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Ensure the future of coffee

Mission

Grow, protect, and enhance supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it.

Strategy

All of our projects are designed to enhance the livelihoods of the producers who are the stewards of both quality and productivity. If we lose them, we lose the game and future of the industry.

Vision

To create a toolbox of coffee varieties, genetic resources and accompanying technologies and to disseminate them strategically and collaboratively in producing countries to alleviate constraints to the supply chain of high quality coffee.

Impact

Our globe-spanning trials and projects in 21 countries are all designed to deliver:

  • Higher quality coffee

  • More productive coffee farms

  • More sustainable and dignified livelihoods for coffee farmers

How we work

Collaboratively

We don't do this work alone. Many of our core scientific staff work in agricultural research departments at Texas A&M University, where we are headquartered. But we collaborate with the best minds in coffee science, wherever they are. We have partnered with researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), one of world-leading food security research organizations; CIRAD, a French academic institute that has made critical contributions to coffee research; and Kew Gardens, one of the world's premier botanical research centers, among many others.

Globally

Most of our research is done in the places where coffee is grown. We partner with local research institutions, coffee organizations, governments, and NGOs who can ensure maximum impact.  We believe its essential to build the human and institutional capacity in these countries, and are working to foster the next generation of coffee scientists and expand the network of coffee research institutions in producing countries through collaborative research and training.

Openly

Our research is “precompetitive” and for the benefit of the entire coffee industry. As often as possible, scholarly works resulting from our research are published in open-access journals. 

Leadership

Our scientific and administrative leadership team create and execute an ambitious research agenda.

Dr. Timothy Schilling

Timothy Schilling

CEO

Timothy Schilling is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of World Coffee Research, the world’s first global, collaborative agricultural R&D organization for coffee. A scientist and development expert, Dr. Schilling was the first to bring widespread attention in the coffee industry to the fact that coffee is an orphan crop: grown in poor countries, consumed in rich countries, and researched in neither.

Dr. Schilling galvanized the world coffee industry, worth $174 billion dollars per year, to recognize the potentially disastrous vulnerabilities it faced due to the lack of functional, global, open-source research and development programs that create new knowledge and technologies for the benefit of farmers.

World Coffee Research was thus born in 2012. The same year, when the first reports of a massive epidemic of a fungal disease called coffee leaf rust were circulating in Central America, Dr. Schilling sounded alarms and organized the first Coffee Leaf Rust Summit in Guatemala.  That summit resulted in concrete actions including development bank support loans to national governments for fungicides and access to credit for farmers through guarantees from USAID.  The most sustainable result, however, was the launch of World Coffee Research’s global coffee breeding program for rust resistance and climate resilience, and the establishment of a global network of trial sites to advance knowledge on coffee variety performance.

In the few short years since World Coffee Research was founded, Dr. Schilling has delivered tangible, pragmatic results to shore up the coffee industry’s goal to secure long-term sustainable supplies of high quality coffee. He has grown the nonprofit organization to encompass offices in France, the United States, and El Salvador, where WCR has also established a research farm. The organization has formed dozens of collaborative partnerships with coffee organizations, NGOs, and governments to execute applied R&D for genetic improvement and agronomic advancements for coffee.
 
Prior to founding World Coffee Research, Dr. Schilling led two programs to rebuild the Rwandan coffee sector after the country’s genocide. The USAID PEARL and SPREAD projects were crucial to the successful entry of Rwanda into the American and European Specialty Coffee markets. PEARL and SPREAD doubled incomes for over 100,000 small coffee producers in Rwanda and fundamentally changed the image of Rwanda in the international press.  Prior to his work in coffee, Dr. Schilling led several other major international initiatives, working with universities, the U.S. Congress, USAID, and national agricultural institutes across Africa and Latin America to establish research programs to increase sorghum and millet food supplies. 

Email: tim@worldcoffeeresearch.org

Dr. Christophe Montagnon

Christophe Montagnon

Scientific Director

Dr. Montagnon is a world-renowned expert on coffee breeding and agricultural development. He previously led the successful CIRAD coffee and cocoa research programs, and has published two books and over 100 articles on coffee. Dr. Montagnon stands at the crossroads of various pathways; he works with both research and development projects, basic and applied science, with both the public and private sectors does so in both northern and southern countries. He is the founder of RD2 Vision, a consulting company whose mission is to contribute to sustainable investments in tropical crops production sector. Email: christophe@worldcoffeeresearch.org

Salvador Urrutia Loucel

Salvador Urrutia Loucel

WCR Central American Representative

Salvador Urrutia Loucel is the Central America Representative of World Coffee Research, providing coordination and oversight of all activities in the region. Salvador earned his degree in Agricultural Engineering with a specialization in economics at the University Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas. In his 34 years of professional work, nearly 20 years have been in the cultivation of coffee. He has worked as a technician, as general manager in a local coffee company, and at the research institution PROCAFE. From 1999 to 2004, he was the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of El Salvador, where he supported the coffee sector with economic and production-focused programs and provided support to coffee institutions in El Salvador and across Central America. He lives in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Email: salvador@worldcoffeeresearch.org

