Leader, Cassava Program
Clair Hershey is Leader of the Cassava Program at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia, and focal point at CIAT for the Roots, Tubers and Bananas CGIAR Research Program. He received a PhD in Plant Breeding at Cornell University and worked as a Cassava Breeder at CIAT from 1978 to 1991. During that time he managed the field germplasm collection, carried out pre-breeding to incorporate new traits of value from the genebank, and worked with national program partners in Latin America and Asia in variety development. He led the development of the Cassava Strategy for the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Clair spent 15 years managing a diversified family farm with his brothers in the US, before joining FAO in 2009 and 2010 as a consultant to The Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (GIPB). His main projects during that period were to lead development of an e-learning course on pre-breeding, development of a tool for capacity assessment of plant breeding programs, and provide broad support to capacity building of FAO partners. From 2001 and 2012 he was editor of Plant Breeding News, initiated and supported by FAO and Cornell University.