CGIAR Regional Director of Central and West Asia and North Africa, and Director General, ICARDA

Aly Abousabba is the Director General of ICARDA and the CGIAR Regional Director for the Central and West Asis and North Africa Region


Aly Abousabaa assumed ICARDA’s director general position in October 2016. He brings 35 years of strategic leadership in sustainable development, operational and policy-based lending, and project management, spanning 35 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Aly Abousabaa has a 35-year record of high-level strategic leadership of complex sustainable development operations and resources in developing countries.

He became Director-General of ICARDA in October 2016 and CGIAR Regional Director of Central and West Asia, and North Africa (CWANA) in June 2021. He leads an International Organization and a regional office involved in dryland agricultural scientific research across 16 offices in Central and West Asia, and North Africa Region.

Previously, Aly worked at AfDB for 22 years where he occupied several leadership, managerial and technical positions of which the last five were as Vice President Operations in charge of Agriculture, Water, Human Development, Governance, and Natural Resources. His work contributed to improving the lives of millions of people in Africa through a diverse portfolio of US$10billion across 30 countries.

He has served on several Boards, including the Congo Basin Forest Fund, The Africa Water Facility, The Governance Trust fund, The Africa Fertilizer Facility, and the Khalifa Date Palm Award. He has established a global network with international partner institutions on development and research matters across five continents, including the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe, and USA.

Aly is an Egyptian national, and holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt, and an M.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Montana State University, USA.