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Hanna Neuschwander

Hanna Neuschwander

Communications Director

Hanna Neuschwander has been communicating about coffee and science since 2004. Her writing about coffee and food has appeared in publications including Travel + Leisure, Edible Seattle, Portland Monthly, and the Oregonian, among others. She is the author of Left Coast Roast, a guidebook to artisan and influential coffee roasters on the west coast. She has presented about the history, sustainability, and economics of coffee at everywhere from Boston to Panama City. She is based in Portland, Oregon. Email: hanna@worldcoffeeresearch.org

Greg Meenahan

Greg Meenahan

Director of Partnership Development

Greg leads WCR fundraising and engagement across multiple segments and geographies of the global coffee industry. Greg has over 25 years of nonprofit experience in fundraising and partnership development, and has served as the Director of Development and Communications for social service, education, and literacy development organizations in the U.S. and abroad. He is based in Portland, Oregon.  Email: greg@worldcoffeeresearch.org

Siaska Castro

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. Email: siaska@worldcoffeeresearch.org.

Danielle Knueppel

Danielle Knueppel

Global Programs Director

As the Global Programs Director, Danielle Knueppel oversees several of WCR’s global activities, including the Global Coffee Monitoring Program – a network of hundreds of on-farm trials in over a dozen countries. Danielle has over a decade of experience managing and evaluating programs to assist global farmers to access markets and sustainably increase their agricultural productivity and farm profitability. Previously, she worked with non-profit and research organizations in Ethiopia and Tanzania and with USAID in Nepal and Ghana, managing large, multidisciplinary projects and fostering collaborative relationships with partners in agribusiness, academia, government and non-profits, as well as with farmer producers, to align interests along supply chains. Danielle has a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a master’s degree in International Agricultural Development.

Research + Development Team

Our skilled global team is responsible for executing our core projects and programs to increase the supplies of quality coffee and improve farmer livelihoods.

Dr. Benoît Bertrand

Benoît Bertrand

Coffee breeder

Dr. Bertrand has worked in coffee for 25 years and is currently the Deputy Director of Research Unit for CIRAD. His research areas include quantitative genetics, functional genomics, and breeding, and brings this expertise to lead the WCR Breeding and Pre-Breeding program. His current topics of interest are gene expression stability in contrasted thernal regimes, coffee plant circadian rhythms, and pre-breeding strategies. Email: benoit.bertrand@cirad.fr

Francisco (Paco) Anzueto

Francisco (Paco) Anzueto

Scientific Coordinator, Central America

Francisco Anzueto is WCR's Regional Scientific Coordinator for Central America. He holds a doctorate in coffee breeding, a diplomas in biology and agronomy. For 39 years, he worked for Guatemala’s National Coffee Association (Anacafé), and was their director of research from 1986 to 2014. His research has focused on topics including plant breeding, nematology (the study of nematodes), quality and food safety, as well as different coffee environments and production systems, with experience in providing technical advice to farmers. He is the author and co-author of numerous scientific papers.

Pascal Kalisa

Pascal Gakwaya Kalisa

On-Farm Technology Trial Regional Coordinator, East Africa

Pascal was born into a coffee farming family. His career in coffee began more than 15 years ago, when he worked as an agronomist and coffee washing station manager with Rwanda's first specialty coffee  washing station, MARABA. He has since worked as a sustainability and farmer relationship manager at KZNOIR Limited, where he supported 10,000 coffee farmers by managing certification programs and creating projects that impacting community. Pascal was involved in the SPREAD and PEARL projects with Dr. Tim Schilling in the mid-2000s as coffee quality manager. He has training in coffee cupping, export processes , and coffee marketing. He recently initiated biochar production in Tanzania (biochar is a 2,000 year-old practice that converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security, and increase soil biodiversity, and discourage deforestation).  Pascal has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Rwanda. Email: pascal@worldcoffeeresearch.org

Sara Bogantes

Sara Bogantes

On Farm Technology Trial Regional Coordinator, Central America

Sara Bogantes has worked in coffee for five years. Previously, she worked at the Doka Estate and La Hilda coffee plantations in Costa Rica. She has developed and implemented agricultural best practices,  as well as designed and created a germplasm bank to assist in the improvement of coffee plants on the farm. The latter project included evaluating different varieties, their performance in the cup, pest and disease resistance, and yield per plant. She was responsible for the entire seed exportation process that included managing a staff to collect and execute seed selection for export, quality control, and necessary documentation.

