together with CGIAR’s Managing Director, Institutional Strategy & Systems (Elwyn Grainger-Jones), a new Managing Director, Regions & Partnership (Harold Roy-Macauley), and Managing Director, Communications & Outreach (Lotte Pang).
Professor Garba Hamidu Sharubutu, Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, representative for the Sub-Saharan Africa Constituency on the CGIAR System Council and Co-Chair of the 16 System Council meeting, held on July 20, welcomed the changes.
“We are already seeing how the One CGIAR transition is positioning the organization to deliver a more effective, coordinated and systemic response to multiple shocks to our global food systems,” he said. “I welcome the evolution of the leadership structure to one that supports decision-making, brings CGIAR in line with other major international organizations and continues the critical work being done across CGIAR.”
According to Dr. Sadoff, “Leveraging the full potential of CGIAR is vital in our current context of the global food crisis, accelerating climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Working as One CGIAR, we are able to deliver the science and innovation that enables farmers and their communities around the world to meet these challenges head on. It is a privilege to lead this extraordinary organization with such a fundamental mission, and to work alongside so many incredible colleagues around the world.”
is a globally-recognized leader in water resources management for international development. She has served since August 2020 as CGIAR’s Managing Director, Research Delivery and Impact, and the Convener of CGIAR’s inaugural EMT. Prior to those roles, she served as the Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR Center headquartered in Sri Lanka working globally to find water solutions for sustainable, climate-resilient development. She also served as a member of the CGIAR System Management Board, acting as CGIAR Gender Champion.
Prior to joining IWMI, she spent over 20 years at the World Bank where she worked across Africa, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, holding multiple positions, including Lead Economist and Global Lead for Water Security and Integrated Water Resource Management. She served as a Member of the Scientific Group of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit and was recently named an Honorary Member of the International Water Resources Association. She has received appointments from a wide variety of other organizations, including: Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Oxford University; Chair of the Global Water Partnership/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Task Force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth; Economic Advisor to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water Security; Member of the Global Water Partnership Technical Committee; and Fulbright scholar. She holds a PhD in Economics.