Water in Agriculture: Agriculture Water Management in Rainfed and Irrigated Farming Systems
Please join us for a discussion on Water in Agriculture. Our panelists will talk about their work in development and in research for development to improve practices and systems for managing water for agriculture, whether in a rainfed system or under the many types of irrigation systems. We'll touch on policy, systems, and the future of development research in this important area.
Chief Scientist for Food and Agricultural Development
Bureau for Resilience, Environments and Food Security, USAID
Rob Bertram is the Chief Scientist in USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, where he serves as a key adviser on a range of technical and program issues to advance global food security and nutrition. In this role, he leads USAID’s evidence-based efforts to advance research, technology and implementation in support of the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. He previously served as Director of the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, which leads implementation of the Feed the Future research strategy and related efforts to scale innovations in global food security efforts, working with a range of partners. Prior to that, he guided USAID investments in agriculture and natural resources research for many years. Dr. Bertram’s academic background in plant breeding and genetics includes degrees from University of California, Davis, the University of Minnesota and the University of Maryland. He also studied international affairs at Georgetown University and was a visiting scientist at Washington University in St. Louis. He has been especially active in plant genetic resources policy as it relates to research for development, including applications of biotechnology in food security-related research. Before coming to USAID, he served with USDA's international programs as well as overseas with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) system.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Irrigation and Mechanization Systems
Nicole Lefore is dedicated to contributing to equitable, sustainable outcomes through agricultural water management and intensification. As DWFI’s Associate Director of Sustainable Agriculture Water Management, she strengthens and expands the institute’s global program by developing, managing, and leading new activities on accessing and managing water for sustainable agriculture, particularly for smallholder farmers.
Lefore has more than 30 years of international experience in research for development, policy advocacy and project implementation, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and the developing world. She has worked with policy think tanks, the International Water Management Institute (Ghana and South Africa) and previously served as Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation at Texas A&M University.
Lefore’s expertise includes water and land institutions and governance; markets and finance in small scale irrigation; equity in development; and gender. Her commitment to smallholder farmers globally is rooted in her family’s farm in Oregon. Lefore completed a PhD in Government at the University of Virginia and MSc in Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
Deputy Director Technical Assistance Division
US International Development Finance Corporation
I am an expert in science and technology policy and innovation programs that advance global prosperity, especially at the nexus of agriculture and water. I have managed over $70 million in grant and technical assistance funding over the last decade. I have in-country experience in 30+ countries across Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Asia. Through SWFF more than 6 million farmers and their families have received increased support to grow more than 3.5 million tons of food.
Specialties: Water/Ag Technology Innovations; Developing country Start-ups; Business Incubation/Acceleration; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Microbial Water Quality; Environmental Community Involvement; Environmental Health; Environmental Microbiology; Environmental Epidemiology
Catholic Relief Services Water Smart Agriculture Platform
Marie-Soleil Turmel is a Technical Advisor for the Catholic Relief Services Water Smart Agriculture Platform in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. She is an Agronomist/Soil Scientist with 15 years of experience conducting research and extension to promote soil health, productivity, and climate resilience of smallholder farming systems in Latin America. Before joining CRS, she worked as a Research Scientist for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Bioversity International. Marie holds a Ph.D. in Soil Science from McGill University and an M.Sc. in Agronomy from the University of Manitoba.