The researcher Pedro Antonio Arraes Pereira, 56, is the new President of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). He was born in Rio de Janeiro, has a degree in Agronmy from the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ), MSc. and Ph.D. degrees in Genetics and Plant Breeding from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. His postdoctoral work in Molecular Genetics was completed in 1996 at the University of California, Davis.
He began his research career in 1977 as trainee of Embrapa, still in his second year as student of Agronomy, under the direction of Dr. Johanna Dobereiner, who worked actively in the discovery of an association of free-living bacteria in the root system of grasses for fixing nitrogen. After graduation, in 1980 he joined Embrapa Rice and Beans, a research unit of Embrapa located in the state of Goiânia – GO, working on integrated common bean breeding using native and cultivated genotypes, which resulted in the release of varieties of significant impact on the brazilian market of beans.
Arraes accumulated significant international experience participating in official Government missions to several countries and also in forums organized by FAO, the World Bank and the IDB in Washington (USA). He has also participated in the process of selection of members to the Science Council of the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research).
As a manager he has been the Coordinator of Embrapa Labex in the United States, from 2004 to 2007. In the Rice and Beans Center of Embrapa he served as Director General, from 1997 to 2004, and Deputy Director of Research and Development, from 1989 to 1995. Again Director General of the Rice and Beans Center, he left to assume the position of President of Embrapa.
During his inauguration speech, delivered last July, Dr. Arraes summarized as his main priorities “to maintain the high commitment of Embrapa to Tropical Agriculture and the Brazilian society, and to deepen the pursuit of management efficiency and excellence in science and technology.”
To learn more about Dr. Arraes´ views on agricultural research and innovation, access here his interview to ANBA, the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, on July 28, 2009.