The board of directors of the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan has announced Dr. Steven Webb, executive director and CEO, is resigning.

Webb’s last day will be December 31, 2021.

“I consider it a great honour and privilege to have worked alongside an exceptionally dedicated team – some of the most talented in the agriculture and food sector – over these past couple of years at GIFS,” says Webb. “While I have always had a long term goal to return to industry, family reasons have made it necessary for me to move on now and relocate; however, I will always treasure the immense opportunity given me to work with others to help advance GIFS and Saskatchewan’s agriculture and food sectors through my time here.”

Webb joined GIFS in July 2019, following a career leading research and development in the agriculture industry.

“We are grateful to Steve for his visionary leadership that has helped re-shape GIFS into the leading institute it is today – focused on working collaboratively in the agri-food ecosystem to deliver innovative solutions for sustainable food production,” says Alanna Koch, chair of GIFS’ board of directors. “Steve brought in exactly the leadership that was needed. He led the re-design of a bold new strategy for GIFS, helped grow the institute safely during the challenges of a global pandemic, and helped GIFS secure continued support from its Founding Partners and others for its next phase of growth.”

Under Webb’s leadership GIFS launched its Omics and Precision Agriculture Laboratory (OPAL) and other technology platforms designed to serve the research needs of its science programs, and those of the agri-food ecosystem. GIFS also expanded partnerships with industry, governments and research institutes, and its research to sustainably improve crop yield while reducing the impact on the environment.

Other highlights include establishing international partnerships with the government of Bangladesh and in Australia, partnerships with a coalition of organizations working to advance Canada’s leadership in sustainable agriculture, climate change, agri-food and engineering biology. GIFS also successfully relocated to an expanded facility with twice the laboratory space and three times its plant growth facilities, under Webb’s direction.

Stephen Visscher CBE, will serve as interim CEO while the board of directors commences a global executive search for a new CEO.

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