IRRI is pleased to announce that starting February 1, 2019, Arvind Kumar will serve as the Director of IRRI South Asia Regional Center (ISARC), located in Varanasi, India.
ISARC is IRRI’s regional facility in South Asia that strengthens the national research capacity of rice-growing countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa in crop production, seed quality and nutrition, and to enhance farmers’ knowledge and income.
In this critical role, Kumar will manage the overall operations of the Center, including the development of its business plans to achieve IRRI’s strategic goals, and set its specific future strategic direction to ensure the Center’s alignment with the vision and goals of IRRI. He will spearhead initiatives to ensure the excellence and consistency of research activities in the regional centre and act as external and national presence that communicates program results to regional and national platforms. Most importantly, he will be in charge of leading team members in building new partnerships with donors and community leaders at the Varanasi site.
Kumar is a fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences since 2015. He brings with him over 25 years of work experience in the agriculture sector including his current role as interim leader of IRRI’s Rice Breeding Platform and theme leader of the Breeding for Marginal Environments Outcome Theme. As a member of the senior leadership team, he has provided the institute with strategic leadership in research for development, cultivating cutting-edge concepts to resolve food and nutrition security issues related to the rice and agri-food sector. He works in close collaboration with other Platforms to ensure funding of research for development initiatives, and has been instrumental in forming collaborative partnerships with external partners.
Kumar will take over ISARC leadership from Uma Shankar Singh, who will continue on as IRRI South Asia Partnership Development Consultant.