Dr. Segenet Kelemu, an Ethiopian scientist, has been appointed the new Director General of icipe, taking over from Prof. Christian Borgemeister, who has been at the helm of the Centre for the past eight years. Dr. Kelemu becomes the fourth chief executive officer, and the first woman to head icipe.
Founded in 1970 by renowned Kenyan scientist, Prof. Thomas Risley Odhiambo, icipe conducts research and assists resource-limited rural and urban communities in Africa to implement strategies that are environmentally safe, affordable and accessible, for the control of crop pests and disease vectors, and the exploitation of useful insects.
Announcing Dr. Kelemu’s appointment, icipe Governing Council Chairman, Prof. John Pickett, said: “We are extremely confident that Dr. Kelemu will ably advance the Centre’s overall mission of improving food security and the health of people in Africa. She has immense experience in agricultural research, in capacity building and in managing research for development. Indeed, over the past two decades, her own research and that of teams under her leadership has contributed to addressing a variety of key agricultural constraints in Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America.”
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Kelemu was the Vice President for Programmes at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). She joined AGRA from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), where she served as Director of the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA). Previously, Dr. Kelemu was a Senior Scientist, and later the Leader of Crop and Agroecosystem Health Management, at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia. She has also worked as a researcher at Cornell University, and at Montana and Kansas State Universities, in the USA.
Dr. Kelemu has received many international accolades, including CIAT's Outstanding Senior Scientist Award, for her numerous contributions to the Centre and its mission, and the prestigious Friendship Award granted by the People's Republic of China, for outstanding contributions to China's economic and social development. In 2011, Dr. Kelemu, jointly with icipe scientist Prof. Zeyaur Khan, was awarded the TWAS Prize for Agricultural Sciences, by TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences.
She is actively engaged within the global scientific community, having published widely in refereed publications and throughout her professional services, as an editor of peer reviewed journals and a member of a variety of international committees focusing on research for development.