Chair of the International Scientific Committee of the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation
Dr Frison is a Belgian national and has spent most of his career in international agricultural research for development, starting at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria in 1979. A plant pathologist by training, he obtained an MSc from the Catholic University of Louvain and a PhD from the University of Gembloux in Belgium. He worked in Africa for six years, in Nigeria and Mauritania, and was Development Manager of an Agro-chemical company in Belgium for three years.
In 1987, he joined Bioversity International to coordinate research on the phytosanitary aspects of international movement of genetic resources. In 1992 he became Regional Director for Europe and initiated a new phase of the European Cooperative Programme for Crop Genetic Resources Networks. In collaboration with FAO, he also launched the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme.
Dr Frison became the Director of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP) in 1995, and in 2003, he became Director General of Bioversity International (formerly IPGRI). In 2004, he led Bioversity and its stakeholders and partners in the formulation of a new strategic vision for the organization entitled “Diversity for Well-being” focusing on the contribution that agricultural biodiversity makes to the sustainability, resilience and productivity of smallholder agriculture and to the nutritional quality of diets.
As Director General of Bioversity International he also led the CGIAR System-Wide Genetic Resources Policy Programme (SGRP) and was a member of the CGIAR Genetic Resources Policy Committee (GRPC). Dr Frison is Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Ecoagriculture Partners since 2006 and from 2009 to 2013 he was a member of the Executive Board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. He is also member of the International Advisory Council of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. In 2007, he was appointed Extraordinary Professor in genetic resources by the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
Dr Frison is currently the Chair of the International Scientific Committee of the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation.