Martin Kropff serves as the Director General of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT, by its Spanish acronym) since June 2015. As DG of CIMMYT, a flagship CGIAR Center, Kropff leads center efforts to strengthen worldwide research on agriculture, food and the environment; areas that are central to addressing global challenges to food and nutrition security.
Before joining CIMMYT, Martin was Rector Magnificus and Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of Wageningen University and Research Center (Wageningen UR) in the Netherlands. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology at Utrecht University and a Ph.D. in agricultural and environmental sciences at Wageningen University, both cum laude. In 1984, he was appointed assistant professor at Wageningen University. From 1990 to 1995, Kropff was the systems agronomist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, where he led an interdisciplinary program on the introduction of systems analysis and simulation in rice production research. Upon his return to the Netherlands in 1995, he served successively as Full Professor of Crop and Weed Ecology, Scientific Director of the University’s C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation and Director General of the Plant Sciences Group. In 2005 he joined the Executive Board of Wageningen UR. Kropff played a key role in raising Wageningen UR’s profile worldwide. In 2013, he joined the CGIAR Consortium Board, where he worked to improve cohesion and develop a new CGIAR strategy.