Joel I. Cohen
Joel I. Cohen is a Senior Research Fellow in the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He has held this position since April 2004. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Director of IFPRI's Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) from May 2003 to September 2005. In his early career, Cohen worked as a corn breeder working with biotechnology at Dekalb Plant Genetics (a company that was acquired by Monsanto in 1998). He then went to work as a Senior Biotechnology Specialist in the Office of Agriculture at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Cohen left USAID to spend 11 years as a Project Leader of Management of New Technologies for Agricultural Research at the International Service For National Agricultural Research (ISNAR). Simultaneously, he served as Director of the ISNAR Biotechnology Service (IBS).
Cohen was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal (1973-75). He received his PhD in plant breeding and molecular genetics from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
(Note: This biography, which came from Cohen's website, is out of date as it notes he "presently" serves as an author of the IAASTD report, which was published in 2008.)
- In May of 2003, he became Executive Director, Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS), an international consortium enhancing regulatory policy, system development, and building capacity in Africa and Asia. He held this post until September 2nd, 2005 when his responsibilities changed to a more extensive research and capacity building agenda. This further supported his appointment in April 2004 as a Senior Research Fellow in the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Joel now specializes in issues of agricultural knowledge systems applied to poverty reduction, food, environment, and bio-security, and implications of related science policy. This work includes studies on biotechnology, biodiversity, and biosafety as they affect agricultural research and policy. Recommendations for these topics, research, capacity building, and comparative country studies are also developed, with an emphasis on famine and relief efforts.
- "His appointment at IFPRI followed 11 years of work as Project Leader, Management of New Technologies for Agricultural Research at the International Service For National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) where he led a division of 30 professionals. Simultaneously, he served as Director of the ISNAR Biotechnology Service (IBS). He has recently authored papers on the public production of genetically modified crops and genetic resources in 16 developing countries and their regulatory implications; the policy setting for food safety assessments in the developing world; leadership and new science, plant breeding and biodiversity surveys, regulatory and environmental concerns regarding GM crops; and, realities/possibilities for crop biotechnology to mitigate or cope with effects of climate change.
- "He has served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the preparation of a biotechnology strategy for the Asian Development Bank, member of the task force for developing a new biotechnology strategy for the Inter-American Development Bank. He has been recently elected as a Steering Committee member to the Coordination Meeting for Governments and Organizations Implementing or Funding Biosafety Capacity-Building Actives, for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Convention on Biological Diversity. He presently serves as one author in the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). It is a unique international effort that will evaluate the relevance, quality and effectiveness of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology. He also consulted for the Asian Productivity Organization in 2005 for their special seminar on rice and biotechnology,
- "He prepared background reports on strategies for, and relevance of, biotechnology and biosafety for the World Bank's Africa Bureau. He contributed a background report for UNDP's 2001 Human Development Report on biosafety and applications of biotechnology for developing countries, which was later invited for publication in the Journal of Human Development. Key findings related to research program needs and policy implications for biotechnology and biosafety was published by CABI and edited by Dr. Cohen."
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS)
- USAID Promotion of Agricultural Biotechnology
- Monsanto's Use of Humanitarian Projects to Open Global Markets to GMOs
- Robert B. Horsch
- Earnest Jaworski
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Rockefeller Foundation
- Clive James
- Joel I. Cohen, Accessed October 13, 2011.
- Farhad Mazhar, Destructive Consequences of "Controlling Plant Gene Expression" or "TERMINATOR" Technology for Food Security and Biodiversity, Third World Network, Accessed October 13, 2011.
- Joel I. Cohen and Robert Paarlberg, "Unlocking Crop Biotechnology in Developing Countries––A Report from the Field," World Development Vol. 32, No. 9, pp. 1563–1577, 2004.
- Agricultural Biotechnology and the Poor, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, 2000.