Women in Research and Science: An Employee-led Resource Group

Women scientists play an indispensable role at the forefront of CGIAR’s mission to deliver science and innovation that advance transformation of food, land and water systems in a climate crisis. Representing 29% of our workforce, female researchers and scientists power our innovation but still require more support to thrive. That’s why we’ve created Women in Research and Science (WIRES), a new employee-led resource group (ERG) that aims to create an enabling environment to empower women scientists across CGIAR.

What is WIRES?

WIRES is a vibrant new voluntary ERG that’s dedicated to championing and supporting women. The group is open to all employees who support WIRES’ mission to increase the visibility of women research and science professionals by ensuring their voices are heard and contributions recognized. With origins in CGIAR’s Action Plan for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (2020- 2021), we are supported by the Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) Function.

What does WIRES do?

WIRES aims to connect and inspire its members by providing tools and shared knowledge that supports professional development. We organize and sponsor events and activities that build workplace relationships as well as strengthen networks and alliances across CGIAR. WIRES also promotes the interests of women, enhances communication, research collaboration and career mentoring among all group members.

Contact WIRES

We look forward to your support in building a diverse and inclusive community and encourage you to become a WIRES member.

Please contact us at

for more information.

WIRES Organizing Committee

Muzna Alvi

IFPRI

Bio

Muzna Alvi is an Associate Research Fellow with IFPRI’s Environment and Production Technology Division. Her research interests include self-help groups and collective action, agriculture extension, and livestock and input subsidy policies. She has worked on and led various research and evaluation projects in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. Muzna has a PhD and MA in Economics from Michigan State University and an MPhil in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has previously worked with the World Bank, Planning Commission of India, and GIZ.

Aparna Das

CIMMYT

Bio

Aparna Das, is a Geneticist & Plant breeder specialized in use of agricultural technologies for improvement of crops (Rice, Vegetables & Maize). She has been working in International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico, as the Technical Program Manager in Global Maize Program, since August 2018 and is based in Nairobi, Kenya. She works with the breeding teams to implement strategies to improve the product delivery pipeline. During her career she has worked in Public and Private sector in different technical capacities focussed on Improvement of various crops.

Agathe Diama

ICRISAT

Bio

Agathe Diama is Head Information and Smart Food Coordinator for the International Research Institute for the Semi-arids Tropics (ICRISAT-West and Central Africa). She is a Sociologist and Anthropologist by training. She also holds a specialized MBA in Communication and a diploma in journalism. Agathe is an alumni of the International center for journalism (ICFJ) Washington DC, Oklahoma State University ‘Nurturing the fourth estate’ and ‘Public Service Broadcasting for Radio Managers’ with the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation through its SR Media Development Office as well of the Radio Netherlands Training Center (RNTC). Prior joining ICRISAT and the CGIAR in 2010, Agathe worked with the Voice of America, Africable Television and Radio Kledu as Journalist and with the International Finance Corporation - IFC (World Bank Group) as Communication Specialist.

Gundula Fischer

IITA

Bio

Gundula Fischer, is a Social Scientist and Gender Expert at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). She is a sociologist and social anthropologist with long-term experience in gender research in organizational and agricultural settings . She works with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) based in Arusha, Tanzania. Currently, her work focuses on gender and sustainable agricultural intensification, agricultural mechanization and value chains. She has been engaged in studies in Ghana, Mali, Tanzania and Malawi.

Maria Itria Ibba

CIMMYT

Bio

Maria Itria Ibba is a Wheat scientist specialized in wheat quality. Since 2019 she has been working at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico, where she leads the wheat chemistry and quality laboratory. There she coordinates the daily laboratory activities, overviews and analyzes the various data developed in the laboratory and coordinates different research projects focused on the continuous improvement of the wheat nutritional and technological quality. She holds a Ph.D. in crops science from the Washington State University and since the beginning of her science career she has authored several research papers on wheat quality improvement and genetics.

Inga Jacobs-Mata

IWMI

Bio

Inga  Jacobs-Mata is a Political Scientist and has a PhD in International Relations from St-Andrews University, Scotland. She specialises in water governance with 15 years of experience in transboundary water governance (particularly cooperative governance in Africa), science communication, and research impact and uptake. Current areas of focus: operationalizing the water-energy-food nexus and its governance frameworks; water stewardship; community-based approaches/supported self-supply; hybrid water law; environmental migration. She is currently IWMI’s Country Representative - South Africa.

