Robert S. "Bob" Zeigler

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Robert S. "Bob" Zeigler is the Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).[1]

"As director general, Dr. Zeigler is the chief executive officer (CEO) of IRRI, who directly manages and administers its affairs in accordance with the policies and decisions of the board of trustees. As CEO and in close consultation with the IRRI Board of Trustees he sets the Institute’s strategic direction. He is also a passionate spokesperson on a wide range of issues that affect rice growers and consumers worldwide.
"His professional life spanned Africa, Latin America, US, and Asia. He has had a productive research career on diseases of rice that focused on host-plant resistance, pathogen and vector population genetics, and their interactions to develop durable resistance and sustainable disease management practices.
"As Dr. Zeigler's career moved increasingly towards research management his interests expanded to include broader crop management issues, the social forces shaping the agricultural environment, and finally the economic and political arena that frames food security and poverty issues. He has published over 100 scientific works in these areas and often serves as an expert resource on rice security in the regional and global media.
"Dr. Zeigler is also the founding chairman of the board of the IRRI Fund Singapore, an incorporated nonprofit charitable organization established to raise the profile of international rice research and generate funding for it. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of International Agricultural Research Centers that manages a wide range of employee benefits for internationally recruited staff for the 15 Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers and several affiliated centers. He also serves on the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board.
"After completing undergraduate work in 1972, Dr. Zeigler joined the Peace Corps and spent 2 years as a science teacher in Africa. He later joined the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia to work on cassava diseases.
"Starting in 1982, he spent 3 years in Burundi as a technical adviser for the nation's maize program at the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi. He then returned to CIAT, eventually becoming head of the Rice Program.
"His first work at IRRI between 1992 and 1998 was as a plant pathologist, leading the Rainfed Lowland Rice Research Program then the Irrigated Rice Research Program.
"He then became professor and head of the Department of Plant Pathology and director of the Plant Biotechnology Center at Kansas State University in the United States in 1999.
"Before returning to IRRI in 2005, he was the founding director of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) of the CGIAR based in Mexico. There, he led the creation and implementation of the GCP, which involved taking a conceptual framework for understanding and applying genetic diversity to crop improvement and translating it into a functioning and vibrant program with management and governance structures and, most importantly, a comprehensive research program.
"Dr. Zeigler is also an elected Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Phytopathological Society, elected member Sigma Chi (research) and Gama Sigma Delta (Agriculture) honors societies, and a recipient of the E.C. Stakman award. He has published widely in the areas of plant pathology and international agricultural research for development."[2]


Zeigler began his education at the University of Illinois, where he graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences and minors in Chemistry and Mathematics in 1972. He went on to earn a Masters of Science in Forest Ecology (minors: Soils and Statistics) at Oregon State University in 1978. He earned a PhD in Plant Pathology (minor in plant breeding) in 1982 at Cornell University and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).[3]

Work Experience

Accessed August 2011:[4]

  • Director General, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) (2005-current)
  • Director, Generation Challenge Program (2004-March 2005)
  • Professor and Head, Department of Plant Pathology and Director, Plant Biotechnology Center, Kansas State University (1999-2004)
  • Leader, Irrigated Rice Research Program and Plant Pathologist, IRRI (1992-1998)
  • Leader, Rainfed Lowland Rice Research Program and Plant Pathologist, IRRI (1992-1996)
  • Leader, Rice Program, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, Colombia (1986-1992)
  • Senior Staff Plant Pathologist, CIAT Rice Program (1985-1992)
  • Technical adviser, Burundi Maize Program, Institut des Sciences Agronomique du Burundi. Employed by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada (1982-1985)
  • Visiting Research Associate, CIAT Cassava Program (1980-1981)
  • Cornell University. Graduate Research Assistant/Teaching Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology (1978-1980)
  • Oregon State University. Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology (1975-1977)
  • Technician, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle (1974-1975)
  • Secondary School Science Teacher, College Musim, Mokala, Zaire. (Peace Corps) (1972-1974)
  • Advisory board, EcoViva [5]


Accessed August 2011:[6]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

  1. Bob Zeigler, International Rice Research Institute, Accessed August 3, 2011.
  2. Bob Zeigler, International Rice Research Institute, Accessed August 3, 2011.
  3. Bob Zeigler, International Rice Research Institute, Accessed August 3, 2011.
  4. Bob Zeigler, International Rice Research Institute, Accessed August 3, 2011.
  5. Team, EcoViva, accessed August 23, 2015.
  6. Bob Zeigler, International Rice Research Institute, Accessed August 3, 2011.

External links