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2019 AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture: Dr. Robert S. Zeigler

1200 New York Ave, NW, Washington, DC

In 2008, the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation (RMF) made a gift to AAAS to endow a Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture at AAAS in honor of Professor Riley's legacy as a "whole picture" person with a vision for enhancing agriculture through scientific knowledge.

Working in collaboration with the RMF and the World Food Prize Foundation (WFPF) — an organization whose fundamental goal is to support efforts toward an adequate supply and availability of nutritious food for the burgeoning world population in the 21st century — the AAAS Riley Lecture is an important opportunity to explore the environmental and societal challenges facing our planet through the lens of agricultural innovation and its applications in a global context.

2019 Lecture:Science and policy: their Yin and Yang dynamic and global food security

Featuring Dr. Robert S. Zeigler, Director General Emeritus, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines.

Immediately following the lecture, Dr. Zeigler joined a panel discussion with noted leaders from the international community including Dr. Ann Bartuska, Vice President for Land, Water and Nature at Resources for the Future, Dr. Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and Andrew W. LaVigne, President and CEO at the American Seed Trade Association The discussion was moderated by Catherine Woteki, President of The Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation.


Dr. Robert Zeigler began his career with a stint in the Peace Corps in the early 1970s in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he has spent over 35 years living and conducting scientific research in developing countries. He devoted his professional career to sustainably improving cereal production, primarily rice, in developing countries. Originally trained as a plant pathologist, he led increasingly complex multidisciplinary research programs culminating in his appointment as Director General of the International Rice Research Institute in 2005, a position he held until his retirement from IRRI in 2016.  He has worked closely with policy makers and very senior government officials in rice-producing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia to link the potential of new technologies to political and economic realities. His book, "Sustaining Global Food Security: The Nexus of Science and Technology" will be jointly published by CSIRO ( and Oxford University Press in September, 2019.  He now lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Ann Bartuska leads the Land, Water, and Nature Program at RFF. She joined RFF in 2017 after serving as the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics as well as chief scientist. Prior to USDA, Dr. Bartuska held a host of leadership positions, including Deputy Chief for Research and Development of the US Forest Service. She also has served in several appointments, including as executive director of The Nature Conservancy’s Invasive Species Initiative and president of the Ecological Society of America. She currently is serving as co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences standing committee on Science Communications. Dr. Bartuska is an ecosystem ecologist with degrees from Wilkes College (B.S.), Ohio University (M.S.) and West Virginia University (Ph.D.). 

Dr. Joseph Glauber is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.  Prior to joining IFPRI, Glauber spent over 30 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture including as Chief Economist from 2008 to 2014. As Chief Economist, he was responsible for the Department’s agricultural forecasts and projections, oversaw climate, energy and regulatory issues, and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. From 2007-2009, Glauber was the Special Doha Agricultural Envoy at the office of the U.S. Trade Representative where he served as chief agricultural negotiator in the Doha talks. He served as economic adviser at the so-called Blair House agreements leading to the completion of the Uruguay Round negotiations and was senior economist for agriculture at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.  He is the author of numerous studies on crop insurance, agricultural policy, and agricultural trade issues. Dr. Glauber received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 and holds an AB in anthropology from the University of Chicago. In 2012, he was elected Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Mr. Andrew W. “Andy” LaVigne has had a 25-year career in government relations, public affairs advocacy and management. Within the areas of agriculture, food policy and international trade, he has a broad range of expertise. Prior to being named CEO of American Seed Trade Association in 2006, Andy was Executive Vice President/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, representing citrus growers on issues affecting their business. Earlier, he spent four years as President and Executive Director of Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association, a non-profit agricultural trade organization representing companies that specialize in crop protection and plant nutrition products. Andy has served on the Agriculture Trade Advisory Committee for Fruits and Vegetables for USDA; Agriculture Policy Advisory Committee for the USDA and USTR; USDA-APHIS Systems Approach Review Group; U.S. Chamber of Commerce Food and Agriculture Committee; and several other state and national industry committees and advisory groups. Prior to entering the association management field, Andy worked for a decade on Capitol Hill, as Legislative Director for Rep. Charles Canady and earlier, as Agriculture Committee staffer for Rep. Tom Lewis. He holds a B.A. in political science with a minor in economics from the University of Florida.

Dr. Catherine Woteki is President of the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation and holds positions as Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University and Visiting Distinguished Institute Professor in the Biocomplexity Institute of the University of Virginia. She served as Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for USDA's Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area from 2010 to 2016. In that role, she developed the Office of the Chief Scientist, established the USDA Science Council, and instituted the Department’s first scientific integrity and open data policies. Dr. Woteki is an advocate for building the platforms needed to enhance domestic and international food and agricultural research. 


The Lecture is sponsored by the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation; the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research Service, Forest Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and Mars Incorporated.

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Michael Fernandez

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