Ekaterina Krivonos

CGIAR System Organization

Bio

Ekaterina Krivonos is the Deputy Director, Programs, at the CGIAR System Organization. Her role is to facilitate the development of CGIAR’s new 2030 Research Strategy and to support the process leading up to the next portfolio of CGIAR research. She is an Agricultural Economist with 15+ years of experience in projects and research on agricultural markets, international trade agreements, regional integration, trade and food security and related areas. She has authored numerous research papers, book chapters and analytical reports on agricultural trade and markets and organized multiple high-level policy dialogues and capacity development programs in this area, training over 500 officials in trade rules in agriculture. She holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural and Resources Economics from the University of Maryland.

Rachael Mcdonnell

IWMI

Bio

Rachael McDonnell is Strategic Program Director for Water, Climate Change and Resilience at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) based in its Rome Office. She is the global lead of a team of researchers working on innovative data, technology, policy and governance solutions to support countries adapting and building resilience to the water challenges resulting from of a changing climate. Prior to joining IWMI she was the Head of Climate Change Modelling and Adaptation at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture in Dubai. She previously held various academic positions at the University of Oxford including Founding Director of MSc Water Science, Policy and Management. She gained her doctorate in geography from Oxford.

Gaudiose Mujawamariya

Africa-Rice

Bio

Gaudiose Mujawamariya is an experienced Development Economist. Since 2013, she is working as a value chain economist with AfricaRice, leading the value chain and socio-economic research in East and Southern Africa, currently based in Madagascar. With a keen interest in gender, she has been coordinating the gender research in relation to the rice sector in sub-Saharan Africa since 2017. Her strategic and empirical work serves the purpose of identifying priority areas for R&D and demonstrating the research impact Pathways.

Emily Ouma

ILRI

Bio

Emily Ouma is a Senior Scientist, Agricultural Economist working with the Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods Program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Uganda. She works in a multidisciplinary team of scientists to design, test and evaluate technical and institutional interventions to improve livelihoods, incomes and assets of smallholder pig value chain actors in Uganda. She leads a USAID-Feed the Future funded Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems project in Rwanda that focusses on enhancing the quality and consumption of milk in Rwanda through, behaviour change nutrition communication, and strengthening of dairy cooperatives capacities. She has vast experience working with crop-livestock farmers in Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DRC through a DGDC funded CIALCA project, led by IITA. Emily's research areas and fields of interest include smallholder farm level competitiveness, gender and agri-food value chain analysis, and ex-ante and ex-post impact assessment of agricultural technologies and institutional arrangements on livelihoods.

Elizabeth Parkes

IITA

Bio

Elizabeth Parkes is a Research scientist working as the HarvestPlus cassava breeder at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), she joined IITA in 2012. Her research work focuses on continuous improvement of cassava with focus on the biofortification breeding pipeline to overcome a major public health issue, vitamin A deficiency in children and pregnant women in Africa. She uses gender responsive breeding approaches to capture the voice of women farmers and the youth. She works with the National Agricultural Research Systems in a community of practice for cassava breeding. She holds a Ph.D. in plant breeding from the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa She has authored several research papers, supervised, mentored, and coached several students and young scientists.

Ranjitha Puskur

IRRI

Bio

Ranjitha Puskur is a Senior Scientist leading the Research program on ‘Gender and Livelihoods' at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). She also the leads the Evidence Module in the new CGIAR GENDER (Generating Evidence and New Directions for Equitable Results) Platform. She has been part of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) since 2002, working at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) where she led the research team working on ‘Innovation in livestock systems’ and, WorldFish where she led the programs on gender and impact at scale. Her work focuses on generating knowledge, learning and evidence that can translate into technical and institutional innovation and lead to more equitable outcomes for women and other vulnerable social groups engaged in agriculture.

Sandra Ruckstuhl

IWMI

Bio

Sandra Ruckstuhl, is Advisor, Office of the Director General, IWMI. Sandra (Sandy) Ruckstuhl has 20 years of experience in program management, applied social science research and partnership development. At IWMI, Sandy is responsible for developing and managing strategic initiatives. Prior to joining IWMI, Sandy worked in a series of roles as a Senior Social Inclusion and Governance Specialist for water sector programs at the World Bank, as a Technical Advisor on natural resources and conflict for inter-agency emergency response and development efforts for the US government, and as a Program Manager for urban and sub-national SDG initiatives at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Sandy specializes in environmental conflict, collaborative governance of natural resources, and peacebuilding.

