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Principal Scientist, Agroecology Policy and Advocacy, World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Center for International Forestry Research – World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF)

Alex Awiti is a Principal Scientist, Agroecology Policy and Advocacy at CIFOR-ICRAF where he supports global efforts to accelerate the transformation of food systems through agroecology, working through the Transformative Partnership Platform for Agroecological transition and the Agroecology Coalition.

Before joining CIFOR-ICRAF, he was the Vice Provost and Professor at Aga Khan University, East Africa and was also the Founding Director of the East Africa Institute, a regional platform for policy-oriented research and public engagement, at Aga Khan University. Awiti began his research, academic, and policy career over 25 years ago at World Agroforestry (ICRAF) where he and his colleagues pioneered novel approaches for diagnostic surveillance of land health problems using near-infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS)

His research intersects food systems, agroecology, soil ecology and biology, conservation, gender and climate change, education, population health policy, and the economy. As a public intellectual, he has written over 750 opinion articles published in leading Kenyan newspapers and international publications, including the International Policy Digest and The Conversation. He is a regular commentator on public policy issues on local and international news networks.

Awiti is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley in BC, Canada. He is a Governor of the Board of Governors of the IDRC (International Development Research Centre). He was a member of the Biodiversity Advisory Panel for the Kenya Joint Venture comprising Africa Oil and Maersk, which is carrying out oil and gas exploration and appraisal activities in Northwestern Kenya. He is also a review editor on the editorial board of Climate Ecology and People for the Frontiers Journal. He holds a PhD in Ecosystem Ecology.


  • 2022–present
    Principal Scientist, World Agroforestry (ICRAF)


  • 2006 
    Nairobi University, PhD