Arun Baral was appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of HarvestPlus on July 1, 2019, succeeding HarvestPlus founder Howarth Bouis. As CEO, Baral oversees the interdisciplinary, global effort of HarvestPlus to develop and deliver micronutrient-rich staple food crops to reduce micronutrient deficiency (or “hidden hunger”) among malnourished populations. He champions biofortification within the CGIAR system, the private sector, among national agricultural research centers, and in the international agriculture and nutrition communities. He focuses on developing effective partnerships to scale up biofortification and support development of sustainable biofortified food systems that provide access to nutritious food for all. Baral also spearheaded the establishment of HarvestPlus Solutions, a non-profit entity that is working with partners in the private and public sector to fill gaps in biofortified food value chains to scale up biofortified products.
Baral joined HarvestPlus in 2017 as chief financial officer, after more than 30 years in the international agriculture sector, with roles in commercial operations, profit and loss (P&L) management, strategy, finance, business development, and marketing. He has been based in Asia, Africa, and the United States, and has also traveled extensively for work in Latin America. Baral spent over 24 years at DuPont Pioneer, including as Asia Regional Business Director, where he was instrumental in developing and executing a strategy that significantly grew the Asia business during his tenure. Baral holds a Master of Business Administration from Drake University in Iowa, and a Bachelor of Commerce (honors) from Delhi University in India.