Our Team

Dr. Ronnie Coffman

Interim Director

Ronnie Coffman has a long and stellar career in academic research, leadership, and mentorship. He is an International Professor of Global Development and Director of International Programs in Cornell University's Department of Global Development. He is also an International Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics, School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Breeding and Genetics Section.

He is serving as interim director of the Alliance for Science pending a search for a new director.

Ronnie is the author of numerous published research papers. His expertise lies in plant breeding and research management, with an emphasis on driving genetic gains in wheat and cassava. He is the vice-chair of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, an international consortium of more than 1,000 scientists from hundreds of institutions working together to protect the world's wheat supplies. The global effort was launched in 2005 in partnership with CIMMYT, ICARDA, FAO, and the late Norman E. Borlaug. He is currently principal investigator for a wide range of international projects focused on food security and global development, including Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat and NextGen Cassava.

In 2013, Ronnie won the inaugural World Agriculture Prize for his achievements guiding scientific and social change across continents and generations. In 2019 he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions to food security, including innovative research programs, support for women throughout science, and development of worldwide science communication programs. Ronnie is also an American Society of Agronomy Fellow and the recipient of numerous honors, including the Women in Agronomy, Crops, Soils, and Environmental Sciences Mentoring Award.

Ronnie earned his Doctorate from Cornell University and his MS and BS degrees from the University of Kentucky. Additionally, he holds an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad.

He grew up on a farm in Kentucky and lives in Ithaca, New York.