Dr. Timothy Schilling - Executive Director, World Coffee Research
Dr. Schilling is the Executive Director of World Coffee Research (WCR), a non-profit, collaborative research and development program to grow, protect and enhance the supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it. The program is funded and driven by the global coffee industry, guided by producers, executed by coffee scientists around the world and managed by the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture of the Texas A&M University System. Dr. Schilling is also a plant breeder and agricultural development specialist with strong market orientation and experience in agribusiness and has worked in agricultural research and development in Africa, Latin America and Central Asia for over 30 years.
Dr. Leo Lombardini – Deputy Director, World Coffee Research
Dr. Lombardini is the Deputy Director of World Coffee Research. As an Italian, his enthusiasm for coffee has always been part of his life. As an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University in the Department of Horticultural Sciences, he has conducted research in plant physiology, especially in relation to gas exchange and environmental stresses, and teaches courses regarding the origin of most common and less common horticultural commodities, the social and economic aspects related to their cultivation, and the issues associated with their international trade. Lombardini had research projects in Guatemala and Costa Rica in collaboration with the Borlaug Institute and the AGETC program.
Siaska Castro – Administration and Finance Director
Siaska provides overall administrative and financial coordination for the World Coffee Research Program as well as financial planning, coordination and reporting, fund raising accountability and management, and international research contract and grant management. She works with the Board of Directors and is their liaison for financial and administrative work.
She grew up in The Netherlands and is fluent in English, Dutch, Portuguese and French.
Najat Marden – Program Coordinator
Najat Marden is responsible for handling financial-related matters at WCR’s main office, located at Texas A&M University. She has over 15 years experience in providing financial and administrative support in the private sector, and an academic background in Accounting/Economics. Najat grew up in Belgium. She is fluent in French and Moroccan Arabic.
Emma Bladyka - WCR Industry Liaison
Emma Bladyka serves as liaison between coffee industry representatives and World Coffee Research. She is also currently the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Coffee Science Manager. She holds a M.S. in Botany from the University of Wyoming and B.A. from Hampshire College with a concentration in Ecology. Her experience in a variety of laboratory and field research projects in botany, ecology, and climate change science has given her a solid foundation to apply to coffee. She has always been committed to science education and is dedicated to acting as a translator for the coffee industry. She is also helping with implementation of a Coffee Sensory Program for World Coffee Research.
Jennifer Rumford - Communications Coordinator
Jennifer is responsible for all communication, public relations, and marketing affairs at WCR’s main office.