John McDermott

Director, CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health

John McDermott joined IFPRI in 2011 to lead the new CGIAR research program on agriculture for nutrition and health. Previously he was Deputy Director General and Director of Research at ILRI in Nairobi (2003-11). John has lived and worked in Africa for 25 years.

As a researcher, John’s research career has focused on public health, animal health and livestock research in developing countries, primarily Africa. He has led projects on zoonotic and emerging diseases in Asia and Africa. John has a strong background in quantitative methods (modeling, study design, statistics). He has a PhD in quantitative epidemiology from the University of Guelph, a Masters Degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine from the University of California – Davis and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Guelph. During his research career, John is the author or co-author of 200 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and conference papers and has advised over 30 post-graduate students, including 20 PhD graduates. He was a visiting Lecturer at the University of Nairobi and a Professor at the University of Guelph. He has also served as an advisor to FAO, WHO, OIE and other international agencies, a non-executive Director of the Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines and Medicine (GALVmed and as a member of the advisory committee of Veterinarians with Borders (Canada).


  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) – University of Guelph (2011)
  • Invited Lectures – Schofield Lecture, Ontario Veterinary College (2003)
  • Medical Research Council (Canada) Fellowship, 1987-1990

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