Renee Lafitte leads the program’s crop research and development work. Before joining the foundation in 2019, she focused on physiology, agronomy, and agro-ecology, with experience in technology discovery and product development relevant to both intensive agriculture and resource-limited cropping systems.
Renee has worked as a research fellow at DuPont Pioneer and at Corteva Agriscience, where she focused on phenotyping and remote sensing technologies for crop improvement, gene discovery, and the evaluation of new microbial and crop protection products. She also worked for 20 years in the CGIAR system, at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, and at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (also known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT) in Mexico.
At IRRI, she led a multi-country consortium committed to sustainable development and poverty reduction in rainfed rice production systems. At CIMMYT, Renee served as a training officer and developed and delivered courses on improving crop and soil management practices and extension recommendations for resource-limited farmers.
Renee is an author of more than 70 refereed publications, along with a number of book chapters, training materials, and patents. She holds a Ph.D. in crop physiology and an M.S. in agronomy from the University of California, Davis, and a B.S. in botany from Duke University.
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