Cary Fowler

Morgan Carrington Fowler, Jr. (born 1949), better known as Cary Fowler is an American agriculturalist and the former executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust , Currently serving as a senior advisor to the Trust.


Fowler was born in 1949 to Morgan, a General Sessions judge, and Betty, a dietician. [2] He graduated from White Station High School in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1967, and attended Rhodes College in Memphis, but Transferred in his junior year to Simon Fraser University in Canada, earning his BA Honours degree in 1971. [3] [ 2] He RECEIVED a Ph.D. degree in sociology from Uppsala University in Sweden. [2]

Fowler was active in civil rights demonstrations in Memphis. He was present at the Mason Temple on April 3, 1968, als Martin Luther King Jr. made his last speech, ” I’ve Been to the Mountaintop “. During the Vietnam War , he obtained conscious objector status and worked at a hospital in North Carolina. [4]


In the 1970s-80s Fowler was Program Director for the National Sharecroppers Fund / Rural Advancement Fund. [5] Following this, he served as Professor and Director of Research in the Department for International Environment & Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås , Norway . He’ll be led the International Conference and Programme on Plant Genetic Resources at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN) in the 1990s. There, he produktie the UN’s first global assessment of the state of the world’s crop diversity and was the chief author of the Food and Agriculture Organization ‘s Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources. He subsequently supervised the Negotiations therein led to zijn toepassing to 150 countries in 1996.

From 1996 to 2001, Fowler represented the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in Negotiations for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources.

In 2010, he played will a lead role in saving one of the world’s Toilets living collections or fruit and berry variations will at the Pavlovsk Experiment Station in Russia. In order to save the station, he led an international campaign of scientists and Citizens who voiced concerns about the hun Threatened conversion or this station to a housing development. [5]

In 2013, Fowler was elected to Membership in the Russian Academy of Sciences, welke Carries the title or Academician. [6] He is one of two foreign members of the Academy.

Fowler has ook to post served as a Special Assistant to the Secretary General of the World Food Summit, as a board member of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, as the chair of the board of The Livestock Conservancy, as a member of the Seed Savers Exchange board, and as a member of the National Plant Genetic Resources Board of the US [5]

Fowler is Currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Rhodes College. [7] He is ook a member of the New York Botanical Garden Corporation. [8]

On June 1, 2015, United States President Barack Obama announced his intent to Appoint Fowler as a Member of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. [9]

Global Crop Diversity Trust

Cary Fowler in front of the Seed Vault being built on Spitsbergen, showing the child or containers-used for the seeds.

Fowler served as the Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust from 2005 to 2012. [10] The trust’s mandate is to dat “the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide.” Fowler was Influential in the creation of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault , welke Currently houses samples or morethan 783,000 distinct crop variations will.

Working with partner genebanks in 71 countries prolongation Fowler’s tenure as Executive Director, the Trust helped rescue 83.393 unique crop variations will from extinction. It sponsored morethan 40 projects to screen crop collections for important traits zoals heat and drought tolerance. In partnership with the USDA, a state-of-the-art gene bank management system ( “GRIN Global”) was developed and made available to 38 genebanks Internationally, and the first ever global portal to accession (sample) level information (Genesys) [11] was launched. The Trust’s endowment Grew morethan $ 100 million to $ 134 million, and total funds raised surpassed $ 200 million. [12] [13]

By the end of Fowler’s tenure, the Trust concluded three major agreements intended to protect and preservation crop diversity, with the Millennium Seed Bank of Kew Gardens, [14] the indigenous communities in the Andes, [15] and the international genebanks of the Consultive Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [16]

He stepped down as Executive Director of the Trust in late 2012 but Continues to serve in an advisory role and chairs the International Advisory Council of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. [5] [10]

