Pedro A. Sanchez

Columbia University
Director, Tropical, Agriculture & Rural Environment Program
Pedro A. Sanchez Image

Pedro Sanchez is the Director of the Tropical Agriculture and the Rural Environment Program, Senior Research Scholar, and Director of the Millennium Villages Project at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Sanchez was Director General of the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya from 1991-2001, and served as Co-chair of the UN Millennium Project Hunger Task Force. He is also Professor Emeritus of Soil Science and Forestry at North Carolina State University, and was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. A native of Cuba, Sanchez received his BS, MS and PhD degrees in soil science from Cornell University, and joined the faculty of North Carolina State University in 1968. His professional career has been dedicated to help eliminate world hunger and absolute rural poverty while protecting and enhancing the tropical environment. Sanchez has lived in the Philippines (working at the International Rice Research Institute), Peru (working at the Peruvian National Research Institute), Colombia (working at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture) and Kenya. He is the author of "Properties and Management of Soils of the Tropics" (rated among the top 10 best-selling books in soil science world-wide), co-author of "Halving Hunger: It can be done" and author of over 250 scientific publications. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has received the International Soil Science Award, the International Service in Agronomy Award and the Crop Science Society of America Presidential Award. He serves on the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the National Academy of Sciences and the Board of Directors of Millennium Promise. Sanchez has received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, the University of Guelph, Canada and The Ohio State University, USA. He has received decorations from the governments of Colombia and Peru, and was anointed Luo Elder with the name of Odera Akang'o by the Luo community of Western Kenya. Sanchez is the 2002 World Food Prize laureate and a 2004 MacArthur Fellow. He received the Charles A. Black Award from CAST, (presented to a food or agricultural scientist actively engaged in research, who has made significant scientific contributions to science) and was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2008.