Daniel Dubon

Daniel Dubon

Data Manager

Daniel Dubón is a Guatemalan who is passionate about environmental sciences and working with indigenous communities. He is an agronomist in renewable natural resources profession, specializing in geographic information systems, hydrologic modeling, use of remote sensing to analyze changing land use and management of databases, performing mapping, data analysis, etc. He has taught at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala in courses related to soil and water management. He is also a researcher; and currently is participating in the project "Participative Mapping Research in Guatemala" in collaboration with Kansas State University. Email: dandubon@worldcoffeeresearch.org

Iris Hazel Romero

Iris Hazel Romero

Research Farm Manager

Iris is in charge of the supervisión and control of activities at the WCR Research Farm located in Santa Ana, El Salvador. She is from Santa Ana, El Salvador and has 13 years of experience working at the J. Hill Beneficio las Tres Puertas coffee mill.  She has extensive experience in post-harvest processes including wet and dry milling and quality control.  Additionally she is an accomplished nationally (in El Salvador) recognized barista and barista judge.  She has also received training in coffee cupping and roasting.  Iris is currently finishing her degree in civil engineering the University of El Salvador.  She is passionate about coffee and to be working towards to the good of the coffee industry on a global level. Email: iris@worldcoffeeresearch.org

Nicole Atwell

Nicole Atwell

Financial Accountant

Nicole has been working in the accounting field since 1998.  She provides financial and accounting technology support to World Coffee Research in addition to coordinating travel and assisting with the organization of meetings, trips, and special events for the WCR staff and board.  Her background includes extensive experience working with educational and non-profit organizations and assisting them to more accurately report activity and make the most of every dollar to achieve their organizational goals.


Solene Pruvot

Solene Pruvot-Woehl

International Multi Location Variety Trial Coordinator

Solene is the worldwide coordinator of the International Multi Location Variety Trial. She  has a master's degree in general agronomy. She formerly worked for the seed company Limagrain on seed production and field experiments. At WCR, she is in charge of experiment monitoring including the logistics of sending in vitro plantlets, standardized protocols, data collection, storage and preparation for analysis. Email: solene@worldcoffeeresearch.org

Collaborating Experts

Top experts across many fields of knowledge collaborate with us to lead projects tied to our mission.

jacques avelino

Jacques Avelino

Plant pathology/coffee leaf rust

CIRAD/CATIE

Jacques Avelino has been a plant pathologist for CIRAD (Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement) in France since 1986. He has spent his career conducting research primarily on coffee and cacao pests and diseases in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, and has worked on coffee quality. He is currently posted at CATIE (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza) in Costa Rica, studying agroforestry systems with perennial crops. Dr. Avelino has studies the relationships between pest and disease epidemics, the environment and crop management. Recently, he has led different studies on the effect of plant biodiversity on coffee pests and diseases at the plot and landscape scales. He earned his PhD degree from the University of Orsay, Paris, France.

Bárbara Castanheira Ferrara Barbosa

Bárbara Castanheira Ferrara Barbosa

Postdoctoral Fellow

Texas A&M

Barbara is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas A&M, currently working on quantitative genetic analysis of rust resistance, growth, male sterility, and beverage quality
in coffee. Originally from Brazil, she grew up in Minas Gerais, the largest coffee-growing state in the country. She holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. degree in Plant Physiology from the Federal University of Lavras and a B.A. in Biology from the Federal University of Juiz de Fora. In the last few years Barbara has been involved in numerous research projects, including investigations of coffee flowering and responses to abiotic stresses.

Patricia Klein

Patricia Klein

Molecular biology and genomic selection

Texas A&M

Dr. Klein’s research focuses on developing the genomic tools and resources in crops to enable map base cloning of economically important genes, to understand the underlying mechanisms that plants use to withstand stress (both biotic and abiotic) and quality. For World Coffee Research, Dr. Klein  supervises an innovative program in genetic diversity, molecular breeding, and genomic selection for coffee. She leads the development of WCR's molecular genetics and genomics program, which allows us to connect the molecular traits of green coffee with genetic precursors. This will substantially aid our efforts to breed improved coffee varieties that will meet the needs of the 21st century. She works collaboratively with the WCR breeding team to develop genomic selection modelling related to growth, productivity, rust resistance and quality.

Patricia Klein received her B.S. in Horticulture from Texas A&M University in 1982. She received an M.S. in Crop Science from Texas Tech University in 1985 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University in 1989. She joined the faculty of the Department of Horticultural Sciences in 2002. Dr. Klein is also a member of the Interdepartmental Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences program, a member of the Plant Breeding program and a member of the Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology. In 2012, Dr. Klein was awarded the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for excellence as a member of the Sorghum Bioenergy Breeding and Genomics Interdisciplinary Research Team.


sarada krishnan

Sarada Krishnan

Coffee genetic resource conservation

Denver Botanic Gardens

Dr. Sarada Krishnan is Director of Horticulture and Center for Global Initiatives at Denver Botanic Gardens where she is responsible for directing the design and maintenance of the horticulture collections, and for developing and leading global projects. She has several years of experience in public and commercial horticulture. Her global work and research has taken her to places such as Haiti, Madagascar, South Sudan, Mexico, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Argentina and Mongolia. In collaboration with Crop Trust and World Coffee Research, she was selected as the coffee expert to lead the development of the Global Strategy for Conservation of Coffee Genetic Resources.

