Joining the ILRI Board of Trustees: A Week of Growth, Collaboration, and New Opportunities

Dan PetersUncategorized 3 Comments

I’m really pleased to have been invited to become a member of the ILRI Board of Trustees.  I attended my first meeting at their Addis Ababa campus earlier this week.  It was a swift induction, the meeting spanning just 3 days including orientation, programme review, finance and general governance. 

We were all asked to plan a ceremonial tree on Sunday afternoon which was an unusually pleasurable experience for me.  But to crown it all they appointed me as Chair of the Programme Committee and vice-Chair of the Board itself, so I think it’s going to be a rapid personal growth phase for me. 

I was also delighted to be able to meet my old friend and colleague Dr Solomon Hale-Mariam who was such a great help to us in our early SEBI-Livestock work in Ethiopia.  Solomon is retired and was a former Director of Veterinary Services for Ethiopia.  I had last seen Solomon when we invited him to Edinburgh in 2018 when Bill Gates visited us at the university, which was obviously a proud and momentous event.

After the ILRI Board I went on to the other ILRI campus at Nairobi for meetings with other colleagues and to re-visit the ILRI farm just outside Nairobi at Kapiti in Machakos county.  The farm is around 13,000 hectares and is both a livestock research station and a wildlife conservancy.  At the moment it is probably under-utilised and part of the reason for my visit was to look at ways ILRI can increase its utility and of course, its income.

A perfect end to a perfect week happened when I received the signed 2-year contract from the BMGF to extend our work for the foundation in exploring FMD vaccine availability for Nigeria, improving cattle fertility management and extending options for improved vaccine availability in sub-Saharan Africa generally, as well as identifying new and promising technologies for improving livestock health and productivity.

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