Director of Agriculture and Livelihoods
Shaun Ferris is Director of Agriculture and Livelihoods, based in Baltimore. He provides technical assistance to CRS' programs overseas with an emphasis on agro-enterprise development. This includes developing best practices that enable poor farming communities to engage with markets more successfully. As a result, new methods are now being implemented in more than 35 countries that provide better incomes for farmers.Dr. Ferris holds a B.S. in Horticultural Science from the University of Reading in Reading, U.K., an M.S. in Tropical and Agronomy from Nottingham University in Nottingham, U.K. and a Ph.D. in Post-Production Science from Cranfield University in Bedfordshire, U.K.While pursuing his Ph.D., Dr. Ferris spent time studying at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Syria from 1983 to 1984, and monitored post-harvest losses of plantain and banana in the western and Ashanti regions of Ghana from 1988 to 1990. He investigated the effects of storage on crop quality and the effect of edible fruit coatings at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria in 1990, and evaluated market quality standards and demand for local fruit at the University of Philippines Los Banos in 1991. From 1992 to 1995, Mr. Ferris studied fruit genetics within the banana improvement program and evaluated cropping systems at IITA.From 1995 to 1999, he served as Regional Manager for IITA's Agro-enterprise portfolio in eastern Africa, leading a cassava rehabilitation project in Uganda and a rehabilitation project for the public research sector in Rwanda. During that time, he also assisted with the establishment of a regional post-harvest research facility for rural food security enhancement in Uganda to support activities in eastern Africa.From 1999 to 2004, he served as Regional Coordinator for the Marketing and Postharvest Network in east and central Africa. This position focused on integrating enterprise development and market analysis into the research programs of the regional agricultural research institutions.In 2004, Dr. Ferris joined CIAT as project manager for the Agro-enterprise Development Project, managing a portfolio of rural business projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.Before joining CRS in 2007, he served as a consultant to a number of organizations and government agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Foundation for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), World Bank, and the government of Uganda.