[ASC-media] International Agriculture and Education Leader Appointed New Exec Dir of Crawford Fund

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Thu Jan 31 03:12:18 CET 2008

The Crawford Fund

Embargoed: 1 February 2008


The ATSE Crawford Fund has today announced the appointment of Dr Denis
Blight AO FRSA as its new Executive Director. 

The ATSE Crawford Fund is dedicated to raising awareness of the contribution
of international agricultural research (IAR) to reducing poverty and hunger,
enhancing regional security, sustaining the natural resource base for
agriculture and providing benefits to Australian farmers. The Crawford Fund
is named after Sir John Crawford, a key architect of Australia’s Post-War
growth and a passionate supporter of IAR.

“Dr Blight is one of Australia’s foremost professionals in international
education. His association with international development and agricultural
research, and indeed with Sir John Crawford, began in earnest some 25 years
ago when, as Centre Secretary, he helped establish the fledgling Australian
Centre for International Agricultural Research under the chairmanship of Sir
John,” said The Hon Neil Andrew, Chairman of the Crawford Fund. 

Denis Blight recently retired from the position of Director-General of CAB
International, an intergovernmental body in research, training and
publishing in the applied life sciences. Before that he spent 15 years with
IDP Education Australia, formerly the international development program of
Australian universities and colleges. He has also worked in aid
administration with AusAID and served as an Australian diplomat for 15
Dr Blight is chair of the Board of LIS Pty Ltd, an advisor to the Graduate
Insight Group  and a member of the UK’s Commonwealth Scholarships

“Denis will bring to the Crawford Fund a tremendous depth and breadth of
experience in international agricultural research for development and
international education, the two cornerstones of the Crawford Fund’s
efforts,” said Mr Andrew.

Asked about his appointment Dr Blight said “Having worked with Sir John
Crawford, a truly great Australian, it is an honour to be leading an
organisation that bears his name and whose objectives I know Sir John would

“The Crawford Fund owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Dr Bob Clements for
his commitment and professionalism over the past 5½ years as Executive
Director. We are particularly pleased that he has agreed to remain actively
involved in Crawford activities,” said Mr Andrew.

Dr Blight will chair a public forum on 8 February in Canberra on the World
Bank’s 2008 World Development Report, which for the first time in 25 years
is focused on agriculture as the way forward for development. 

Further information and interviews, contact Cathy Reade, Crawford Fund on
0413 575 934 creade at squirrel.com.au  www.crawfordfund.org

Cathy Reade
Coordinator - Public Awareness
Crawford Fund
Ph/Fax: 07 54483095
Mobile: 0413 575 934

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