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Howard-Yana Shapiro


Howard-Yana Shapiro is Global Director of Plant Science and External Research, Mars Incorporated.  

Within Mars, Incorporated, Howard is responsible for the plant science of their primary agricultural products, investigation of potential new plant based solutions for use in their brands, review and oversight of our existing and future plant based research, co-chair of the Plant Science Pod of the Mars Sustainability Advisory Council, member of the Technical Committee, and leader of the sustainability/production models for agroecological, agroforestry and agroeconomics of multifunctional cacao systems globally.

In addition, he leads the Multi-Disciplinary Research Unit, an internal think tank collaboration between Mars, Incorporated, The University of California, Davis (UCD) and The University of Nottingham, England.  

He is Adjunct Professor in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, The University of California, Davis.  He has lectured in the Department of Plant Sciences and the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis for the past two years.

Currently he is serving as Co-Chairman for the Second World Congress of Agroforestry to be held in Nairobi in 2009.

During his long and diverse career in agriculture he has been involved with organizations as diverse as the National Sharecroppers Fund working as a Field Organizer in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas; the AME/CME African- American colleges, junior colleges and agricultural highschools in the Deep South teaching fundamental agruiculture and working on the accreditation of the institutions; seed saving projects amongst the elderly African-American rural populations including the oral history of the seeds; and documenting agriculture in a series of Oaxacan, Mixtecan, Mixe villages for INAH in Mexico City.  

He has twice been a university professor, twice a Fulbright Scholar, twice a Ford Foundation Fellow and winner of the prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Award. He has worked with indigenous communities, non-governmental organisations, governmental agencies and private institutions throughout the world and many national and regional agricultural institutions as an advisor and policy maker including, but not limited to, ACDI-VOCA, Winrock International, Gates Foundation, AFD, World Bank, UNDP-GEF, United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service, United States Agency for International Development, United States Forest Service, ICRAF (The World Agroforestry Centre), Conservation International, WWF, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Haiti, Ghana, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, South Africa, Vietnam, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, Thailand, Cambodia, China, the Philippines, and Australia.

Shapiro is the author of three books and he is currently co-authoring three books, Chocolate: History, Culture and Heritage (published date 16 February 2009); the Science of Theobroma cacao: Botany, Chemistry & Medicine (publication date spring 2010); and the Future of Agroforestry and Landuse Globally (publication date fall 2010).