Bob Zeigler with young researchers

 Alaric Santiaguel   |  

The Young Researchers’ Lunch for October hosted Robert Zeigler. Zeigler has been the director general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for the last 10+ years—the second longest tenure after Robert Chandler. As DG, he sets the institute’s strategic direction and he has also been a passionate spokesperson on a wide range of issues that affect rice growers and consumers worldwide.

Zeigler, who is retiring at the end of the year, shared stories about his career trajectory as well as amusing anecdotes about quirky colleagues and exotic food. He said an early opportunity to attend a training course on management was important in helping him understand other people’s perspectives, giving him an advantage in his leadership roles.

His message to the group, “Enjoy what you do, and do something that is meaningful to you.”

“The IRRI experience is number one in my career—without a doubt,” Zeigler said in his Pioneer Interview for Rice Today. “The job as IRRI director general is unlike any other job you can ever possibly want. Science, its value in human terms, the impact you can have positively on the environment—you can transform the way the whole planet will function decades from now, a century from now. What happens at IRRI is relevant.”

The participants were Abraham Darius Llave, Terry Velasco, Manas Ranjan Prusty, Renee Lorica, Majid Mortazavi, and Hongyan Liu.

The Young Researchers Lunch is a monthly meeting for scientists who are in the early stages of their career, with the purpose of providing mentorship opportunities with senior scientists on a range of topics, including research and career paths.

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