Dr. Emile Frison is a leading advocate of the importance of agriculture in promoting biological diversity, a role he now administers as a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), and previously as the Director General of Biodiversity International, one of the 15 Future Harvest Centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Previously, Dr. Frison was the Director of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP). During this time he launched two prominent initiatives: the Global Programme for Musa Improvement (PROMUSA) to bring together researchers and growers with an interest in bananas and plantains (1997) and the Global Consortium on Musa Genomics (2002). He also worked in Africa for six years and was a Development Manager of an agrochemical company in Belgium for three years. In 1992, as Regional Director for Europe, he initiated a new phase of the European Cooperative Programme for Crop Genetic Resources Networks. In collaboration with FAO, he also launched the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme.
Dr. Frison obtained a MSc in Plant Pathology from the Catholic University of Louvain and a PhD from the University of Gembloux in Belgium. He is a Belgian national who has spent most of his career in international agricultural research, including 18 years of work related to plant genetic resources.