Valérie Verdier is appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of IRD
Valérie Verdier has just been appointed President and CEO of the IRD by the Council of Ministers of 12 February 2020, on the proposal of Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, who are responsible for the public establishment. She will chair the Institute's Board of Directors and will be in charge of the general management of the establishment. She succeeds Jean-Paul Moatti, whose term of office ends in the spring of 2019 and who has since been acting as interim President of the Institute.
Research Director at IRD, Valérie Verdier was, until her appointment, Director of the Joint Research Unit on Plant-Microorganism-Environment Interactions (IPME) and was in charge of one of IRD's five scientific departments: the Department of Ecology, Biodiversity and Functioning of Continental Ecosystems (ECOBIO). She thus provided a strategic framework for the Institute's scientific policy, in the service of sustainable development and an equitable partnership with researchers and research institutions in developing countries.
As a scientific advisor to the IRD delegation in Occitania, attentive to the dialogue with the supervisory authorities and with all the scientific and institutional partners, she represents the IRD in the bodies of the Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB), the I-Site Muse and the International Phytobiome Alliance.
A plant pathologist, Valérie Verdier holds a Doctorate in Plant Sciences from the University of Paris-Sud (1988) and a Habilitation to direct research (HDR). She studies the interactions between phytopathogenic bacteria and tropical plants, the understanding of which is a crucial issue for food security. Co-author of more than 100 scientific publications, she is internationally recognized for her fundamental contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms by which bacteria cause diseases, particularly in cassava and rice, and the approaches developed for their control.
As IRD representative in Colombia between 1998 and 2000, Valérie Verdier alternated many long and short international stays during her career. She has conducted research in Central Africa, West Africa, Latin America and the United States. In particular, she was an associate researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia between 1995 and 2001, an associate researcher at the University of Los Andes (Colombia) in 2007, a visiting researcher at the School of Global Environmental Sustainability between 2012 and 2013 and an affiliated scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI-BeCA) in Kenya in 2013. Valérie Verdier has been an associate expert at the Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l'alimentation, de l'environnement et du travail (Anses, France) between 2015 and 2018 and, since 2012, an associate researcher at Colorado State University (United States). She is the mother of two children.
Valérie Verdier received the Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Commission in 2010 and the International Service Award from the American Phytopathology Society (APS) in 2014. She was elevated to the rank of Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 2016.
Valérie Verdier has been a correspondent for the IRD Young Associated Teams (JEAI). She is particularly committed to the training of young researchers from developing countries, especially women.