WIRES Founding Members

Muzna Alvi

IFPRI

Muzna Alvi

IFPRI

Bio

Muzna Alvi is an Associate Research Fellow with IFPRI’s Environment and Production Technology Division. Her research interests include self-help groups and collective action, agriculture extension, and livestock and input subsidy policies. She has worked on and led various research and evaluation projects in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. Muzna has a PhD and MA in Economics from Michigan State University and an MPhil in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has previously worked with the World Bank, Planning Commission of India, and GIZ.

Aparna Das

CIMMYT

Aparna Das

CIMMYT

Bio

Aparna Das, is a Geneticist & Plant breeder specialized in use of agricultural technologies for improvement of crops (Rice, Vegetables & Maize). She has been working in International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico, as the Technical Program Manager in Global Maize Program, since August 2018 and is based in Nairobi, Kenya. She works with the breeding teams to implement strategies to improve the product delivery pipeline. During her career she has worked in Public and Private sector in different technical capacities focussed on Improvement of various crops.

Agathe Diama

ICRISAT

Agathe Diama

ICRISAT

Bio

Agathe Diama is Head Information and Smart Food Coordinator for the International Research Institute for the Semi-arids Tropics (ICRISAT-West and Central Africa). She is a Sociologist and Anthropologist by training. She also holds a specialized MBA in Communication and a diploma in journalism. Agathe is an alumni of the International center for journalism (ICFJ) Washington DC, Oklahoma State University ‘Nurturing the fourth estate’ and ‘Public Service Broadcasting for Radio Managers’ with the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation through its SR Media Development Office as well of the Radio Netherlands Training Center (RNTC). Prior joining ICRISAT and the CGIAR in 2010, Agathe worked with the Voice of America, Africable Television and Radio Kledu as Journalist and with the International Finance Corporation - IFC (World Bank Group) as Communication Specialist.

Gundula Fischer

IITA

Gundula Fischer

IITA

Bio

Gundula Fischer, is a Social Scientist and Gender Expert at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). She is a sociologist and social anthropologist with long-term experience in gender research in organizational and agricultural settings . She works with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) based in Arusha, Tanzania. Currently, her work focuses on gender and sustainable agricultural intensification, agricultural mechanization and value chains. She has been engaged in studies in Ghana, Mali, Tanzania and Malawi.

Maria Itria Ibba

CIMMYT

Maria Itria Ibba

CIMMYT

Bio

Maria Itria Ibba is a Wheat scientist specialized in wheat quality. Since 2019 she has been working at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico, where she leads the wheat chemistry and quality laboratory. There she coordinates the daily laboratory activities, overviews and analyzes the various data developed in the laboratory and coordinates different research projects focused on the continuous improvement of the wheat nutritional and technological quality. She holds a Ph.D. in crops science from the Washington State University and since the beginning of her science career she has authored several research papers on wheat quality improvement and genetics.

Inga Jacobs-Mata

IWMI

Inga Jacobs-Mata

IWMI

Bio

Inga  Jacobs-Mata is a Political Scientist and has a PhD in International Relations from St-Andrews University, Scotland. She specialises in water governance with 15 years of experience in transboundary water governance (particularly cooperative governance in Africa), science communication, and research impact and uptake. Current areas of focus: operationalizing the water-energy-food nexus and its governance frameworks; water stewardship; community-based approaches/supported self-supply; hybrid water law; environmental migration. She is currently IWMI’s Country Representative - South Africa.

Ekaterina Krivonos

CGIAR System Organization

Ekaterina Krivonos

CGIAR System Organization

Bio

Ekaterina Krivonos is the Deputy Director, Programs, at the CGIAR System Organization. Her role is to facilitate the development of CGIAR’s new 2030 Research Strategy and to support the process leading up to the next portfolio of CGIAR research. She is an Agricultural Economist with 15+ years of experience in projects and research on agricultural markets, international trade agreements, regional integration, trade and food security and related areas. She has authored numerous research papers, book chapters and analytical reports on agricultural trade and markets and organized multiple high-level policy dialogues and capacity development programs in this area, training over 500 officials in trade rules in agriculture. She holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural and Resources Economics from the University of Maryland.

