Dr. Florence Muringi Wambugu is the Founder, Director and the Chief Executive Officer of Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International (AHBFI) from 2002 to the present. She is a renowned agricultural plant pathologist with specialization in virology and genetic engineering, has a B.SC Botany, University of Nairobi; M.SC in Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University; PhD in Plant virology, Biotechnology, University of Bath, England; and a Post-Doctoral Research Associate – Biotechnology, Plant Science Monsanto, St. Louis, USA. Dr. Wambugu has over 30 years experience in agricultural crop research. Previously, she founded, established and worked as Africa Regional Director, ISAAA – Afri-center, in Nairobi; she also worked as Plant Biotechnology Research Scientist, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya.
Dr. Wambugu has made significant contributions in research, development and improved production in maize, pyrethrum, banana, sweet potato and forestry in Kenya. She has published over 100 articles and co-authored various papers. She is also the author and publisher of Modifying Africa: How Biotechnology Can Benefit the Poor. Dr. Wambugu is a strong believer in the power of biotechnology and has participated in many international forums in support of biotechnology in Africa to increase food production. Under her leadership, the Biotech Tissue Culture Banana Project has positively impacted thousands of small-scale farmers in Kenya and Eastern Africa.
Dr. Wambugu is the recipient of numerous local and international honors, awards, and grants. Under the leadership of Dr. Wambugu, Africa Harvest (and consortium collaborating institutions) has been awarded US$ 18.6 million from a global competitive grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Health Challenge for Health and Nutrition. Dr. Wambugu has served as a board member for and in other capacities both local and international institutions.
Previously she served in several board of directors which include Private Sector Committee of CGIAR, United Nations Millennium Development goals Hunger task force; Executive Committee member of Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA); DuPont Company Biotech Advisory Panel, USA; International Plant Genetics Research Institute (IPGRI now called Bioversity) and African Biotechnology Stakeholders Forum (ABSF).
Currently, she is serving as a Council Member of the Japan Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum, a Steering Committee Member of the European Action on Global Life Sciences (EAGLES) and a Science Board member of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge in Global Health.