Dr. Wells’ distinguished career in the agriculture and forestry research and innovation sectors spanned more than 30 years. She joined CGIAR in 2014 as Director General of CIP. Among many achievements there, Dr. Wells presided over an expansion of the Center’s work through partnerships – including with the World Food Programme and McCain Foods – that brought CIP’s innovations to farmers all over the world, achieving scale and delivering impact.
In 2021, Dr. Wells was appointed as the inaugural Global Director for Genetic Innovation at CGIAR. In this capacity, she was building an ambitious program and leading a global cadre of scientists stewarding CGIAR’s genetic resources to deliver improved crop varieties that strengthen food and nutrition security, sustainability and resilience, and farmers’ livelihoods.
“Dr. Wells was a remarkable leader truly dedicated to the impact that research can have, and an inspiration to so many of us,” said Claudia Sadoff, CGIAR Managing Director, Research Delivery and Impact, and Convener of the Executive Management Team. “Under Barbara’s leadership, CGIAR’s research and innovation helped make clear and lasting improvements to the health and livelihoods of millions of people across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. But we will also remember Barbara for her warmth and deep concern for people, her commitment to workplace diversity, and dedication to creating opportunities for young women scientists. She will be greatly missed.”
Dr. Wells was an accomplished leader with extensive scientific and private sector experience in research, management, strategic planning, regulatory processes, and the technical development and commercialization of products in agricultural and forestry markets around the world.