About Us


The Center of Excellence for Global Food Security and Defense (CEGFSD) is one of six centers of excellence at 1890 universities identified in the 2018 Farm Bill. The Center is supported with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). CEGFSD builds on the work initiated through the 1890 Universities Center of Excellence for International Engagement and Development (CEIED), which was one of three Anniversary Centers of Excellence established by the USDA/1890 Taskforce to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the signing of the Second Morrill Act of 1890.  The Center focuses on implementing projects designed to supply the country with a globally educated workforce and address critical needs in the area of global food security and defense. The Center fosters international partnerships that strengthen agricultural development in developing countries; addresses new and emerging animal and plant pests and diseases; and addresses agricultural disaster recovery. While the Center is hosted at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), it serves all nineteen (19) 1890 institutions.


The CEGFSD, leverages expertise from across the 1890 land-grant universities to foster international partnerships that strengthen agricultural development in developing countries; address emerging animal and plant pests and diseases; and addresses challenges with agricultural disaster recovery. 

CEGFSD aspires to be a national model for advancing the long-term prosperity of the U.S. through global food security and defense initiatives in collaboration with international partners by addressing eight interlinked priorities including (1) Agricultural productivity; (2) Reduction of global poverty; (3) Enhancement of global food supply chains; (4) Improving food safety; (5) Impacts of trade on food availability, access, use and stability; (6) Advancement of long-term prosperity of the U.S. through global food security and defense initiatives; (7) Global climate change; and (8) Emerging technologies


  1. Strengthen Agricultural Development in Developing Countries;
  1. Address New and Emerging Animal, and Plant Pests and Diseases;
  1. Engage in Agricultural Disaster Recovery; and 
  1. Continue Existing CEIED Activities: Food and Nutrition Security and Global Education initiatives.

Additionally,  Emerging technologies as a cross-cutting Theme.


The CEGFSD’s management structure is made up of four key governance entities: a governing board, an executive committee, a core administration, and an advisory council. The core administrative function is implemented by the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) in conjunction with the 1890 Universities Foundation. The governing board is made up of representatives from the 19 participating 1890 land-grant universities. It ensures fair representation of each member institution and a free flow of information. An executive committee consisting of PDs and Co-PDs is responsible for overall decision-making, strategy, prioritization, and evaluation of the Center’s activities. The core administration comprising a Center director, associate director, and a program coordinator is responsible for general administrative and financial management. The external advisory council is responsible for providing recommendations to the governing board on the Center’s strategic direction and implementation of project activities. 

Governance Board

Dr. Dovi Alipoe Alcorn State University
Dr. Marikis Alvarez Delaware State University 
Dr. Matthew Blair Tennessee State University
Dr. Eunice Bonsi Tuskegee University 
Dr. Lamin DrammehSouth Carolina State University
Dr. Noel Estwick Prairie View A&M University
Dr. Buddhi GyawaliKentucky State University
Dr. Arthur Goetsch Langston University
Dr. Brou KouakouFort Valley State University 
Dr. Pamela Moore University of Arkansas Pine Bluff 
Dr. Caleb Nindo University of Maryland Eastern Shore 
Ms. Harriett Paul Florida A&M University 
Dr. Ayesha Sarker West Virginia State University 
Dr. Zachary Senwo Alabama A&M University 
Dr. Shobha Sriharan Virginia State University 
Dr. Subramania Sritharan Central State University 
Dr. Calvin Walker Southern University 
Dr. John Yang Lincoln University 

Executive Committee

Name  University
Dr. Moses Kairo, Director    University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Dr. Stephan Tubene, Associate Director    University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Dr. Dovi Alipoe Alcorn State University
Dr. Marikis Alvarez Delaware State University
Dr. Matthew Blair  Tennessee State University
Dr. Eunice Bonsi Tuskegee University
Dr. Michelle Corley Central State University
Ms. Harriet Paul Florida A&M University
Dr. Jose Ulises Toledo Southern University
Dr. Osei Yeboah North Carolina A&T State University 

Advisory Council

Name Title / Organization
Dr. Sunday Ekesi Director of Research and Partnerships / International Centre of Insect Physiology & Ecology ICIPE
Dr. Albert Essel Executive Administrator / Association of Extension Administrators AEA
Ms. Sylvia Megret President and Chief Operating Director / Agriculture Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance ACDI-   VOCA
Dr. Francisco MelloManager, Center of Knowledge Management and Horizontal Cooperation / Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture IICA 
Mr. Bryan NorringtonDirector / Office of International Research Engagement and Cooperation USA-OIREG
Dr. Julie Shortridge Assistant Professor, Extension Specialist / Virginia Tech
Dr. Alton ThompsonExecutive Director / Association of 1890 Research Directors ARD
Ms. Beattra Wilson Assistant Director, Urban and Community Forestry / USDA Forest Service USDA

Core Administration

DIC Director Moses T. Kairo, Ph.D.

CEIED Associate Director Stephan L. Tubene, Ph.D.

Program Coordinator Maricelle Saullo, MBA

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