Jean Hanson

Emeritus Fellow and plant genetic resources specialist
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Dr. Jean Hanson is an Emeritus Fellow with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) based at its Principal Site in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is a plant genetic resources specialist with over 40 years of experience in seed conservation and genebank management. Following her Ph.D. in seed storage for genetic resources conservation from the University of Birmingham in the UK in 1975, she began her career as a post-doctoral scientist working with the maize germplasm bank at CIMMYT. She has international experience in the CGIAR centers, including CIMMYT, Bioversity International (formerly IPGRI) and ILRI, and national genebanks, having spent five years working with the national genebank in Indonesia under a DFID-funded project. She has spent most of her career working with forage diversity at ILRI. In 2018, she was one of the recipients of the Inaugural Crop Trust Legacy Award for her services in the conservation of crop diversity. Recently she has been part of the review teams doing the baseline surveys of national genebanks for the Crop Trust Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods and Development (BOLD), a 10-year project to strengthen food and nutrition security worldwide by supporting the conservation and use of crop diversity in 15 national genebanks.