Peter Kulakow received his PhD in Genetics from the University of California, Davis in 1986. For eight years he served as plant breeder at The Land Institute, where he worked to develop perennial grain crops for polyculture agriculture systems modeled on sustainable natural ecosystems. In 1994, Kulakow moved to Kansas State University to work on Sorghum breeding and phytoremediation. There he focused on development of plant systems to restore ecosystems contaminated with organic pollutants. In 2009, he joined the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria to head the cassava breeding unit and to work with national agricultural research systems to develop cassava varieties for West and Central Africa. At IITA, Kulakow has championed development of open access cassava breeding databases to foster accessibility and sharing of cassava breeding information. From 2012 to 2014, he served at the IITA focal point for the Roots, Tubers and Bananas CGIAR Research Program.