Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Authors / Biography

Frank Rijsberman

Title CEO
Organization CGIAR

Frank Rijsberman was appointed in May 2012 as CEO of the CGIAR Consortium, a global partnership of 15 international agricultural research Centers with the shared vision of a food secure future. With over thirty years’ experience as a researcher and consultant in natural resources management, Frank is leading the implementation of this vision through a coherent portfolio of research programs focusing on increasing food security, improving nutrition and health, reducing rural poverty, and protecting the environment.

After being appointed full professor at the UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education in 1999, Frank's career with CGIAR began in 2000 when he became Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Over seven years Frank helped transform IWMI from a US$9M organisation only active in South Asia, to a US$23M organisation with 12 offices throughout Asia and Africa. Whilst working with IWMI, Frank's interest in global water security led him to become a member of the Task Force on Water and Sanitation for the UN Millennium Development Goals. Frank was also central in the organisation of the second World Water Forum and Ministerial Conference, which took place in The Hague in 2000.

Ten years later, Frank's dedication to achieving global water security led him to take the position of Director of the Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene initiative at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2010. Frank was responsible for raising the profile of this relatively new sector of the Foundation.

Frank has also worked with Google, holding the position of Program Director at Google's philanthropic division: Google.org, where he was in charge of several programs and partnerships to improve health, disaster response, geo-informatics and climate change adaptation.

Originally from The Netherlands, Frank received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Delft University of Technology, and earned a multi-disciplinary Ph.D. in water resources planning and management and civil engineering from Colorado State University. He has worked in Africa, Asia, and Europe and has authored over 60 scientific articles and book chapters, including “World Water Vision: Making Water Everybody’s Business” which he co-authored with W.J. Cosgrove.


Posts By Frank Rijsberman

How Research Can Banish Water and Food Scarcity

This week – water is on our lips. It’s a vital resource we all need to live, whether it’s to drink, to nourish the crops we eat, or to power the technologies we rely on. The way in which we try to pull water in these three directions—known as the water-food-energy nexus—is the center of discussion this week, at World Water Week in Stockholm.

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How do we Make Sure Agricultural Research Will Really Improve People's Lives?

International research has started involving farmers - for instance to test new crop varieties. Temegnush Dhabi, a 50-year-old Ethiopian farmer, has worked with researchers to test improved varieties of chickpea on her field.

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Rio+20: Feeding the World Without Wrecking the Planet

As the single largest employer in the world, agriculture provides a livelihood for 40 per cent of today’s global population.

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Time to Get Our Sh*t Together

This week, the World Water Forum will be held in Marseille, France. Our message in Marseille will be simple–it’s time to get our sh*t together and focus on sanitation.

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Money for Toilets? New Sanitation Grants Announced!

Happy World Toilet Day! What better way to celebrate than to announce new grants focused on ensuring everyone has a safe and affordable way to go to the bathroom?

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