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Richard Thomas is the Program Director of the CGIAR Research Prograon on Drylands System. He is a graduate of the University of Wales, U.K. where he received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in botany and microbiology.
He served previously the Assistant Director at the United Nations University – Institute for Water, Environment and Health based at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada where he led the Drylands Threatened Ecosystem program. He was formerly Director of the Natural Resources Management Programme at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) and was a member of the CGIAR’s Task Force on Integrated Natural Resources Management from 1998-2007. He spent 12 years at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia. His broad research interests include integrated soil, water and nutrient management in crop-livestock systems in Latin America, Africa, West and Central Asia. In 2001 his research team at CIAT received the CGIAR’s Excellence in Science Award for Outstanding Partnership.
He has published 100 refereed journal articles, written 41 book chapters, co-edited 4 books and 26 other articles of general interest. Currently he acts as scientific coordinator for the Global Economics of Land Degradation Initiative.