Prof. dr. Louise O. Fresco is appointed President of the Executive Board of Wageningen UR and will start in her new job on July 1, 2014. She currently works as University Professor at the University of Amsterdam and she is an honorary professor at Wageningen University. She will succeed Aalt Dijkhuizen, who will step down as chairman of the Wageningen UR board on March 1 after 12 years of service.
Louise Fresco is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of food security, international cooperation and science.
The chairman of the Supervisory Board of Wageningen UR, Job Cohen, said on the appointment: 'Wageningen UR is internationally leading in the domain of healthy food and living environment. Louise will enhance this position through her international experience and her broad scientific background. She has a strong ability to engage people to joined goals and this will enhance pursuing the Wageningen mission.”
Louise Fresco is very happy with her appointment: 'Wageningen is about all the issues I have been working on during my life. Questions about food, about the future of our economy, the greening of production and biomass. All the things that are so relevant today and to which Wageningen can contribute. I think it's great to be able to contribute to solving the important issues.'
The combination of government, industry and science, which you find in the philosophy of Wageningen UR, is very appealing to her, as well as the combination of basic and applied knowledge and the integration of the natural sciences approach with the social sciences approach.
Louise Fresco graduated cum laude in 1986 in the field of tropical plant breeding and production systems at Wageningen University. From 1990 to 1997, she was a professor of plant production at the same university. Her main focus was on the tropical regions.
From 1997 to 1999, she was Director of Research at the Agriculture Department of FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome. Then from January 2000 until June 2006, she was Assistant Director-General of FAO Agriculture and was responsible for the technological issues in the field of agriculture and food.
In 2006, she was appointed University Professor at the University of Amsterdam, with a focus on the principles of sustainable development in an international perspective.
She has also been an Honorary Professor at Wageningen University since 2001 and is a member of the Dutch Royal Academy and three other international academies. She is also Crown member of the Executive Committee of the Social and Economic Council (SER) and holds numerous advisory positions.
Louise Fresco has written numerous books - fiction and non-fiction -, including Hamburgers in paradise. Food in times of scarcity and abundance.