About us

Global Rice Research Foundation - About Us - people in a board room

The Global Rice Research Foundation, or GRRF, was founded in 1999 as the Asia Rice Foundation USA (ARFUSA) and has been doing business as GRRF since 2022. It was founded by former IRRI staff members in the U.S. who worked and lived in countries where rice is vital for food and livelihoods.

As like-minded scientists, development experts and family members who dedicated substantial parts of our careers and lives to the various aspects of rice in human society, we wished to continue to support activities that help contribute toward a world that can feed itself, treasure the rich heritage of rice cultures, and value rice growing land as a precious resource to be shared with future generations.

We are particularly interested in encouraging the next generation of rice scientists through our Global Rice Leadership Awards that support travel and study costs for young scholars seeking to expand their knowledge about rice.

2024 IRRI Reunion Planned

We are looking forward to the next IRRI Reunion, planned for July 25-28 in Portland, Oregon. Like the last Reunion we expect to hear from former awardees and have lots of unstructured time for food and fellowship with friends. We had a wonderful IRRI Reunion in 2019 at the 20th Global Rice Research Foundation (GRRF) Board meeting in Sacramento, CA.

Cameron Pittelkow reported how his GRRF scholarship helped him in his professional career. Cameron was recently hired as a rice agronomist at UC Davis.

We saw a fabulous Gene Hettel video on IRRI. Over 65 attended, including 12 “Next-Generation” IRRI “kids” – one of whom said, “this is a place we can be “kids again!”

Thanks to The Rice Trader for assisting with the event

GRRF is a membership organization open to all who share our goals. The Board of Trustees is elected by the members, and currently comprises: Ronnie Coffman, Fernanda Stella de Freitas, Robert Herdt, Jennifer Herdt, Janneke HilleRisLambers, J.K. Ladha, Renu Miles, Kevin Murphy (Board Chair), Elvis Heinrichs, Cameron Pittelkow, Kristin Stark, Diane Wang, and Robert Zeigler (Executive Director). Members of the 2019 Board are pictured. L to R: Bob Herdt (Treasurer), Kevin Murphy (Vice Chair), Renu Miles (Associate Treasurer), Short Heinrichs, Ranjiv Khush (Chair), Kristin Stark, Bob Zeigler (Corporate Secretary and Executive Director), Ronnie Coffman, Russ Freed.