Sarada has a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from India and a Master of Science degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University. Her doctorate research at University of Colorado, Boulder, focused on the conservation genetics of wild coffee (Coffea spp.) in Madagascar. Sarada owns coffee plantations in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica.

Dr. Leo Lombardini

Leo Lombardini

Coffee plant physiology

Center for Coffee Science and Education, Texas A&M

As an Italian, Dr. Lombardini's enthusiasm for coffee has always been part of his life. As a 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 AGTEC program. Email: l-lombardini@tamu.edu

Emma Bladyka

Emma Sage

Coffee industry liaison

Specialty Coffee Association

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.

Robert Barreto

Robert Barreto

Coffee leaf rust bicontrol

University of Vicosa

Dr. Robert Barreto is a professor of phytopathology at the University of Vicosa, Brazil. He is an expert in the taxonomy and biology of micro-fungi and the use of mycoparasitic and endophytic fungi as agents for biological control of diseases of cultivated plants. For World Coffee Research, Dr. Barreto is leading the investigation of biological control agents of coffee leaf rust.

Joseph Kimemia

Joseph Kimemia

Coffee agronomy

KALRO / AFCA

Dr. Joseph K. Kimemia is one of the leading experts in the world on coffee in Africa. He holds a PhD in Crop Science and was formerly the director of the Coffee Research Foundation in Kenya, where he served as a researcher for over 28 years. He has worked as an agronomist specializing in coffee intercropping systems, shade in coffee, organic coffee production, the introduction in new coffee areas and adaptation for climate change. He was instrumental in the development and release of the disease-resistant Arabica coffee variety Batian. He is currently the Chairman African Fine Coffee Association (AFCA) Kenya Chapter and a member of the AFCA Board.

Jean-Christophe Breitler

Jean-Christophe Breitler

Molecular physiology and agroforestry coffee breeding

CIRAD-INECOL

Jean-Christophe is a researcher of molecular physiology and expert in biotic and abiotic stress interactions with coffee trees under agroforestry crop systems and in the development of breeding strategies for sustainable intensification and conservation of agroforestry coffee crop systems.

Scientific Advisory Committee

These internationally renowned scientists are at the top of their fields, and volunteer their time to help guide and provide feedback on our research agenda.

Elisabeth Guichard

Elisabeth Guichard

Sensory Expert

French National Agronomic Research Institute (INRA)

Dr. Guichard is a high-level food scientist specializing in flavor release and physico-chemistry. She is the research director at INRA  (National Agronomic Research Institute) and co-leader of the research group on molecular interactions, in-mouth mechanisms and flavour perception at CSGA (Centre des Sciences du Gout et de l’Alimentation) in Dijon, France. She is one of the leading researchers of wine flavor/aroma in France. She has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in international journals and 42 book chapters, and has presented 114 oral communications and 120 posters in international congresses in the field of food science. 

M. Catherine Aime

M. Catherine Aime

Fungal Pathology Expert

Purdue University

M. Catherine Aime is one of the world's foremost experts on rust fungi. Her research lab at Purdue University studies aspects of mycology ranging from genomics to pathology, with a special focus on the systematics, biology, and evolution of rust fungi in tropical ecosystems. (Rust fungi represent the single largest group of plant pathogens in the world—it is conservatively estimated that more than 1 million fungal species have yet to be discovered and described by science—with incredibly complex life cycles.) Dr. Aime's lab uses phylogenetics and genomics to understand how these fungi became so successful and to provide tools for their identification. Dr. Aime has spent 15 years documenting and describing new species and genera from a very remote region in Guyana and other tropical forests worldwide.

Kyle Murphy

Kyle Murphy

Socioeconomics Expert

Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Kyle Murphy is a Policy Manager at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a global network of 145 affiliated professors from 49 universities whose mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. At J-PAL, Kyle manages the Agriculture sector and the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI). Kyle shares lessons on what works with foundations, NGOs, governments and others and helps them integrate rigorous evidence into their program and policy processes. Kyle holds a master's degree in public policy from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy where he focused on international development and program evaluation. As a student, he was a Coverdell Fellow, a Dow Sustainability Fellow, and worked with Global Detroit and Recovery Park to help design their social impact monitoring frameworks.

Seth Murray

Seth Murray

Quantitative Genetics Expert

Texas A&M University

Dr. Seth Murray is a quantitative geneticist focused on improving the productivity, sustainability (economic and environmental) and quality of agricultural production through scientific research and development. He works primarily in maize (corn). He uses high-throughput field phenotyping (UAVs/drones, ground vehicles, NIRS); molecular quantitative genetic discovery (including QTL mapping, GWAS); statistical modeling and novel analysis methods (including big data and metanalysis); development of new breeding and genetics approaches (including use of computer simulations); and applied field breeding (classical and molecular). Dr. Murray is the founder and editor of “The Plant Phenome Journal” and recipient of the Crop Science Society of America Young Crop Scientist Award.

