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SIL Advisory Board

A vital component of the SIL multidisciplinary and multi-institutional team involves the advisory board.  The SIL Advisory Board ensures that SIL efforts are strategic, efficacious, and appropriately implemented. SIL is fortunate to be able to draw on the SIL Advisory Board’s rich experience in international development – humanitarian, government, and private sector – to provide insight, guidance, and expertise to the United States and African researchers involved in the program.

Dr. Ken Dashiell

Ken Dashiell serves as the Deputy Director General for Partnerships and Capacity Building at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture based in Ibadan, Nigeria.  Ken obtained his BSc in Agronomy from Purdue University in 1976, his MSc in Agronomy/Plant Breeding from the Oklahoma State University in 1979, and his PhD in Agronomy/Plant Breeding from the University of Florida in 1983. Since obtaining his doctorate degree, Ken has been leading and conducting agricultural research for almost 30 years. Ken previously worked at IITA Ibadan for 18 years during which he held various responsibilities including Soybean Breeder, Leader of the Grain Legume Improvement Program, and Director of the Crop Improvement Division. From February 2001 to July 2004, he worked as an Associate Professor in Peanut/Oilseed Breeding at the Oklahoma State University. In recent past, he worked at the USDA/ARS in South Dakota as Research Leader, Location Coordinator, and Supervisory Research Agronomist from July 2004 to February 2010. Immediately prior to becoming IITA’s DDG for Partnerships, Dashiell was the Project Leader for the N2Africa Project based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Brady Deaton

Chancellor Brady Deaton became the 21st chief executive officer of the University of Missouri in 2004. He joined the MU faculty as a professor and chair of the Agricultural Economics Department in 1989. He was appointed chief of staff in the Office of the Chancellor in 1993, deputy chancellor in 1997 and provost in 1998. He served as MU’s chancellor from 2004 to 2013. Deaton retired from his position as chancellor Nov. 15, 2013, and leads the new Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development.  Brady was also designated chairman of the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD) by President Barack Obama in 2011.

Annie Dee

Annie Dee is the co-owner and manager of the Dee River Ranch, a 10,000-acre family-operated farm in Aliceville, Alabama. The Ranch includes a 110-acre reservoir through which an 18-pivot irrigation system supplies water to 2,800 acres of corn and soybeans. The ranch also raises over 1,000 head of USDA-Certified beef cattle and has allocated 4,000 acres to federal conservation programs. Annie is a leader and innovator in conservation practices and environmental protection in Alabama. She is the recipient of numerous awards including USDA’s National Excellence in Conservation Award and the Alabama Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award for Soil Conservationist of the Year. She also works with a program to educate students and teachers about farm safety, is a member of the United Soybean Board, and the Invest an Acre program.  Annie also partners with extension programs at Auburn University and at the University of Alabama and leads learning opportunities for university students. Each year the Dee River Ranch hosts field days to update other area farms on the latest technology advances and farming techniques.

Dr. Robert Easter

Bob Easter served as the President of the University of Illinois.  Bob spent his nearly 40-year career as a senior administrator and faculty member on the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus and also served as interim chancellor, interim provost and interim vice chancellor for research.  Bob also served as the Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and as head of the Department of Animal Sciences. Bob was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), and was appointed as chair of BIFAD in 2007. Bob also serves on the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation and the Governor’s Committee on China.

Dr. Daniel Gustafson

Dan Gustafson serves as the Deputy Director-General, Operations for the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.  Dan joined FAO in 1994, working in Mozambique and Kenya before being appointed as FAO’s Representative in India and Bhutan in 2002 and then as Director of FAO’s Liaison Office for the US and Canada in 2007.  Dan has also served as the Director of FAO’s Office of Support to Decentralization.  Dan began his career at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture which supported Brazil’s agricultural research and extension programmes, and then served as Programme Director in the International Development Management Centre of the University of Maryland before joining FAO. 

Dr. Mark Keenum

Mark Keenum serves as the President of Mississippi State University.  Mark also serves as vice-chairman of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges' Executive Council and is a member of the American Public Land-Grant Universities Board of Directors.

Dr. Earl Kellogg

Earl Kellogg is a Senior Fellow at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (A*P*L*U) and directs the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative. Earl was the former Associate Provost for International Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and a Professor of Agricultural Economics.  Earl was also Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Winrock International and was the Executive Director of the Consortium for International Development.

Dr. Marc Linit

Marc Linit serves as associate dean for research and extension at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR).  As such, Marc administers the research and extension programs of CAFNR and oversees the operation of the College's Farms and Centers located throughout the state.  Marc has served the College in a variety of roles since joining the faculty in 1980. Most recently, he led the Division of Plant Sciences as division director where he had academic responsibilities for the undergraduate degree program, four graduate departments and the Plant Sciences Extension program, as well managed the Division's $5.5 million budget.  Prior to his move into administration, Marc was an active researcher in the area of forest insect ecology and taught courses in Forest Entomology and Insect Ecology.

Paul Rose

Paul Rose owns and operates the Sossi factory in Nairobi, Kenya and operates the quality food brand Promasidor.  He is a business man born in Zimbabwe with food production factories in at least 25 African Countries.  His company’s products have developed into strong brands across the African continent, with highly noticeable brand identities.

Dr. Abdulai Salifu

Dr. Abdulai Salifu is the former Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Ghana. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the foremost national science and technology institution in Ghana. It is mandated to carry out scientific and technological research for national development.