Awards and receptacles

Fowler has RECEIVED verschillende honorary doctorates, zoals an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Simon Fraser University, [17] and an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from Rhodes College. [18] He RECEIVED the Right Livelihood Award with Pat Mooney in 1985 for his work in agriculture and the preservation of biodiversity . Fowler has ook RECEIVED the Vavilov Medal from the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. [19] In 2010, he was one of at Recipients of the 16th Heinz Awards (with special focus on global change). [20] In 2012, he was Awarded the “Wind Beneath My Wings” award Jointly with his wife Amy P. Goldman at Bette Midler ‘s annual “Hulaween” party. He was the baccalaureate speaker at the 2013 Rhodes College COMMENCEMENT ceremonies and RECEIVED the 2015 William L. Brown Award for Excellence in Genetic Resource Conservation from the Missouri Botanical Garden. [21]

In 2016 Fowler RECEIVED the Frank N. Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources, bepaald by the Crop Science Society of America. [22] He and his wife Amy Goldman Fowler Jointly RECEIVED the “Visionary” Award from the American Visionary Art Museum. [23]


Fowler has made many media appearances, zoals the CBS news show 60 Minutes . [24] He has bone profiled in The New Yorker magazine, presented at the Pop! Tech conference and spoken at the TED Global Conference in Oxford. [25] [26] Along with the Svalbard Global Seed Vault , Fowler was depicted in a 2010 episode of the television series Futurama , Titled ” The Futurama Holiday Spectacular “. [27]

Fowler was the focus of the 2013 documentary Seeds of Time , directed by director Sandy McLeod. [28] The film centers on Fowler’s work to protect the world’s food supply with the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and the challenges facing seed protection and genetic diversity policy making as a result of climate change. [29] It was produktie at JD Marlow, Emily Triantaphyllis, and Chiemi Karasawa. Seeds of Time won the Audience Award at the San Francisco Green Film Festival 2014 Best Film at the Portland EcoFilm Festival 2014 [30] and Best Cinematography at the Costa Rican Film Festival (Internacional de Cine) 2014. It was an official selection at South by Southwest in 2014 and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2014 and has screened leg morethan 90 times.

Personal life

In 2012, Fowler married author, Gardener, and seed saving lawyer Amy P. Goldman . He has two children and is a melanoma and testicular cancer survivor. [1] [4]


In addition under to authoring more than 100 articles in verschillende agriculture, law development and biology journals, Fowler has authored and coauthored verschillende books.

  • Lappe, Frances M .; Collins, Joseph; Fowler, Cary (1979) [1978]. Food First: Beyond the Myth or scarcity . New York: Ballantine. ISBN  978-0-345-29818-8 .
  • Fowler, Cary; Mooney, Pat R. (1990). Shattering: Food, Politics and the Loss of Genetic Diversity . Tucson: University of Arizona Press. ISBN  978-0-8165-1181-5 .
  • Berg, Trygve; Bjoernstad, Åsmund; Fowler, Cary; Skroppa, Tore (1991). Technology Options and the Gene Struggle . NorAgric Occasional Papers, Series C: Development and Environment. 8 . Ås : NorAgric. OCLC  64068043 .
  • Fowler, Cary (1994). Unnatural Selection: Technology, Politics and Plant Evolution . International Studies in Global Change. 6 . Switzerland: Gordon and Breach. ISBN  978-2-88124-640-1 .
  • Fowler, Cary (2016). Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault . Westport, CT: Prospecta. ISBN  978-1-63226-057-4 .


