Board of Directors

Dr. Fred A. Cholick - President

Fred A. Cholick was the president and CEO of the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation provides philanthropic resources to support K-State's mission of research, teaching, extension and service. As president and CEO, Mr. Cholick leads efforts to optimize traditional fundraising and institute an entrepreneurial approach to resource development. Mr. Cholick received a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Oregon State University and a master's in agronomy and a doctorate in agronomy, breeding and genetics from Colorado State University. Mr. Cholick served as dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension from August 2004 to January 2010. He came to K-State after serving as the dean of the College of Agricultural and Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University. Mr. Cholick, a specialist in plant breeding and genetics, was at South Dakota State for 23 years. Mr. Cholick is a member and fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and is member of the Crop Science Society of America. He has served on the boards of directors of both organizations. He served as a member of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board.

Mrs. Jeanie Borlaug Laube - Vice President

Jeanie is the daughter of Norman Borlaug, the Nobel Prize Laureate commonly referred to as the “the father of the Green Revolution” or “the man who saved a billion lives.”  She resides in Dallas, Texas.  Jeanie is a philanthropist and teacher of children.  She has served as Chair of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative since October 2009, which is an international consortium of over 1,000 scientists from hundreds of institutions working together to reduce the world’s vulnerability to stem, yellow, and leaf rusts of wheat, facilitate sustainable international partnerships to contain the threat of wheat rusts, and to enhance world productivity to withstand global threats to wheat security. 

Dr. J. Perry Gustafson

Dr J. Perry Gustafson grew up on the family farm in eastern Colorado.  He attended Colorado State University where he earned a B.S in Crop Science and an M.S. in Agronomy and after that he went to the University of California, Davis where he earned a PhD in Genetics.  He worked for the USDA Agricultural Research Service for over 30 years and is now an Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri. Dr. Gustafson is one of the few researchers in the world to have significantly contributed to the manipulation of gene complexes from related species into wheat for improved global wheat production. He is internationally recognized as having provided long-term leadership to the improvement of agricultural production on a world scale, for educating scientists and students, and developing biology laboratories in developing countries. He is highly regarded internationally for his ability to initiate and complete new and innovative research and breeding programs in developed and underdeveloped countries. He has an exceptional record for training students, mentoring young scientists and colleagues.

Dr Adrian Dubock

Adrian Dubock has a PhD (vertebrate Zoology, Reading University), and is British and Swiss. After the UK Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food he joined ICI in 1977. In 2001 he joined Syngenta in Switzerland as Global Head Mergers and Acquisitions, Ventures and Intellectual Property Licensing. Adrian has lived in four and worked in more than 90 countries with a broad range of agri-business development, strategic and operational responsibilities. For 15 years he also worked his 52 hectare UK grass farm with 320 sheep. Retiring from Syngenta December 2007, he joined the Advisory Board of the Freiburg Institute of Advances Studies, Albert-Ludwigs- Universität, Germany (2008-2014). In 2013 he was named by Scientific American World View as one of “three agbiotech experts …. for possible solutions to address the global hunger crisis”: recognised personally for bringing philanthropy to industry and with two others in employing science in the service of humanity. In 2000 he proposed the architecture of the Golden Rice project, and concluded all related negotiations. He works with the inventors to bring the humanitarian not-for-profit vision to fruition. In April 2015 he collected from the White House a Patents for Humanity Award, for the Golden Rice project, and the project leadership of Peter Beyer, Adrian Dubock, and Ingo Potrykus. In April 2016 he participated in a WHO/FAO consultation on micronutrient biofortification.

Dr. Hans-Joachim Braun

Hans‐Joachim Braun, a native of Germany has a background in wheat breeding and is currently based in Mexico. Since 2004, Braun has served as Director of CIMMYT’s Global Wheat Program, which develops and distributes wheat germplasm to more than 250 cooperators in around 100 countries. He previously lived in Turkey for 20 years, where he lead the TURKEY‐CIMMYT‐ICARDA International Winter Wheat Improvement Program. He contributed to the development of more than 40 winter wheat varieties, released mainly in West and Central Asia that are now grown on more than 1.8 million hectares. Braun was also instrumental in recognizing zinc deficiency and soil borne diseases as a major constraint for winter wheat production in the dryland areas of West Asia. He has published more than 50 peer‐reviewed articles and book chapters. He received his PhD from the University of Hohenheim, Germany.

Dr. Roy Cantrell 

Roy has been a plant breeder for 40 years with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors.After completing graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota, Roy was Durum wheat breeder at North Dakota State University. After that, Roy assumed a Cotton Geneticist position at New Mexico State University. During, Roy’s academic tenure he trained 8 PhD , 8 MS, and 2 Post Doctoral students in Plant Breeding. Roy recently retired from Monsanto, based in St Louis, where he was most recently Global Breeding Outreach & Partnership Lead. In this role.

