IFPRI Board Proclaim New Director General


The Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) declares today the appointment of Johan “Jo” Swinnen as the institute’s next Director-General. Swinnen will begin his tenure on January 7, 2020, succeeding the current Director-General, Shenggen Fan, who is completing his term.

“Jo brings to IFPRI academic rigour, strategic vision, experience translating evidence-based results to policy, and strong leadership background,” said Mari Pangestu, IFPRI board chair. “As we welcome Jo, we also extend our highest appreciation to Shenggen for his outstanding leadership over the past 10 years and wish him the best in his next endeavour.”

Currently Professor of Economics and Director of the LICOS Centre for Institutions & Economic Performance at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Swinnen is a world-renowned agricultural economist, intellectual leader, and strong manager and seasoned executive.

“I am honoured to be joining IFPRI as the next Director-General and look forward to working with the board, the staff, and the Institute’s many partners towards the vision of a world free of hunger and malnutrition,” said Swinnen.

A Belgian national with a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University and a MSc in Agricultural Sciences from KU Leuven, Swinnen has more than 30 years of experience working to reduce hunger throughout the world, including in developing countries, by undertaking and supporting policy-relevant research in the areas of food security, value chains and trade, food prices, and much more.  He served as President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists during 2012-2015 and was elected Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in 2012.