Rachael Mcdonnell

IWMI

Rachael Mcdonnell

IWMI

Bio

Rachael McDonnell is Strategic Program Director for Water, Climate Change and Resilience at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) based in its Rome Office. She is the global lead of a team of researchers working on innovative data, technology, policy and governance solutions to support countries adapting and building resilience to the water challenges resulting from of a changing climate. Prior to joining IWMI she was the Head of Climate Change Modelling and Adaptation at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture in Dubai. She previously held various academic positions at the University of Oxford including Founding Director of MSc Water Science, Policy and Management. She gained her doctorate in geography from Oxford.

Gaudiose Mujawamariya

AfricaRice

Gaudiose Mujawamariya

AfricaRice

Bio

Gaudiose Mujawamariya is an experienced Development Economist. Since 2013, she is working as a value chain economist with AfricaRice, leading the value chain and socio-economic research in East and Southern Africa, currently based in Madagascar. With a keen interest in gender, she has been coordinating the gender research in relation to the rice sector in sub-Saharan Africa since 2017. Her strategic and empirical work serves the purpose of identifying priority areas for R&D and demonstrating the research impact Pathways.

Emily Ouma

ILRI

Emily Ouma

ILRI

Bio

Emily Ouma is a Senior Scientist, Agricultural Economist working with the Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods Program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Uganda. She works in a multidisciplinary team of scientists to design, test and evaluate technical and institutional interventions to improve livelihoods, incomes and assets of smallholder pig value chain actors in Uganda. She leads a USAID-Feed the Future funded Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems project in Rwanda that focusses on enhancing the quality and consumption of milk in Rwanda through, behaviour change nutrition communication, and strengthening of dairy cooperatives capacities. She has vast experience working with crop-livestock farmers in Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DRC through a DGDC funded CIALCA project, led by IITA. Emily's research areas and fields of interest include smallholder farm level competitiveness, gender and agri-food value chain analysis, and ex-ante and ex-post impact assessment of agricultural technologies and institutional arrangements on livelihoods.

Elizabeth Parkes

IITA

Elizabeth Parkes

IITA

Bio

Elizabeth Parkes is a Research scientist working as the HarvestPlus cassava breeder at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), she joined IITA in 2012. Her research work focuses on continuous improvement of cassava with focus on the biofortification breeding pipeline to overcome a major public health issue, vitamin A deficiency in children and pregnant women in Africa. She uses gender responsive breeding approaches to capture the voice of women farmers and the youth. She works with the National Agricultural Research Systems in a community of practice for cassava breeding. She holds a Ph.D. in plant breeding from the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa She has authored several research papers, supervised, mentored, and coached several students and young scientists.

Ranjitha Puskur

IRRI

Ranjitha Puskur

IRRI

Bio

Ranjitha Puskur is a Senior Scientist leading the Research program on ‘Gender and Livelihoods' at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). She also the leads the Evidence Module in the new CGIAR GENDER (Generating Evidence and New Directions for Equitable Results) Platform. She has been part of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) since 2002, working at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) where she led the research team working on ‘Innovation in livestock systems’ and, WorldFish where she led the programs on gender and impact at scale. Her work focuses on generating knowledge, learning and evidence that can translate into technical and institutional innovation and lead to more equitable outcomes for women and other vulnerable social groups engaged in agriculture.

Sandra Ruckstuhl

IWMI

Sandra Ruckstuhl

IWMI

Bio

Sandra Ruckstuhl, is Advisor, Office of the Director General, IWMI. Sandra (Sandy) Ruckstuhl has 20 years of experience in program management, applied social science research and partnership development. At IWMI, Sandy is responsible for developing and managing strategic initiatives. Prior to joining IWMI, Sandy worked in a series of roles as a Senior Social Inclusion and Governance Specialist for water sector programs at the World Bank, as a Technical Advisor on natural resources and conflict for inter-agency emergency response and development efforts for the US government, and as a Program Manager for urban and sub-national SDG initiatives at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Sandy specializes in environmental conflict, collaborative governance of natural resources, and peacebuilding.

News and Resources