News

29 Oct, 2021

NewsGlobal Institute for Food Security CEO Steven Webb stepping down on December 31, 2021

Dr. Steve Webb (PhD), GIFS CEO (Credit: David Stobbe)

The Board of Directors of the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) regrets to announce the resignation of its Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Steven Webb (PhD).

Webb joined GIFS in July 2019, following a successful career leading research and development in the agriculture industry. His last day at GIFS will be December 31, 2021.

“We are grateful to Steve for his visionary leadership that has helped re-shape GIFS into the leading institute it is today – focused on working collaboratively in the agri-food ecosystem to deliver innovative solutions for sustainable food production,” said Chair of GIFS’ Board of Directors Alanna Koch.

“Steve brought in exactly the leadership that was needed. He led the redesign of a bold new strategy for GIFS, helped grow the institute safely during the challenges of a global pandemic, and helped GIFS secure continued support from its Founding Partners and others for its next phase of growth.”

Since joining GIFS, Webb led the launch of its new strategic plan for its second phase of growth including a new vision of a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food. The institute is bringing this vision to life through its mission to work with partners to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food.

“I consider it a great honour and privilege to have worked alongside an exceptionally dedicated team - some of the most talented in the agriculture and food sector - over these past couple of years at GIFS,” said Webb.

“While I have always had a long term goal to return to industry, family reasons have made it necessary for me to move on now and relocate; however, I will always treasure the immense opportunity given me to work with others to help advance GIFS and Saskatchewan’s agriculture and food sectors through my time here.”

Highlights of GIFS’ achievements under Webb’s leadership are the launch of its Omics and Precision Agriculture Laboratory (OPAL) and other technology platforms designed to serve the research needs of its science programs and those of the agri-food ecosystem, expanded partnerships with industry, governments and research institutes, and groundbreaking research to sustainably improve crop yield while reducing the impact on the environment. Other highlights include the establishment of new international partnerships including with the Government of Bangladesh and in Australia, partnerships with a coalition of organizations working to advance Canada’s leadership in sustainable agriculture, climate change, agri-food and engineering biology, and GIFS’ successful relocation to an expanded facility with twice the laboratory space and three times its plant growth facilities.

“GIFS will continue to build on the foundation Steve helped lay over the past two years, to deliver Saskatchewan-led solutions for global food security,” said Koch.

Following Webb’s last day at GIFS on December 31, 2021, GIFS Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Visscher CBE, will serve as Interim CEO while the Board of Directors commences a global executive search for a new CEO.