is an expert on conservation and agricultural biodiversity who has headed global research-for-development organisation Bioversity International for ten years, after holding top positions at several global research institutes. Emile Frison, a Belgian national, obtained an MSc in Agricultural Sciences from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium and a PhD in Agricultural Science from the University of Gembloux in Belgium.
He has spent most of his career in international agricultural research for development, starting as a researcher at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria in 1979, and working in Mauritania for USAID. He joined the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources in 1987 and became Regional Director for Europe of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute in 1992. He became the Director of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP) in 1995 and Director General of Bioversity International in 2003. He is currently the Chair of the International Scientific Committee on Sustainable Food Systems of the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation. His areas of expertise include the conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity. He has a particular interest in sustainable food systems and the deployment of agricultural biodiversity to improve nutrition and the resilience and sustainability of agricultural systems.