Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro

Howard-Yana Shapiro, PhD, Chief Agricultural Officer Mars Advanced Research Institute Fellow Mars, Incorporated Senior Fellow Department of Plant Sciences College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences University of California, Davis Science Advisor MIT-Media Lab Distinguished Fellow World Agroforestry Centre Nairobi, Kenya Howard has been involved with sustainable agricultural and agroforestry systems, plant breeding, molecular biology and genetics for over 50 years. He has worked with indigenous communities, NGO’s, governmental agencies and the private sector around the world.

His academic career spanned 15 years. Shapiro is a Senior Fellow at UC Davis, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, a former Fulbright Scholar, Ford Foundation Fellow, in 2007 Howard was made a Distinguished Fellow of the World Agroforestry Centre and authored the IAASTD chapter on Biotechnology and Biodiversity. co-chair of the 1st and 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry and served as Chairperson of the External Advisory Board of the Agriculture Sustainability Institute at UC Davis. In 2009 he was named recipient of The Award of Distinction from The College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis. He led the global effort sequencing, assembling and annotating the Theobroma cacao genome, and initiated the Arachis genome.

Shapiro founded the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) and the African Plant Breeding Academy (AfPBA) in 2011. The effort will sequence, assemble and annotate 101 key food cultivars, which are the backbone of African nutrition. In October of 2017 he launched with collaborators the Foldit Aflatoxin Puzzle with 460,000 gamers to redesign and improve enzymes to degrade the aflatoxin.

He has been interviewed and published extensively in print, on the radio and television: BBC, CCTV, New York Times, Financial Times, NPR, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Fortune, The Economist, ABC, Scientific American, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Speigel, La Republicca, The Times of India, The Standard (Africa) Handelsblatt, DNA, The World Bank, National Research Council, International Finance Corporation amongst many. He collects and restores modern Japanese and Italian motorcycles, recently becoming a member of the 200 Mile Per Hour Club on an unrestricted 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa. averaging 201.386 MPH at the Bonneville Salt Flats.