Walter Baethgen

Walter Baethgen

Climate Change Expert

Earth Institute, Columbia University

Walter E. Baethgen is head of the Regional and Sectorial Research Program and leader of the Latin America and the Caribbean program in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at the Earth Institute, Columbia University. At the IRI he has been establishing regional research programs that aim to improve climate risk assessment and risk management in agriculture, health, water resources, and natural ecosystems. He was a lead author for IPCC’s Second (1995) and Third (2001) Assessments Reports and contributing author for the Fourth Assessment (2007). Baethgen has acted as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank, UNDP, UNIDO, FAO, the IAEA, The World Bank and IICA. Baethgen obtained his PhD and MS degrees in crop and soil environmental sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and his BS in agricultural engineering from the University of Uruguay. He has more than 200 publications to his credit. In 2010 he received the Morosoli de Oro award, considered one of the highest recognitions of contribution to Uruguayan culture.

Students

Graduate students from around the world are working on problems and projects identified as essential by World Coffee Research core scientific staff.

Taya Brown

Taya Brown

Ph.D. Student

Taya Brown is a Ph.D. student in the Horticulture Department at Texas A&M University focused on food security issues, specifically related to small-scale farming in rural areas, and monitoring and evaluation of international agricultural development projects. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Taya has a strong background in agriculture and plant science. She spent several years working for a small-scale organic farm in Washington State and at the orchard on Washington State University’s (WSU) campus. She holds bachelors degrees from WSU in agricultural food systems, where she majored in organic agriculture and botany, and minored in horticulture and soil science. As part of an undergraduate internship, Taya designed and built a passive-air solar food dehydrator to address the needs of a community in rural Rwanda. In her time at Texas A&M she has won several awards for her service to the university and her promise as a future leader in the international agricultural development community. She spent the summer of 2015 in Guatemala among the indigenous Maya-Itza population, learning Spanish while assisting efforts to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the Petén region. She is currently developing an instrument to collect feedback data on the social impact of development assistance given to small-scale coffee farmers affected by the recent coffee leaf rust disorder epidemic.

Fabian Echeverria Beirute

Fabian Echeverria Beirute

Ph.D. Student

Fabian is a researcher and professor from Costa Rica pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Plant Breeding in the Department of Soil and Crops at Texas A&M University, with a funding from WCR and the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (ITCR). He holds an M.Sc. degree from the University of Costa Rica (UCR), with his investigation on prospecting candidate resistance genes from Coffea germoplam for controlling the Mycena citricolor fungi. For almost eight years he worked on coffee breeding and phytopathology for the Center of Investigation in Coffee (CICAFE) of the Institute of Coffee of Costa Rica (ICAFE) and as a breeding professor at ITCR.

His research in Texas A&M University is emphasized in evaluation the gene expression of coffee plants under physiological stress such as leaf rust and yield and it's impact on the quality.

Lauren Fedenia

Lauren Fedenia

Ph.D. Student

Lauren Fedenia is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Horticultural Sciences researching coffee under Dr. Leo Lombardini for World Coffee Reasearch at Texas A&M University.  She holds a B.A. in horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her interest in coffee originates from studying and working in agriculture in Central America.  Her past experience includes working at research field stations, conducting tissue culture in a seed certification laboratory, and teaching on tropical farms.  Coupled with four years of experience as a barista, she has an unyielding passion for coffee.  At Texas A&M, Lauren is motivated to contribute to solving large-scale agricultural problems intertwined with environmentalism and social justice.  She is particularly interested in the investigation of cultural controls to manage disease and increase plant nutrition in coffee systems.

Elmer Roldan Salazar

Elmer Roldan Salazar

Ph.D. Student

Elmer is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Horticulture under Dr. Patricia Klein at Texas A&M University. Originally from Guatemala, he grew up around the coffee industry as his family produces this crop in the highlands of Santa Rosa. Elmer received his B.S. in Agronomy from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. In 2007, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and came to the U.S. to pursue a M.S. degree in Horticulture at the University of Arkansas. While working on his M.S., he gained practical knowledge in substrate physical and chemical properties, bedding plant production, plant physiology, mineral nutrition and research methods under protected conditions. Coupled with six years of experience in vegetable seed research and production practices at multinational companies, he became interested in the principles of breeding and genetics in plants. During his time at Texas A&M, Elmer seeks to gain an understanding and practical experience in plant molecular breeding, genomics and bioinformatics using coffee as a model crop.

Board of Directors

Our board members are some of the most important leaders and thinkers from coffee companies around the world. They work hard behind the scenes to guide our programs.

