10150779 10203511747940282 457118140 aToday, April 2, 2014, is the Commencement Exercises of the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), North La Union Campus, Bacnotan, La Union under the able stewardship of Chancellor Jaime Ipac Manuel Jr. The Guest of Honor and Speaker is Dr. William D. Dar, an accomplished, renowned Ilocano (native of Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur) of international stature.

Dr. Dar is the Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in India. ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political and pro-poor institute and a member of the CGIAR Consortium.

Dr Dar served as Presidential Adviser for Rural Development, Secretary of Agriculture in the Philippines, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) and Director of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA).

He holds a PhD in Horticulture from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, an MS (Agronomy) and BS in Agricultural Education from Benguet State University (BSU) in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines, and several honorary doctorates.

He has received a number of awards and honors, including the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines, Outstanding Young Scientist of the Year, Crop Science Society of the Philippines’ Achievement Award for Research Management, Outstanding Science Administrator given by the Philippines Department of Science and Technology, the 2007 Outstanding Professional of the Year Award in the field of Agriculture by the Professional Regulatory Commission of the Philippines.

The latest international recognition of his work includes the Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) Special Award for Biotechnology and Life Sciences sector 2014, the “Excellence in Agricultural Leadership Award” by the Association of Agricultural Technology in Southeast Asia (AATSEA) in November 2013, and the prestigious MS Swaminathan Award for Leadership in Agriculture in June 2013. In April 2010, ICRISAT led by Dr Dar won the CGIAR’s Science Award for Outstanding Partnership together with the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), for improving the lives of women and children in West Africa. In 2008, it had won for the fifth time the King Baudouin Award (the most prestigious in the CGIAR) along with eight other Centers.

A man on a mission and a champion of the poor, Dr Dar is committed to alleviate the conditions of the poor people living in the drylands of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

(Source & Photo Credit: http://www.icrisat.org/icrisat-dg-biography.htm)