Dr. Cary Fowler ’71 Named a 2024 World Food Prize Laureate

image of Cary Fowler making a presentation in front Rhodes College signage
Cary Fowler

Dr. Cary Fowler ’71 , the U.S. Special Envoy for Global Food Security, and Dr. Geoffrey Hawtin, Global Crop Diversity Trust founding director and executive board member, have been named the 2024 World Food Prize Laureates for their longstanding contribution to seed conservation and crop biodiversity. They will share the $500,000 award.

The World Food Prize is an international award that honors individuals who have improved the quality, quantity, or availability of food world-wide. According to a news release, “The two men played key roles in establishing the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which today holds 1.25 million seed samples of more than 6,000 plant species in an underground facility in the Arctic Circle. The repository, often referred to as the ‘Doomsday Vault,’ opened in 2008 and stands as the last line of defense against threats to global food security, including pandemics and climate catastrophes.”

Fowler was executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust from 2005 to 2012. A member of the Rhodes Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2022, he served as vice-chair (2015-2017) and chair (2017-2022).

Rhodes College, in collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust, each year offers the 12-month Steve and Riea Lainoff Crop Trust Fellowship in Honor of Cary Fowler '71.


Related Story: Brooke Taylor ’24 Awarded Distinguished Fellowship to Global Crop Diversity Trust