Lindsey Bolger

Lindsey Bolger

Board Member

Vice President of Sourcing, Keurig Green Mountain Coffee

As Vice President of Coffee Sourcing Excellence for Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Bolger travels extensively in the coffee-producing world, working to build relationships with farmers and supporting sustainable farming practices. Her duties include overseeing coffee sourcing, new product development, and coffee quality assurance. Bolger often serves on the international coffee judging circuit and her work with coffee dates back to her college years when she worked part-time for Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters. She is Immediate Past Chairperson of WCR.

Tracy Ging

Tracy Ging

Chair of the Board

Chief Commercial Office and Senior VP, S&D Coffee

With nearly twenty years of experience in the food & beverage industry, Tracy has spent the majority of her career in coffee in a variety of roles throughout its value chain. She is deeply and personally committed to making sure coffee drinkers enjoy their favorite beverages with the confidence of responsible sourcing practices. She holds a M.A. in Communication and Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and a B.S. in Business from Indiana University. In addition, she has completed executive education at Stanford University in strategic marketing.

Shawn Hamilton

Shawn Hamilton

Treasurer of the Board

Vice President of Operations and Coffee Buyer, Java City

Shawn Hamilton is the Vice-President of Operations and Coffee Buyer for Java City, located in Sacramento, California. Since 1985, Java City has pioneered initiatives designed to enhance the global village, support the communities and protect the environment. Shawn has been involved in the Specialty Coffee industry since 1987. During his tenure he has worked in almost every facet of the industry from Barista, packaging, roasting, quality control, coffee buying, purchasing, futures and options hedging to executive management. He was instrumental in several mergers and acquisitions within the industry. His experience also includes a proven dedication to the industry and volunteering. Shawn has been a volunteer in Colombia to teach and evaluate cuppers for Coffee Corps, participates as a lead judge in the annual Cupping for Quality for the Rainforest Alliance, and has been a judge for Cup of Excellence. In addition, he is one of the founding members of the Roasters Guild and served for six years on the Executive Council. While on the Executive Council, Shawn served as Chairman and was instrumental in the creation of the overall structure of the Guild. He has also served on the Board of the Pacific Coast Coffee Association. 


Mike Keown

Mike Keown

Vice Chair

President and Chief Executive Officer Farmer Brothers/Coffee Bean International

Farmer Brothers (CBI) played a founding role in the development of WCR. Mike joined Farmer Brothers in 2012. In the past 100+ years, Farmer Brothers has grown to become one of the leading coffee-focused foodservice suppliers. Recently, Farmer Brothers has refocused on taking a leadership position in the coffee industry, including leading Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and Pacific Coast Coffee Association (PCCA), active participation in the Roasters Guild, and with origin programs with Mercy Corps and Grounds for Health. Farmer Brothers has also revamped its sustainability programs, ramping up our recycling efforts and driving large reductions in water usage and greenhouse gas emissions. In his spare time, Mike is an avid (okay – aging) runner, and active with Feeding America.

James McLaughlin

James McLaughlin

Board Member

President, Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

James McLaughlin is the president of Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea.  Previously he served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, and Director of Green Coffee.  James' work with coffee began in earnest in Taquaritinga do Norte, Brazil where he was the director of an organic shade coffee farm. Prior to that James was a corporate lawyer for Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

Eric Poncon

Eric Poncon

Board Member

Regional Director and Global Sustainability Advisor, ECOM

Eric Poncon, Regional Director and Global Sustainability Advisor at ECOM Agroindustrial Corp., works to create shared value in some of the most remote areas of the planet. His goal is to ensure producer profitability and real sustainability that leads to poverty alleviation and economic development.  With a keen understanding of the importance of R&D and on how traders can be agents of sustainability, he sheds light into black box supply chains, helping to drive the paradigm shift in coffee sustainability that consumers are demanding.

Ed Price

Ed Price

Board Member

Howard G. Buffett Foundation Chair on Conflict and Development

Edwin C. Price leads the Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M, seeking to create and utilize an understanding of the role of development in preventing and mitigating armed conflict. He conducts research, teaching and development on fragile states, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Southern Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other conflict affected regions.

He was the founding director of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. Within the U.S. university community he has pioneered public-private sector partnerships including formation with the McDonald’s Corporation of the American Potato Trade Association; management of The Coca-Cola Company/McDonald’s/Conservation International Amisconde Project for Central America; and the InterAmerican Development Bank program on intellectual property rights and private investment in research in the Americas. He served in many agricultural research and development roles for the international agricultural research centers, US Department of Defense, US Department of Agriculture, US Agency for International Development, International Fund for Agricultural Development and other UN Agencies.

Ric Rhinehart

Ric Rhinehart

Executive Director, Specialty Coffee Association

Ric Rhinehart is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Prior to taking on this position he was the President of a Los Angeles, California based roaster and retailer. Mr. Rhinehart has over the past twenty years held executive positions in several coffee and tea firms. Mr. Rhinehart has designed, developed, and produced a wide range of both tea and coffee products and is co-author of Tea Basics a primer on premium tea, published by John Wiley & Sons in 1998. Mr. Rhinehart is a frequent presenter and panelist on industry issues and trends at trade shows and symposiums. He has served as a Director and Vice President for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, as a Director for Coffee Kids, the Coffee Quality Institute and he was a founding member of the American Premium Tea Institute, where he served on the Board of Directors and as President.

