At ICARDA’s 57th Board of Trustees meeting in Beirut, 13-18 November, 2015, Dr. Margret Thalwitz was appointed ICARDA’s new Board Chair. On behalf of all staff and on his personal behalf, Dr. Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA’s Director General welcomed Dr. Thalwitz as the new Chair of ICARDA’s Board of Trustees after expressing great appreciation to the outgoing Board Chair, Dr. Camilla Toulmin, for her remarkable and wise leadership of the Board during the past three years, especially in developing the Decentralization Strategy and Investment Plan after ICARDA’s evacuation from its headquarters in Aleppo, Syria.
Dr. Thalwitz stated that she was honored by the confidence of ICARDA’s Board in assigning to her this central responsibility at this very important period in ICARDA's history. She underscored the relevance of ICARDA’s mandate at a time of high uncertainty with the unfortunate developments in many parts of the dry regions and the major shifts in the CGIAR which have contributed to a financially stressful period. Dr. Thalwitz praised ICARDA for its professionalism and deep commitment to improving the livelihoods of those who live in dry areas and said, “I can assure you of the full support of the Board of Trustees as we go through challenging times. Together we will show that the Center will emerge stronger very soon.”
Dr. Thalwitz holds an MA in Economics and a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Economics from the German Development Institute. She has extensive experience from her previous positions as country economist, and project and sector manager at the World Bank with regional concentration in Africa, Eastern and South East Europe, Russia, and South Asia. Dr. Thalwitz was the first Director of the World Bank's Global Programs and Partnerships Department. She has been a member of ICARDA’s Board of Trustees since October 2012.