Gary H. Toenniessen joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 1971. As Managing Director, he leads the strategic direction for the Foundation’s initiatives in agricultural development. He has also served as the Assistant Director for the Natural and Environmental Sciences Division, Assistant Director, Associate Director and Deputy Director for Agricultural Sciences and Director, Food Security. In 2006 he served as Founding President (on an interim basis) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, a joint project of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mr. Toenniessen has written and edited numerous papers and books on biotechnology, agriculture and international food issues, many co-authored with other Foundation officers. He continues to develop ideas and theories on how the world’s growing population could and should be fed and how agricultural development could be a more effective engine for economic growth.
He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a recipient of the Adolph E. Gude Jr. Award of the American Society of Plant Biology.
Mr. Toenniessen has a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.