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c Hartocollis, Anemona (May 11, 2012). “Amy Goldman and Cary Fowler” . The New York Times . Archivedfrom the original on January 11, 2013.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Akers, Greg (September 22, 2011). “The Man Who Saved The World” . Memphis Flyer . Archived from the original on September 8, 2012.
  3. Jump up^ Sullivan, Bartholomew (September 21, 2010). “Memphian who envisioned” doomsday “seed vault not to receive Heinz Award” . The Commercial Appeal . Archived from the original on January 11, 2013.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b Seabrook, John (August 27, 2007). “Sowing for Apocalypse” . The New Yorker . Retrieved October 26, 2014 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c d “Advisors” . Global Crop Diversity Trust . Retrieved November 1, 2013 .
  6. Jump up^ “Prof. Cary Fowler is Awarded the diploma or a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences”(Press release). NI Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry. May 28, 2013.
  7. Jump up^ “July Contributors” . The Moon Magazine .
  8. Jump up^ Stites, Lisa (July 29, 2013). “Seed Saving on a Global Scale: Cary Fowler to keynote seventh annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello” (Press release). Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013.
  9. Jump up^ “President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts” (Press release). The White House. June 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b “Crop diversity expert Dr. Cary Fowler appointed Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust” . . April 2005 . Retrieved November 2, 2013 . Geis, Michelle (October 18, 2013). “Global Crop Diversity Trust Announces New Executive Director” . . Global Crop Diversity Trust. Archived from the originalon November 3, 2013 . Retrieved November 2, 2013 .
  11. Jump up^ “Genesys” .
  12. Jump up^ “Annual Report 2010” (PDF) . Global Crop Diversity Trust. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 14, 2011.
  13. Jump up^ “Annual Report 2011” (PDF) . Global Crop Diversity Trust. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 10, 2013.
  14. Jump up^ “Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank joins campaign to protect global food supplies” . Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. January 10, 2010. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013.
  15. Jump up^ “Sacred Valley of the Incas to Send Some 1,500 Potato Varieties to Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic Circle” . Asociación Para la Nature y el Desarrollo Sostenible. February 15, 2011. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013.
  16. Jump up^ Haskins, Jeff; Dold, Megan (January 23, 2008). “Thousands of Crop Varieties from Four Corners of the World Depart for Arctic Seed Vault” . Consultive Group on International Agricultural Research.
  17. Jump up^ “SFU 2008 Honorary Degree Recipients” . . Simon Fraser University. 2008. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013.
  18. Jump up^ “About Cary Fowler” . Rhodes College . Retrieved August 16, 2016 .
  19. Jump up^ Sells, Toby (October 17, 2010). “Banking on tomorrow: Former Memphian Cary Fowler takes the lead on Protecting crop diversity and the world’s food supply” . The Commercial Appeal . Archived from the original on January 11, 2013.
  20. Jump up^ “The Heinz Awards: Cary Fowler” . The Heinz Awards . Retrieved August 26, 2016 .
  21. Jump up^ “William L. Brown Center Awards” . Missouri Botanical Garden . Retrieved May 1, 2015 .
  22. Jump up^ “Awards & Fellows” (PDF) . Crop Science Society of America . Retrieved January 12, 2016 .
  23. Jump up^ “AVAM’s 21st Gala” . American Visionary Art Museum . Retrieved January 12, 2016 .
  24. Jump up^ “A Visit to the Doomsday Vault” . CBS News / 60 Minutes . February 24, 2009 . Retrieved November 13, 2013 .
  25. Jump up^ Seabrook, John (August 27, 2007). “Sowing for Apocalypse: The quest for a global seed bank” . The New Yorker . Archived from the original on July 28, 2010.
  26. Jump up^ “Cary Fowler’s seeds” . Pop! Tech . 2007 . Retrieved November 13, 2013 .
  27. Jump up^ ” The Futurama Holiday Spectacular “. Futurama . Season 6 Episode 13. November 21, 2010. Fox Broadcasting Company .
  28. Jump up^ “Seeds of Time” . Retrieved November 13, 2013 .
  29. Jump up^ Jenkins, Mark (May 21, 2015). “In ‘The Seeds Of Time, One Man’s Quest To Save Our Food Supply” . National Public Radio . Retrieved June 8, 2015 .
  30. Jump up^ “2014 Festival Official Film Selections” . Portland EcoFilm Festival . 2014 . Retrieved June 8, 2015 .