A chance meeting with one of CIAT’s “founding fathers”

2 May, 2011 by (comments)

From CIAT Director-General Ruben Echeverría:

In October 1966, Dr. Lewis M. Roberts from the Rockefeller Foundation and Dr. Lowell S. Hardin from the Ford Foundation wrote “A Proposal for Creating an International Institute for Agricultural Research and Training”. A year later, the Government of Colombia, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and soon thereafter the Kellogg Foundation, agreed to launch CIAT. The rest is (good) history.

I have read several documents related to the history of CIAT in the past few years, particularly the ones prepared for the tenth and the thirtieth anniversaries. However I have never been able to get the original manuscript where the first ideas where put into paper. I am happy to report that this past week while visiting Purdue University (Indiana, USA) I found one of the authors, now a 93 year old semi-retired Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University.

Lowell still remembers all key details of the creation process and how a great vision together with funding made it possible. We had a great meeting, and among other things I did get the original document of 1966!

Ruben G. Echeverría, April 2011.

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