Dr. Scott Haley

Scott Haley is a Professor and Wheat Breeder in the Soil and Crop Sciences Department at Colorado State University. Upon completion of a B.S. degree in Biology at Washington State University (1983), Dr. Haley served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso, West Africa, where he worked in cowpea breeding under the coordination of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Following Peace Corps service, Dr. Haley completed his M.S. (1989) and Ph.D. (1992) degrees in wheat breeding and genetics at Colorado State University. Dr. Haley completed a post-doctoral appointment in dry edible been breeding (1992-1993) at Michigan State University and then served for 5 1/2 years as a winter wheat breeder at South Dakota State University. Since joining Colorado State University in 1999, Dr. Haley has led a wheat breeding program focusing on hard red and hard white winter wheat cultivar and germplasm development for eastern Colorado and the High Plains region. Among Dr. Haley's professional accomplishments are the development and release of 27 improved wheat cultivars and 2 wheat germplasm lines. In addition to research, Dr. Haley has also been active in teaching, student advising, and outreach for the wheat industry in Colorado.

Ms. Jennifer Nelson

Jenny Nelson is the Global Wheat Program Manager at CIMMYT. She assists with proposal and report writing, budget monitoring, and corporate service needs within the Global Wheat Program. Originally from Alabama, Jenny completed her bachelor’s degree at Columbia University and her master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on international development at Cornell University.

Mr. Ariel Obregon

Ariel was born in Cuidad Obregon. He graduated from the Monterey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) with a degree in business; later on he served on the board of the same institution.  Ariel has been heavily involved in a variety of business he has served as the President of the Board for the following Cova Gas, Highway Signs de Mexico, Malymex, Globalgas, and AMBIOTEC.  

Ms. Katy Gustafson - Executive Director

Katy was born and raised in the Midwest, she grew up immersed in international agriculture.  She attended Colorado State University where she earned a B.S. in Equine Science. After joining the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service division of the USDA in 2007 she worked in California and South Dakota protecting agricultural fields from invasive species. In 2013 she moved to Austin TX, where she is currently working for a nationally recognized non-profit animal rescue organization.  She has been actively involved in the founding of the Borlaug Training Foundation.



Dr. H. Jesse Dubin

Jesse Dubin received his B.S. degree in Forest Biology and started his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer at the University Austral de Chile where he taught Forest Pathology and did extension and research on pine diseases. He got his M.S. at Colorado State University and a PhD in Plant Pathology at U.C. Davis. Afterward he returned to Chile on a fellowship to the University Austral and taught plant pathology. While there he started the first virus free potato program. He served with CIMMYT for 24 years as a Principal Cereals Pathologist and retired as Associate Director, International Wheat Program. During this period he worked closely with S. Rajaram on durable rust resistance and breeding for disease resistance to several key wheat diseases such as barley yellow rust, spot blotch and barley yellow dwarf virus. Dubin was CIMMYT Regional Representative in the Andean Region and founded the South Asia Regional Office. Throughout his career human resource development was a major focus of his work and he continues this in retirement.

Dr. Ian King

Professor Ian King attended Queen Mary College, University of London, UK where he was awarded a BSc in Genetics. He then went on to study for an MSc in Plant Breeding and Genetics at Aberystwyth University, Wales and his PhD at the Plant Breeding Institute in Cambridge. He has over 33 years of experience exploiting genetic variation from distant relatives in cultivated monocot crop species with posts at the John Innes Centre, Norwich; The University of Reading; The Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth and is presently Professor of Cereal Genomics at the University of Nottingham. Ian presently leads, with his wife Julie, a large multidisciplinary research team transferring genetic variation for important traits into wheat from its distant relatives. The programme operates on an industrial scale making many thousands of crosses per annum and screening for the presence of introgressions using the latest technology including SNP arrays (Affymetrix/University of Bristol). Key disciplines include: wide hybridisation, plant breeding, trait analysis, molecular cytogenetics (GISH/FISH), comparative genomics, genetic mapping, map based cloning, tissue culture etc.

Dr. Amor Yahyaoui

Amor H. Yahyaoui received his BSc (Agronomy) and MSc (Breeding and Genetics) at Oregon State University (USA), and PhD (Plant Pathology) at Montana State University (USA). Amor worked in Tunisia (1987-1998) as Professor at ESA-Kef University of Tunis II, where he run the College of Agriculture and coordinated USAID projects for dryland with MIAC and Oregon State University Projects. He joined ICARDA in 1998 as senior cereal pathologist then became IPM project manager and ensured after Rajaram the coordination of ICARDA-CIMMYT Wheat Improvement Program (ICWIP) for Central West Asia and North Africa.  Amor played a major role in enhancing research on yellow rust and established the regional yellow rust conference. While at ICARDA, Amor continued supervision of graduate student research. In 2011 Amor joined CIMMYT as Wheat Training Officer where he encouraged women participation in wheat training and has been hosting the Women in Triticum Awardee for scientific visit to CENEB (Centro Experimental Norman E. Borlaug) at Obregon.   Amor’s publication are in area pathology, IPM, research development  involving graduate student research projects and research developed conducted with collaborators at advanced research institutions. Amor’s main research teaching interests include disease resistance in wheat and barley, genetic diversity in cereal crops, host-parasite interactions, and virulence diversity in plant pathogens. Major area of teaching includes plant pathology, epidemiology, integrated pest management, and crop breeding.