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Armando Samper Gnecco (1920-2010)
CIAT grieves death of benefactor

The announcement of the passing of Dr. Armando Samper Gnecco, which occurred Tuesday, 14 September, in the city of Bogotá, Colombia, produced deep grief within the CIAT community.

Dr. Samper had been linked to the Center since its founding, serving as member of its first Board of Trustees for the period 1968-1973 and then as Board Chair for the period 1973-1976, after which he continued as Chairman Emeritus, in recognition to his contributions.

Born in Bogotá on 9 April 1920, Dr. Samperwas an Agricultural Engineer, with a major in Agricultural Economy from Cornell University.From 1960 to 1969, he served as Director General of the former Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences (currently known as the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture,
IICA).On two occasions he served as Minister of Colombia’s Ministry of Agriculture—between 1966-1967 and 1969-1970.He was Deputy Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations for Latin America from 1972 to 1974; President of Colombia’s National Corporation for Forestry Research and Development (CONIF) from 1974 to 1978; and President and Director General of the Colombian Sugarcane Research Center (Cenicaña) from 1978 to 1990, serving since then as Chairman Emeritus.

“Dr. Samper will always be remembered as an outstanding professional and as lifetime friend of CIAT”, said the current Chair of the Center’s Board of Trustees, Juan Lucas Restrepo, when officially announcing the sad news.

The CIAT Board of Trustees, Management Team, and personnel send their most sincere condolences to his son, Cristián Samper, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and to all other family members.

The last time Dr. Samper Gnecco participated in a public event at CIAT was in 2003, when he received a well-deserved homage for all his contributions to the Center.A special events room bearing his name was inaugurated as part of that event.


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