Sam Dryden

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Sam Dryden is the Director of Agricultural Development within the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He was named to the role in January 2010.[1]

Career Experience:[2][3]

  • 1973: B.A., Economics, Emory University
  • Analyst with the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis
  • 1974-1980: Employed by Union Carbide. Led the spin-out of Union Carbide's biotechnologies and related business operations
  • 1980-1985: Co-founder, President and CEO of Agrigenetics Corporation, "One of the world's largest seed enterprises," acquired in 1985, now part of Dow AgroSciences[4]
  • "Chairman of an affiliated partnership which managed and invested $60 million in proprietary plant sciences research conducted in leading universities, as well as private and public research institutions worldwide."
  • Founder and President, Big Stone Inc., "a private venture investment and development company focused on the life sciences." "The firm participated in founding over a dozen companies in area such as biopesticides, novel nucleic acid-based therapeutics and diagnostic products, transgenic animals, fermentation based production of vitamins, pharmaceutical clinical trialing, environmental toxicological testing and bio therapeutics."
  • Non-executive chairman of Celgro, Inc, "and independent venture of Celgene Corporation, a company focused on the development of novel, single-isomer, agricultural chemical compounds."
  • January 1997-June 2006: Chair and CEP of Emergent Genetics, Inc., "global leader in the development and marketing of biotechnology-enhanced seed products" which was mostly acquired by Monsanto in April 2005, with the remainder going to Syngenta AG in June 2006.
  • April 2004-present: CEO, Emergent Genetics, LLC, life sciences investment holding company
  • January 1, 2007-January 31, 2010: Managing Director, Wolfensohn & Company, focus on private equity investments in biofuels.
  • July 2007-present: Director, Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group, Inc.
  • February 2010-present: Director of Agricultural Development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Senior Advisory Director, Wolfensohn & Company



Involvement in the IAASTD Report

Dryden was one of six private sector representatives on the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) Bureau (2004-2007), where he represented Emergent Genetics. The others were Harry Swaine (Syngenta), Steve Parry (Unilever), Rob Johnston (Cargill, USA), Momtaz Chowdhury (Agrobased Technology and Industry Development, Pakistan), and Gisele Lopes D'Alme ida – Interface Senegal.

"Sam Dryden and Rob Johnston withdrew for “pressures of work / personal circumstances ” reasons at the outset. Steve Parry withdrew in 2006 following an illness and subsequent retirement from Unilever. Gisele Lopes only attended one meeting. The Private Sector was represented on Bureau sub-Committees as follows:
  • Harry Swaine – Finance; Steve Parry – Author Selection; Momtaz Chowdhury – Communication.
"Several appeals were made to the Secretariat to replace the diminished Private Sector representation – all were ignored or rejected. The result being that Swaine and Chodhury were the only private sector representatives with the latter remote and without any support infrastructure at her base."[5]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Sam Dryden to Head Agricultural Development, Gates Foundation, January 8, 2010, Accessed April 4, 2012.
  2. Sam Dryden, Accessed April 4, 2012.
  3. Sam Dryden, Forbes, Accessed April 4, 2012.
  4. Agrigenetics, Inc., Accessed April 4, 2012.
  5. IAASTD – Process and structural issues, Accessed April 4, 2012.

External links

External Articles