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Independent Director

The Organisation

CABI is a not for profit development-led organisation with a mission to improve people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

Organised under an international treaty level agreement and registered with the UN, they are influenced by government representatives from their 48 member countries who help guide the activities they undertake. These include scientific publishing, development projects and research and microbial services. They are also leading a major new initiative, Plantwise, which aims to improve food security and the lives of the rural poor by reducing crop losses.

The Brief

With demand for their expertise continuing to rise appointment to this role came at a critical time for the organisation as they sought to achieve their medium term strategy, Vision 2020, and start the process of replacing members of their existing Board who are coming to the end of their respective terms in office between now and the end of 2015.

In order to achieve this, Prospectus was invited to identify an individual with board level or senior experience in a similarly international and complex organisation, who had a broad range of experience in one or more of the following areas: a science based organisation, an international business environment, major international project development within multilateral finance and development organisations, strategic involvement with big data, the application of business development models or a finance background ideally within an international context.

The Appointment

Paulus Verschuren, the Special Envoy for Food and Nutrition for Development for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, was appointed in December 2014. Paulus previously served as the Senior Strategy Advisor Business and Development Cooperation at the Ministry and prior to this worked with Unilever for almost 30 years as Senior Director of the Global Health Partnerships group, Director External Relations of the Unilever Health Institute and Deputy Environmental Safety Officer. Paulus was Chairman of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Business Alliance and served on the GAIN Board.