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Govaerts is the Director General a.i. (Secretary General and CEO) of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Specializing in bioscience engineering and soil science, Govaerts is renowned for pioneering, implementing, and inspiring transformational changes for farmers and consumers. Committed to meeting sustainable development challenges in agri-food systems, he brings together multi-disciplinary teams to stimulate change through multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral strategies. His leadership in scientific and development initiatives has inspired novel collaborations and resulted in improved nutrition, nature conservation, and national and international resilience and food security. Govaerts has defined an integrated approach toward excellence in science for impact, carried out through partnerships emphasizing on capacity building. He is known for his energy, vision, and innovation in food products and production especially for small, rural farms. He integrates academic research with successful practices developed by real-world organizations, utilizing 21st-century social networking systems to move forward in his efforts. His work is geared toward transforming subsistence agriculture and failed farming systems into productive and sustainable production units. He is considered to be a major innovator in the agro-sustainability movement, embracing modern practices while integrating traditional farmer knowledge and efforts worldwide as a means to influence and guide the future of farming. These efforts are recognized as critical to rural livelihoods, food safety, nutrition, nature conservation, and regional and national security. This event is part of Govaert’s first visit as an A.D. White Professor-at-Large (ADW-PAL) to Cornell. He was elected as an ADW-PAL in 2019. His appointment runs through 2025.