2018 Tutu Fellow Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg PhD has been appointed to the Executive Board of the Global Crop Trust.  The Global Crop Trust implements the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and safeguards the world’s crop diversity for future food security.

With climate change looming, Wanjiru said it's "an intimidating honor to serve on the Board that oversees the critical Svalbard Seed Vault, safeguarding duplicates of 1,214,827 seed samples from almost every country in the world.

The Crop Trust is an international non-profit organization dedicated to conserving and making crop diversity available for use globally, forever and for the benefit of everyone. The Crop Trust says agriculture is under threat: rising populations, diminishing resources and deteriorating environments are raising the stakes. By 2050, humanity will need 50% more food on the table than is currently produced. The trust says that within the plant diversity it is saving, the characteristics that will adapt and improve food crops and allow farmers to feed the world can be retained. But, this diversity is not endless and once a plant is lost, it’s lost forever. Conserving and making this diversity available in genebanks worldwide ensures a food supply at more stable prices and provides the raw material breeders and farmers will need to grow a more nutritious, affordable and varied food supply.

Wanjiru is currently a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation and Founding Executive Director of Black women in Executive Leadership (B-WEL). She was previously and Executive in Residence and Executive Director of the Rise program at Schmidt Futures. Prior, she served as Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) which works towards inclusive, agriculture-driven prosperity for Africa by strengthening the production and dissemination of gender responsive agricultural research and innovation.

Wanjiru also founded and served as Executive Director of Akili Dada, an award-winning leadership incubator that invests in high-achieving young women from under-resourced families, who are passionate about driving change in their communities.  She has received widespread recognition for her work, including being honored as a White House Champion of Change by the Obama Administration, and awarded the
United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award.

She made the announcement on LinkedIn and is listed on the Executive Board on the Crop Trust's website.

Attributions: The header image is a screengrab from the Crop Trust's website.

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About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.