Matt Saurage

Matt Saurage

Board Member

Chairman of the Board, Community Coffee Company

Matt Saurage is Chairman of the Board and the fourth generation in the largest family-owned coffee brand in America. Saurage believes in coffee research, particularly that which focuses on origin and agriculture, and is pleased to be part of a research program that allows information to be shared broadly and freely within the coffee industry. 

Marc Shonland

Marc Schonland

Board Member

Vice President of Coffee Strategy and Innovation, Royal Cup

Marc Schonland is the Vice President of Coffee Strategy and Innovation for Royal Cup Coffee, where he is responsible for sourcing and identifying new coffee origins, developing new blends, overseeing Royal Cup’s risk management programs, supporting its sustainability initiatives and achieving greater market insight. Marc is an international coffee and quality specialist. A native of South Africa, he has worked in leadership assignments in coffee procurement, trading, marketing and international logistics in five countries—the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Kenya and South Africa. Prior to joining Royal Cup, Schonland served as senior director of commodities at the buying organization for Dunkin’ Donuts, vice president of green coffee at Starbucks and regional coffee manager at Louis Dreyfus Commodities.



Brett Smith

Brett Smith

Chairperson of the Board

Founder and CEO, Counter Culture Coffee

Brett Smith is the co-founder and President of Counter Culture Coffee of Durham, North Carolina. Founded in 1995, Counter Culture Coffee is a different kind of coffee company. Dedicated to finding and bringing to market the most exciting, authentic, and delicious coffees in the world, Counter Culture Coffee approaches their work with a passion for the ideal of coffee perfection, a dedication to real sustainability, and a commitment to cutting-edge education throughout the coffee chain. Brett also serves as a director for SouthWings; a non-profit promoting environmental conservation through aviation.

Sugi Liverani Furio

Furio Suggi Liverani

Board Member

Director of Research, illycaffè s.p.a

Furio Suggi Liverani is director of illycaffè Research, member of illycaffè strategic board and past President of Biosensor Technologies (an Area Science Park biotech company).He has contributed to several projects of industrial and laboratory organization and to the development of illycaffè operation information system. He has developed technologies and innovative products such as an electronic coffee sorting machine. In 1993 he introduced the use of Internet and multimedia to the company, actualising in 1996 the web site www.illy.com . In 1998 he founded, on behalf of illycaffè, AromaLab, a laboratory focused to the study of coffee chemistry, located in the Area Science Park of Trieste. Currently he is board member of Qualicaf, president of coffee department of Trieste Industrial Association, member of scientific committee of ASIC (International Association for Coffee Science) and member of the “ Italian Congress of Artificial Intelligence” committee.

Jim Trout

Jim Trout

Board Member

Vice President of Coffee Research & Development, J. M. Smucker Company

Jim Trout has more than 23 years of product development and innovation management experience, including 14 years in coffee. In 2008, Jim joined Smucker from The Procter & Gamble Company as part of the Folgers acquisition. In his current role, Jim oversees coffee research and development, the coffee innovation portfolio, as well as several strategic innovation partnerships. Prior to Smucker, Jim held numerous R&D management and staff roles at Procter & Gamble in the areas of process development, formulation, device development, and program management.

Jim’s career has focused primarily on the food and beverage industry, and has spanned several product categories including oils, coffee, and salted snacks. Jim currently holds 18 U.S. patents. He graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Jim lives near Cleveland in Broadview Heights, Ohio with his wife and three children. In his spare time, he is a board member of BioHio Research Park and volunteers with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Doug Welsh

Doug Welsh

Board Member

Vice President, Peet's Coffee & Tea

Doug Welsh is Vice President of Coffee for Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Peet’s was established in 1966 in Berkeley, California, fount of the farm to table renaissance in American foodways. Originator Alfred Peet brought the focus of the industry to the finest grades of Arabica coffee and the pursuit of roasting as a craft. As only the third Roastmaster at the pioneering company and leader of the quality movement. 

Doug is responsible for coffee overall, from sourcing to the blending, roasting, and brewing of a superior customer experience. Among other international fora, he has served as a judge at Cup of Excellence, speaker at Symposium, and is past President of the Pacific Coast Coffee Association. Doug resides in Berkeley and holds degrees in Sociology and Law from the University of California.

Keith Writer

Keith Writer

Board Member

Supply Director, Taylors of Harrogate

Keith Writer is the Supply Director and an experienced member of the leadership team responsible for creating long-term strategy and the day to day running of Taylors. With overall responsibility for all direct purchases including coffee, tea and packaging in addition to research and development and sustainability for the Taylors business.

