W. Ronnie Coffman biography

Ronnie Coffman serves as the Andrew H. & James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor,International Professor of Plant Breeding and Director of International Programs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. He also serves as Principal Investigator of the Agricultural Innovation Partnership, the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project, Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat project and the Next Generation Cassava project.  With Jeanie Borlaug Laube as Chair, he serves as Vice Chair of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative.

Previous positions include Associate Dean for Research and Director, Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station; Chair of the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University, and Plant Breeder at the International Rice Research Institute  (IRRI).  Coffman’s work has been important to the development of improved rice varieties grown on several million hectares throughout the world. He has collaborated extensively with institutions in the developing world and has served as a board member for several international institutes, including the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA), and the Council of Advisors of the World Food Prize. In October of 2013 Coffman was awarded the Inaugural World Agriculture Prize by the Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for the Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA), sponsored by Nanjing Agricultural University.  His Ph.D. is from Cornell University (thesis research supervised by Norman Borlaug in Mexico) and undergraduate work was done at the University of Kentucky, his home state.