Mahendra Dev, a noted agri-economist, has been elevated as the Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington D.C., USA.

He is the second person from India after Isher Ahluwalia (who became chairperson) to be appointed to a high position at the IFPRI in 42 years. Dev, who is at present Director & Vice-Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) in Mumbai, will formally take over the new responsibility in January 2018.

The 59-year-old Dev has made significant contributions in agri development, poverty and public policy, food security, employment guarantee schemes, farm and non-farm employment. He has been on the board of IFPRI for the past four years.

The IFPRI provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Established in 1975, IFPRI has more than 600 employees working in over 50 countries. It is a research centre of CGIAR, a worldwide partnership engaged in agricultural research for development.

Reacting to the elevation, Dev told BusinessLine over telephone that he will pursue the core goals of IFPRI and also focus on climate change, which has a wide impact on agriculture. Interventions into tackling malnuturition and providing food security in African, Latin America and the South Asian nations would be another priority.

Dev hails from Tummapudi, a small village near Tenali in Andhra Pradesh. After graduating from Loyola College, Vijayawada, he received his PhD from the Delhi School of Economics and Post-doctoral from Yale University. He was Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Ministry of Agriculture, and also Director of the Hyderabad-based Centre for Economic & Social Studies.

Among the notable Indians who have held board positions in the IFPRI are S.R. Sen, V.S. Vyas, I.G. Patel, Dharam Kumar, Amrita Patel and Nachiket More.