With over twenty years of experience Keith has traveled extensively around the world seeking out the top quality teas and coffees enjoyed by Taylors of Harrogate customers, including bringing to market new organic teas, rare teas and coffees and a herbal range. Travel is integral to his job and he spends several months in the course of the year visiting suppliers and growers worldwide, creating and sustaining strong direct relationships that are key to the business' approach to sourcing. Keith is a past member Board member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, United Kingdom Tea Council and British Coffee Association.

Partners

Our global network of coffee research institutions includes universities, consortiums, public agencies, and laboratories including private company research departments. These institutions have dedicated human and infrastructure resources to the implementation of the World Coffee Research strategy and are models of the cooperative and collaborative approach necessary to mitigate today’s constraints and face tomorrow’s challenges.

Research Institutions
Africa Fine Coffees Association
African Coffee Research Network
Agricultural Research for Development in Africa
American Public Land Grant Colleges and Universities
CAFÉ Brazilian Coffee Research Consortium, and 10 other Brazilian coffee research institutions
Catholic University of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo
Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International
Coffee Research Institute, Kenya
Coffee Research Program
French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development
Global Coffee Review (WCR Media Partner)
Guatemalan National Coffee Association
Hawaii Agriculture Research Center
Indian Coffee Board Research and Development
Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute
Institut National Pour L’etude Et La Recherche Agronomiques, Democratic Republic of Congo
Instituto De Ecología, Mexico
International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Junta Nacional de Café Peru
Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego de Perú
Regional Cooperative Program for the Technical Development and Modernization of Coffee Culture
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
San’a University (Yemen)
The African Coffee Organization/Research and Development
Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center
Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil
Affiliated Organizations
Alliance for Coffee Excellence-Sensory data
Coffee Quality Institute-Quality extension
FlavorActiV
International Coffee Organization-Endorsement
National Coffee Association-Endorsement
Specialty Coffee Association of America-Genesis partner
Specialty Coffee Association of Europe-Collaborator
Specialty Coffee Association of Japan-Partner

Members

Our members—companies and organizations large and small—help set the global agenda for coffee research. Their support is the foundation for a vibrant and sustainable coffee sector.

Platinum
$100K and Higher
Keurig Green Mountain Inc.
Mars Drinks
The J.M. Smucker Company
Gold
$10K to $99K
Allegro Coffee Company
Caravela Coffee
Community Coffee Company
Counter Culture Coffee
Daterra
Farmer Brothers/Coffee Bean International
Foodbuy
illycaffè
Intelligentsia Coffee
Java City
Key Coffee
La Marzocco International, LLC
Mercon Coffee Group
OLAM Specialty Coffee
Peet’s Coffee & Tea
Probat Burns
Royal Cup Coffee
S&D Coffee Roasters
Taylors of Harrogate
Silver

Up to $9K

1 Lounge
Arab Coffee Coffee Co., Ltd.
Atlas Coffee Importers
Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters
Bridge Coffee Company
Buckman Coffee Factory
Cafe Fadie (Kyokuto Fadie Co., Ltd.)
Camel Coffee Company
C-COOP
Coffee Nexus
Coffee Review
Crop to Cup
Cuperus Koffie
Curve Coffee Roasters
Driftaway Coffee
Dunn Brothers
Equator Coffee and Tea
Gaerock
Genius Coffee
Hacienda La Minita
Honey Coffee, Inc.
InterAmerican Coffee
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
Japan Roasters Network
Kaldi's Coffee
Kickapoo Coffee
Marigold Coffee
Marubeni Foods Corporation
Mr. Espresso
NEAT Coffee
Old City Coffee
Origin Coffee Roasters
Orsir Coffee
Pacific Espresso
Philz
Prufrock Coffee
Quaffee
Rave Coffee Canada
Rave Coffee UK
Reunion Island Coffee
RGC Coffee
Rose N Cranz Roasting Company
Ross Street Roasting
Salt Spring Coffee
Specialty Coffee Association of Japan
Square Mile Coffee
Sweet Maria’s Coffee
Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company, Inc
Terarosa (Haksan Co Ltd)
The Coffee Source
This Side Up Trading
Toa Coffee Co. Ltd.
Tony's Coffee
Union Hand-Roasted Coffee
Vessel Coffee Roasters
Walker Coffee Trading
Wilbur Curtis

Send Us A Message

Contact Us

  • info@worldcoffeeresearch.org
  • Phone: 979-862-2036
  • Fax: 979-845-5663

Email: Please see the "Who We Are" section for staff emails.

Global Headquarters
578 John Kimbrough Blvd., Suite 230
College Station, TX 77843-2477

Scientific Headquarters
106 rue Breteuil
Marseille
13006 FRANCE

Central American Regional Headquarters
Beneficio Las Tres Puertas
Calle a Ciudad de Los Niños
Santa Ana, El Salvador

Where else to find us
Our academic staff is based at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

We have core scientific and administrative staff based in France, El Salvador, and Guatemala City. Our communications office is located in Portland, Oregon.

Media inquiries
Please contact Hanna Neuschwander, hanna@worldcoffeeresearch.org, 503-560-7828