Ejeta Gebisa

Ejeta Gebisa was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2013. As a fellow, Ejeta Gebisa contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.

Year elected
Agricultural & Nutritional Sciences

Gebisa Ejeta is an Ethiopian American plant breeder, geneticist and holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Plant Breeding & Genetics and International Agriculture at Purdue University in the United States. In 2009, he won the World Food Prize for his major contributions in the production of sorghum. He attended an agricultural and technical secondary school and Alemaya College of Agriculture, what is now Haramaya University in Ethiopia. Both schools were founded by Oklahoma State University under the kind auspices of the U.S. Government’s Point Four Program, the predecessor of the U.S. Agency for International Development. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from Purdue University. Working in Sudan during the early 1980s, Ejeta developed Africa's first commercial hybrid variety of sorghum tolerant to drought. Later, with a Purdue University colleague in Indiana, he discovered the chemical basis of the relationship between the deadly parasitic weed striga and sorghum and was able to produce sorghum varieties resistant to both drought and striga. Professor Ejeta has served on numerous science and program review panels, technical committees, and advisory boards of major research and development organizations including the international agricultural research centers (IARCs), the Rockefeller Foundation, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and a number of national and regional organizations in Africa. He was a member of the team that launched the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, a joint effort of the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations. Dr. Ejeta has served the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the largest publicly funded agricultural research consortium in the world as member of its Science Council, and later as member of its Consortium Board. He was also a board member of the Sasakawa Africa Program. Professor Ejeta has had the honor of serving at the highest level of science and policy advisory for several international development and U.S. government agencies, including as Special Advisor to the USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, as Science Envoy of the U.S. State Department, and as a member of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s Scientific Advisory Board. He currently serves on the boards of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the Chicago Council for Global Affairs’ Global Food and Agriculture Program, the National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, the International Water Management Institute, the U.S. Government Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, and as an ex-officio member of the Council of Advisors of the World Food Prize. A 2009 World Food Prize Laureate and recipient of a national medal of honour from the President of Ethiopia, Professor Ejeta is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, and a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America, apart from being a Fellow at the African Academy of Sciences.