Dr Robert "Bob" Zeigler is an internationally respected plant pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in agricultural research in the developing world. He is the director general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). He is also a passionate spokesperson on a wide range of issues that affect rice growers and consumers worldwide.
His professional life spanned Africa, Latin America, US, and Asia. He has had a productive research career on diseases of rice that focused on host-plant resistance, pathogen and vector population genetics, and their interactions to develop durable resistance and sustainable disease management practices.
As Bob's career moved increasingly towards research management his interests expanded to include broader crop management issues, the social forces shaping the agricultural environment, and finally the economic and political arena that frames food security and poverty issues. He has published over 100 scientific works in these areas and often serves as an expert resource on rice security in the regional and global media.
Bob is also the founding chairman of the board of the IRRI Fund Singapore, an incorporated nonprofit charitable organisation established to raise the profile of international rice research and generate funding for it. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of International Agricultural Research Centers that manages a wide range of employee benefits for internationally recruited staff for the 15 centres that are a part of CGIAR (Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers) and several affiliated centres. He also serves on the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board.