Dr Ismahane Elouafi

7 February 2019 – Dr Ismahane Elouafi -ranked by Muslim Science as among the 20 Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World – has been welcomed as a non-executive director on the CABI Board.

The appointment was confirmed on the eve of the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 which aims to ensure full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.

Dr Elouafi, who is currently Director General of the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), brings over 15 years’ experience in agricultural research to the role. Her work at the ICBA has included initiatives to empower women in science through different programmes such as the Young Arab Women Scientists Leadership (Tamkeen) program.

A holder of a PhD in Genetics (Cordoba University, Spain), Dr Elouafi has also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations such as ICARDA (International Centre for Agricultural Research and Dry Areas), JIRCAS (Japan International Research Centre for Agricultural Sciences) and CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Centre) as well as previously leading the Research and Partnerships Division at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).).

Dr Elouafi – also listed by CEO-Middle East Magazine as one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women in Science  – said, ‘It is an honour to join the CABI Board which already has an impressive array of talented and influential figures from across the world of science and industry all working towards its mission of helping to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

‘I look forward to joining my colleagues, including Chair of the Board Roger Horton and Chief Executive Officer Dr Trevor Nicholls, in sharing my knowledge and expertise for the benefit of CABI’s strategy to help millions of smallholder farmers grow more and lose less to agricultural pests and diseases.’

Dr Elouafi has a passion for science, its management and integration with policy. She advocates science at the heart of decisions and development plans where this can lead to greater efficiency and help alleviate discrimination and policy.

Roger Horton, Chair of the CABI Board, said, ‘I am honoured and delighted to welcome a scientist of Ismahane’s calibre to the CABI Board.  She brings a wealth of experience that is highly relevant as well as fresh perspectives on agricultural research and development. Her personality, enthusiasm and global knowledge will help us achieve even greater advances in the years to come.’

Dr Elouafi is also the recipient of many international awards including the Excellence in Science award from the Global Thinkers Forum (2014) and the National Reward Medal by his Majesty Mohamed VI, the Kind of Morocco (2014).

Additional information

You can find out more about Dr Ismahane Elouafi from her LinkedIn page.

Dr Elouafi speaks to SciDev.Net in this interview which reveals more about how she developed a career in science.

Also, see Dr Elouafi deliver an International Women’s Day message in this YouTube video from the ICBA.