Los Baños, Laguna—The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture has honored Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio as its new director with a formal investiture ceremony on Monday at its headquarters here.
SEARCA is one of the oldest specialist institutions of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization hosted by the Philippine government on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
The institution was founded in 1966 to serve the agricultural and rural development needs of Southeast Asian countries through graduate education and training, research, and knowledge dissemination.
Education Secretary Leonor M. Briones graced the occasion as guest of honor and speaker. As the head of DepEd, SEARCA’s focal agency in the Philippines, Briones also presided over the investiture ceremony.
Gregorio, who assumed office in May, used his investiture address to share his vision for SEARCA and agriculture in Southeast Asia.
A distinguished rice scientist and academician, Gregorio spoke about the Center’s new strategic plan for the next five years that will focus on elevating the quality of life of agricultural families through sustainable and resilient livelihoods, access to modern networks and markets.
He said SEARCA commits to initiating academe-industry-government interconnectivity to become the leading enabler and champion of “Agriculture 4.0” and rural development in Southeast Asia, and contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.
Gregorio brings to SEARCA his wide experience from three decades of work with the International Rice Research Institute, and later as the global lead of breeding programs of the East-West Seed Company Inc.
At present, he is also an academician at the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines and professor at the Institute of Crop Science, UPLB College of Agriculture and Food Science. He was born in Musuan, Bukidnon and educated at Central Mindanao University.
Other guests who witnessed the investiture included members of the diplomatic corps in the Philippines, NAST of the Philippines, the Los Baños scientific community, the press, and the many partners of SEARCA from around and outside Southeast Asia in its work for agricultural and rural development.
Also in attendance were the Country Representatives to the SEARCA Governing Board; the Bangkok-based SEAMEO Secretariat Director; and SEARCA staff, scholars, and former Directors and other officials.
The event coincided with the opening of the 67th SEARCA Governing Board Meeting where SEARCA’s 11th Five-Year Plan covering fiscal years 2020/2021 to 2024/2025 is tackled.