Press Statement

IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan wins Fudan Management Excellence Award

Nov 4, 2017

November 4, 2017, Washington, D.C. Shenggen Fan, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), was awarded the 2017 Fudan Management Excellence Award today. Founded by Li Lanqing, former Vice Premier of China’s State Council, the award is referred to in China as the “Nobel Prize for Management,” and distinguishes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of management.

"This award is a great honor for me, and it means great responsibility as well,” said Fan on receiving the award. “Managing an organization like IFPRI is both challenging and rewarding. IFPRI has an incredibly dedicated staff who are key to the institution’s success.”

Dr. Fan has been director general of IFPRI since 2009. He is the first Chinese citizen to lead an international agricultural research institute. For more than three decades, he has been actively engaged in agricultural economics and public policy research, and has made significant research contributions to these areas. For instance, he pioneered the development of a frontier production function approach to capture factors contributing to the rapid growth of China’s agricultural production, and indicated that institutional innovation and reform were the most important factors, among many others. In addition, Dr. Fan developed an econometric model which disentangled the roles of specific public investments in promoting growth and reducing poverty and inequality. The model not only provided strong evidence for Chinese policy makers, but was also widely adopted by other researchers in the global development community.

Dr. Fan has conducted long-term studies on the western region of China. With a dynamic equilibrium analysis framework developed around the topics of public policy and rural poverty, he explored the deep roots of regional inequality and patterns of resource allocation. His various studies provided strong references to inform and improve policymaking, contributing to China’s economic transformation and rural development. Dr. Fan has also been advocating for the establishment of a new global food system driven by nutrition and health. In the context of China’s ‘new normal’ economy and supply-side reforms, he has offered recommendations for China to play a greater leadership role in global governance of food security and nutrition.

“Shenggen Fan is an innovator, a mover, shaker, and road builder in agriculture, food, and nutrition, who never gives up. He is convinced that we can and should end hunger and malnutrition within our lifespan. He always puts smallholders and family farmers – many of them women farmers, front and center,” said Gerda Verburg, Assistant United Nations Secretary-General and Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Coordinator. “He is a proud son of China, who doesn’t miss one opportunity to advocate for the people and possibilities in agriculture, food, and nutrition in China.”

As director general of IFPRI, Dr. Fan provided strategic leadership for the institution, from prioritizing research areas to building partnerships, to achieve its mission of providing research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition. He believes that management skills are not only crucial for enterprises, but also for research institutes. Enhancing management effectiveness can help transform agriculture and the food system in China and beyond.

“He has provided his intellectual leadership of the institution and has put IFPRI as the world-class policy development institution, contributing not only to the CGIAR system as a whole, but also the national systems and the global development community, particularly in research development and innovation,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, former President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development and Global Ambassador of the CGIAR System Management Board.

Dr. Fan’s academic achievements and leadership are widely recognized by the international community. He has served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food and Nutrition Security. He has represented IFPRI as an observer at G20 Summits. He is among the 29 world leaders in nutrition appointed by former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as a member of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Lead Group. Dr. Fan is also a member of the Advisory Committee to the Minster of Agriculture of China. In 2014, Dr. Fan received the “Zero Hunger Hero” award from the World Food Programme in recognition of his outstanding contributions and leadership in fighting hunger and malnutrition worldwide.

Dr. Fan has an academic background in agricultural economics and management, having received his BS and MS from Nanjing Agricultural University and his PhD in applied economics from the University of Minnesota. “Management of the agricultural sector, food industry, and rural development with sound macro-economic policy, and the management of farms and businesses are critical for promoting more efficient growth of the agricultural and food sectors towards achieving the goals of ending poverty, hunger and malnutrition,” said Fan.

Every year, Fudan Management Excellence Award selects up to three laureates, each of whom receives RMB 500,000. In 2017, Dr. Fan’s fellow winners are Peng Xizhe, Professor of School of Social Development and Public Policy at Fudan University and Director of Fudan University Center for Population and Development Policy Studies and Center for Social Science Data; and Wang Puqu, Professor of School of Government of Peking University, Changjiang Distinguished Professor, and Dean of Institute of State Governance Studies of Peking University. Two previous winners of the award are long-time collaborators of IFPRI, including Huang Jikun, Professor of School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences at Peking University and Director of Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy at Peking University; and Zhang Linxiu, Director of Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

At the same time, Fudan Premium Fund of Management announced Wang Zhongtuo, Dalian University of Technology Professor and Chinese Academy of Engineering Academician, as winner for “Fudan Management Lifetime Achievement Award”, and Tencent Chairman and CEO Ma Huateng as winner for “Fudan Enterprise Management Outstanding Contribution Award.”

Dr. Fan is proud to have witnessed China’s rapid economic development over the past four decades, particularly its impressive accomplishments in agriculture and the reduction of poverty. “China now has the opportunity and capacity to play a greater role in global agricultural development,” said Dr. Fan. “I look forward to continuing my work, along with fellow researchers and colleagues, on building a global platform that links the resources of all parties and enables strategic partnerships, which can contribute to China's agriculture ‘going out’ strategy and the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative.”


About Fudan Premium Fund of Management and Fudan Management Excellence Award

Fudan Premium Fund of Management was founded in 2005 by Li Lanqing, former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, and former Vice Premier of the State Council. It is the first premium fund of management established by a Chinese citizen in China. The Fund established three awards: Fudan Management Excellence Award, Fudan Management Lifetime Achievement Award, and Fudan Enterprise Management Outstanding Contribution Award. Fudan Management Excellence Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of management. The award evaluates three areas: management science and engineering, business administration, and public administration. It focuses on one area each year. In 2017, Fudan Management Excellence Award focuses on the field of public administration. Visit:


The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. IFPRI was established in 1975 to identify and analyze alternative national and international strategies and policies for meeting the food needs of the developing world, with particular emphasis on low-income countries and on the poorer groups in those countries Visit: