Sheila Ochugboju

Sheila Ochugboju appointed Executive Director of

image: Sheila Ochugboju joins the Boyce Thompson Institute as the new executive director of the Science Alliance.
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Credit: Supplied Image/Sheila Ochugboju

The Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) is pleased to welcome Sheila Ochugboju as the new Executive Director of the Alliance for Science (AfS), a global communications initiative dedicated to promoting access to scientific innovation. as a means to improve food security, improve environmental sustainability and improve the quality of life globally. Its start date is June 1.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Ochugboju joining us soon,” said BTI President David Stern. “The Alliance plays a vital role in connecting a range of stakeholders with up-to-date and vital information on how scientific advances can contribute to the future health of the planet, an effort that aligns perfectly with the BTI’s mission is to advance and communicate scientific discoveries in plant biology to improve agriculture, protect the environment and improve human health.

“We are lucky to have someone with Sheila’s experience, connections and vision in this role,” Stern added.

Ochugboju is a leader in science communication and has been a global advocate for science technology and innovation for over 20 years. She was most recently Head of Strategic Communications at the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), supporting communication on vaccine delivery across Africa and advocating for vaccine equity.

She is also a founding member of the Network of African Women Environmentalists (NAWE), a leader in the development of flagship initiatives and products such as Earth Science Cafes, the Network of Young Earth Guardians and Landscape Mentors and the Earth Reflections podcast, which was ranked among the top environmental podcasts in Africa in 2020.

“I am thrilled to join the Boyce Thompson Institute because together with the Alliance for Science, we can offer new goals, tools and partnerships to transform the way the world understands the role of science in addressing global challenges” , said Ochugboju. “The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and now food security challenges are teaching everyone that good science communication can literally save lives and livelihoods.”

Founded in 2014, AfS is a global communications initiative that seeks to counter misinformation about agricultural biotechnology, climate change, nuclear energy, vaccines, COVID-19 and other contemporary scientific issues.

To support its work, the Alliance relies on a global network of approximately 14,000 science allies who engage in their local communities to advance science-based policies. AfS has trained more than 900 science champions, including scientists, farmers, journalists, healthcare professionals and students, in 48 countries to effectively communicate about biotechnology.

“After a comprehensive executive search, we are thrilled to have found someone like Dr Ochugboju, who has the knowledge and ability to broaden the horizons of the Alliance for Science and bring resources to countering misinformation in a larger scope of scientific endeavours, especially including climate change,” said Ronnie Coffman, professor of global development at Cornell University and acting director of the AfS.

Ochugboju earned a degree in medical biochemistry and later earned her doctorate. in Plant Biochemistry from Royal Holloway, University of London in 1996. She was awarded the Daphne Jackson Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, based at the Center for Ecology and Hydrology, St. Hilda’s College, University of Oxford in 1998.

She has lived and worked in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. In 2016, she received a WINGS WorldQuest Women of Discovery Award for developing and leading pioneering science, technology and innovation projects in Africa. Ochugboju has also been appointed Global Goodwill Ambassador for the Government of Kisumu County, Kenya, in charge of the Transformative Science and Urban Resilience portfolio.

About the Boyce Thompson Institute:

Opened in 1924, the Boyce Thompson Institute is a leading life science research institution located in Ithaca, New York. BTI scientists investigate basic plant and life science research with the goal of increasing food security, improving environmental sustainability in agriculture, and making fundamental discoveries that will improve health. human. Throughout this work, BTI is committed to inspiring and educating students and providing advanced training for the next generation of scientists. BTI is an independent, not-for-profit research institute also affiliated with Cornell University. For more information, please visit


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