SEARCA's Senior Fellows strengthens the Center's ability to respond to contemporary and important concerns in agriculture and rural development. It is honorific in that only internationally respected scientists, researchers, and academics shall be appointed as SEARCA Senior Fellows.

SEARCA Senior Fellows provide gratis advice and guidance in the conceptualization of programs as well as technical inputs in project development and implementation. They also assist in establishing linkages and negotiating proposals with potential donors and partners.

The Senior Fellows Program complements the expertise that resides within the Center's professional staff pool as well as its Adjunct Fellows and Visiting Research Fellows Programs.


Current SEARCA Senior Fellows

Dr. Capistrano, Doris

Senior Advisor
ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change

In addition to her duties as advisors to ASFCC, Dr. Capistrano is also the Director of Forests and Governance of the Center for International Forestry Research and a Visiting Professor in Forest and Conservation Policy of Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Dr. Capistrano also served as Ford Foundation's Deputy Representative for India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and Program Officer for Rural Poverty, Resources, and Environment in Bangladesh. She was also a member of the Technical Panel of the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) and Co-chair of the MA Working Group on Sub-global Assessments.

She also taught economics at the University of the Philippines Los Baños where she earned her MS in Agricultural Economics and BS in Business Economics. Dr. Capistrano holds a PhD in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida, USA.

Dr. Habito, Cielito F.

Professor, Department of Economics
Ateneo de Manila University

A former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Director General of the National Economic Development Authority of the Philippines, Dr. Habito is Adviser for Mindanao Economic Development at the Australian Agency for International Development and a member of the Council of Advisers of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, the National Advisory Council of World Wildlife Fund Philippines, and the Sub-regional Environmental Policy Dialogue of the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia-Pacific.

A Columnist (No Free Lunch) in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the most widely circulated broadsheet in the Philippines, Dr. Habito holds a PhD and MA in Economics from Harvard University Cambridge, Master of Economics from the University of New England, and BS in Agriculture from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

Dr. Lizada, Ma. Concepcion C.

Professor Emeritus
Department of Food Science and Nutrition
University of the Philippines Diliman

Dr. Lizada is recognized for her research work on postharvest physiology and safety of horticultural produce. She was part of the team that conceptualized the ASEAN-Australia Project on Quality Assurance Systems for ASEAN Fruits, Fresh and Minimally Processed, which had food safety as a key component.

She was also the first Acting Director of the Philippine Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards where she served as National Codex Contact Point and a member of the Executive Committee of the Codex Aliamentarius Commission that developed international food standards, guidelines, and codes of practices to protect the health of the consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

Dr. Lizada earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California Davis and her MS in Chemistry at the University of Texas, USA.

Dr. Nissila, Eero A. J.

Co-founder and Chair of the Board, Golden Malt Ltd., and
Technical Advisor, Computomics

He has extensive experience in leading plant breeding and seed production programs of various crops (i.e., rice, wheat, barley, oats, rye, pea and fava bean, Brassica oilseeds, camelina, potato, and sweet potato) with a local, regional or global perspective. He is also an expert on business strategies, business models and product portfolio development in seed and breeding industry and on directing R&D- and product production schemes for meeting the market needs. He earned his Doctor of Agriculture and Forestry (Plant Breeding) from the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Dr. Otsuka, Keijiro

Professor, Graduate School of Economics and Social System Innovation Center, Kobe University, and
Chief Senior Researcher, Institute of Developing Economies

His expertise are agricultural development and industrial development in Asia and Africa.

Prior to joining the Kobe University, he was a Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies from 2001 to 2016. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of International Rice Research Institute from 2004 to 2007 and President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) from 2009 to 2012. He earned his PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago, USA.

Dr. Padolina, William G.

President and Academician
National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines

Before serving as President of NAST, Dr. Padolina was Deputy Director-General for Partnerships at the International Rice Research Institute and had two terms as Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Philippines. His expertise and interests are in the areas of research management, science policy, technology transfer, secondary plant metabolism, biotechnology and intellectual property rights.

He started as a Research Assistant at UPLB and eventually became a professor of Chemistry at the university. He also served as Director of the UPLB-National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Currently the Independent Chairman of the Board of Euro-Med Laboratories Philippines, Dr. Padolina obtained his PhD in Botany and Phytochemistry from the University of Texas, USA.

Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee

Professor, Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland

She is an expert on policy and governance of oceans and coasts, with a focus on fisheries, particularly small-scale fisheries. She earned her PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada and MS in Fisheries Biology from the University of North Wales, UK and MS in Fisheries Management and Economics from Michigan State University, USA.

Dr. Saguiguit, Gil C. Jr.

Former SEARCA Director

He was SEARCA Director from 2009 to 2018. He also served as SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration (2002-2009) and SEARCA Research and Development Manager (1998-2002). His expertise and interests are in the areas of agricultural and rural development program implementation, fund generation and financial management, agricultural extension, participatory and community-based approaches, and multidisciplinary research. He holds a doctorate degree in Rural Economics from the Universite de Montpellier I, France. and MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños.

Dr. Teng, Paul S.

Dean of Graduate Studies and Professional Learning National Institute of Education
Senior Fellow (Food Security), Center for Non-traditional Security Studies S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Professor, Nanyang Technological University

He specializes in epidemiology, agricultural/food systems research, science communication, and development management and has served in many national and international committees. He is also a regular consultant for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank, and other international and regional organizations.

He has extensively researched the role of plant diseases in causing epidemics and crop losses in several continents, working cooperatively with a network of national program scientists, and published over 250 journal papers, eight books, and numerous conference papers, and recognition by peer organizations. His pioneering work on using system analysis and computer modelling techniques to quantify and predict biological phenomena and conduct risk assessments is still having impact today in the US and Asian rice growing countries.

Currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), Dr. Teng was the first Asian to obtain a PhD in Agricultural Microbiology/Systems Research from the Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Dr. Wang, Shu-Jen

Associate Dean, College of Bioresources and Agriculture and
Professor, Department of Agronomy
National Taiwan University

He is an expert in plant physiology, plant biology, abiotic stress tolerance, plant molecular biology, plant tissue culture, and crop science. He earned his PhD from National Taiwan University.