Sam Dryden oversees foundation efforts to help millions of the world’s poorest farming families boost their productivity and incomes.
Prior to joining the foundation, Dryden served as a managing director of Wolfensohn & Company, a corporate advisory and investment firm founded by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn.
An investor and entrepreneur in life sciences ventures, Dryden has written and lectured widely on food security and economic development issues and served as an advisor on rural development for the World Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation. Until 2006, he led Emergent Genetics, Inc., which develops and markets seeds. Previously, Dryden served as president and CEO of Agrigenetics Corporation, a seed company, and founded Big Stone Inc., a private venture and development company. He began his career as an analyst with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Dryden was previously on the U.S. board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which focuses on ensuring crop diversity for food security. He also served on the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Global Sustainability. Previously, he served on the World Bank’s steering committee for the International Assessment on Agricultural Science and Technology. He was a member of the executive council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and was involved in its efforts to advance food security in Africa. He was on the board of the South/North Development Initiative, a not-for-profit effort aimed at alleviating rural poverty in developing countries through entrepreneurial development. He was also a member of the Design Advisory Committee of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation effort—an organization created for the advancement of African food security.
Dryden has worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. A native of eastern Kentucky, he received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University.