Dryden, a managing director of New York-based Wolfensohn & Company, an investment company, will begin the new post on Feb. 1. He replaces Dr. Rajiv Shah, who was sworn in Thursday as the administrator for USAID.
"Sam brings a wealth of experience to the foundation -- not only in agriculture, research and business, but also in a wide variety of projects related to agricultural development and public-private partnerships," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the foundation's Global Development Program. "His strong leadership qualities will help the team deliver on our strategy to help small farmers improve their lives."
In his new position, Dryden will lead a team attempting to help the world's poorest farming families boost productivity and incomes with better seeds, management training, access to markets and effective policies. The foundation, which has targeted agricultural improvements as one of its core missions, has committed $1.4 billion to agricultural development initiatives in Africa and South Asia.
Dryden has written and lectured widely on food security and economic development issues and served as an adviser on rural development for the World Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation.
At Wolfensohn, which was founded by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, Dryden focused on investments in alternative energies. He formerly headed Emergent Genetics, which develops and markets seeds. Emergent Genetics, the third largest cotton seed company in the U.S., was acquired by Monsanto in 2005 in a $300 million deal.
The Business of Giving | Gates Foundation names new head of agricultural development program | Seattle Times Newspaper