dr.ir. WS (Walter) de Boef

dr.ir. WS (Walter) de Boef


Walter de Boef is Senior Advisor Seed Systems with the Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) with more than 30 years of experience in smallholders agricultural development. He has a MSc in Plant Breeding and PhD in Communication and Innovation Studies both from Wageningen University.

He has developed strong leadership skills that facilitate partners tackling in a collaborative manner complex issues. His experience and insights make him an interesting partner in development processes for public, private and civil society stakeholders. Walter has worked in more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America; he is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Walter has joined WCDI in April 2020. He is member of the cluster on seed sector development, where is works in seed sector development projects in various countries. In 2019, we was part of the team developing the National Seed Road Map in Nigeria. In addition, he works in the field of transformation and support multistakeholder processes in other sectors. Currently, he coordinates activities assessing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on various agricultural sectors and in multiple countries, as means to inform stakeholders to take action coping with the current and changing conditions.

Until December 2016, he was leading the seed system work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and facilitated the kick-off of the Lives and Livelihoods Funds agricultural component in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank. Previously, he was visiting professor with the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil, associate consultant at Centre for Development Innovation, consultant with KIT and ETC. Before he was coordinator of international projects at Centre for Genetic Resources in the Netherlands.

As scientist, he co-developed approaches that include Integrated Seed Sector Development and Community Biodiversity Management, on which he has been publishing several books and scientific papers. He facilitated more than 80 (often international) multi-stakeholder workshops; was leader in design and implementation of 15 international collaborative projects; and was involved in the design and/or evaluation of 30 seed, biodiversity and agricultural development projects.