Suman Sahai organized the Gene Campaign in India in 1989. Gene Campaign is a non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting farmers’ rights and food and livelihood security. Gene Campaign has played a key role in formulating India’s Farmers’ Rights law and fostering genetic and trade literacy among farmers and the general public. It has also been at the forefront of generating awareness on issues relating to trade, intellectual property rights, genetic resources conservation and sustainable use, as well as genetic engineering and agriculture biotechnology.
Suman Sahai was appointed Knight of the Golden Ark (Netherlands) in 2001 for establishing Gene Campaign and for generating awareness about issues related to genetic resources and trade. In 2004 She was honored with the 2004 Borlaug Award for her outstanding contribution to agriculture and the environment.
Dr. Sahai, who has published extensively on science and policy issues related to food security, has been working both at the grassroots and policy levels, with great dedication and considerable impact. She is a member of several national policy forums on international trade, biodiversity and environment, biotechnology and bioethics, intellectual property rights and research and education. Dr Sahai chaired the Planning Commission Task Force on Biodiversity and Genetically Engineered Organisms, for the Eleventh Plan. She is a member of the National Biodiversity Board and serves on the Research Advisory Committees of national scientific institutions, the Expert Committee on Biotechnology Policy and the Bioethics Committee of the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Prior to founding Gene Campaign, she served as a faculty member at the University of Alberta in Canada, the University of Chicago and the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
Dr. Sahai received her Ph.D. in genetics from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi.