Mellissa Wood is ACIAR’s General Manager, Global Programs where she leads ACIAR’s engagement with global and multilateral fora, such as the G20 and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and leads the formulation and implementation of Australia’s international stakeholder engagement strategies with the CGIAR and other international Agricultural Research Centres (IARCS).
She returned to Australia and joined ACIAR as the Director of the new Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC) during 2012-2015. She has a strong research interest in improving the adoption of research outputs for food and nutrition security outcomes, with a focus on partnering with policy makers and the private sector to facilitate this. As AIFSC Director, her research focus included designing innovative partnerships and designing and monitoring for nutrition outputs in food security research. Previously, she was Director, Program Development, Global Crop Diversity Trust (2007-2012), working with FAO and CGIAR on developing and implementing a global strategy for the conservation and access of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
In Australia, Mellissa’s experience includes 15 years in the Bureau of Rural Sciences, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry supporting evidence-based agriculture and natural resource policy using spatial data and online decision support tools. This included as Program Leader, Information and Risk Sciences where she managed the establishment of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis (CEBRA) in 2006 and ran a team that provided scientific support to Biosecurity Australia. Prior to that, Mellissa was Manager of Australia’s National Forest Inventory where she represented Australia on the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) and Montreal Process. Mellissa holds a BSc in Resource and Environmental Management and Master in Public Policy in Development.