Press Release

WorldFish announces next Director General

23 July 2017

After an extensive global search led by the WorldFish Board of Trustees, WorldFish is pleased to announce Dr. Gareth Johnstone as the next Director General of WorldFish. Dr. Johnstone, formerly the Country Director of Myanmar for WorldFish, will begin his new role on 1 January 2018.

Dr. Johnstone brings more than 25 years’ experience in natural resource management with an emphasis on livelihoods, food and nutrition security, and small-scale fisheries and aquaculture.

In accepting the appointment Dr. Johnstone said: “I am proud to be stepping up to this leadership position at a very exciting moment in WorldFish history. We have a strong strategy that has been well received by our partners and that provides the driving principles for our work in the next few years. Additionally, we have launched the FISH research program that provides a solid bedrock from which we can launch new partnerships and initiatives that will enable us to pursue an evidence base that will inform the development of aquaculture and small-scale fisheries to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security.”

Current Director General Dr. Blake Ratner said: “We are in a challenging time for all players in global development. In his work in Myanmar and elsewhere Gareth has shown impressive skill in being able to build successful programs by focusing on the development of robust partnerships. His ability to frame the role of fisheries and aquaculture as a source of innovation to drive entrepreneurship, build rural livelihoods, strengthen climate resilience, and increase gender equality will be key to realizing the ambitious goals we’ve laid out in our strategy. I look forward to working with Gareth on a successful handover and wish him every success in his new role.”

During his time in Myanmar, Dr. Johnstone was responsible for leading and building the WorldFish country program resulting in partnerships that have shaped a sustained presence and an integrated fisheries and aquaculture research program that addresses Myanmar, WorldFish and CGIAR shared goals, builds research and development capacities, and strengthens the institutional and partnership capabilities across the sector.

Dr. Johnstone is a well-known and respected figure in his chosen area of expertise and has gained a breadth of experience working for, among others, the European Union, FAO, UNDP and WWF.

A UK national, Dr. Johnstone has lived and worked in many countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. He holds a BSc in Zoology from the University of Sheffield, an MSc in Environment Assessment and Evaluation from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a PhD from the King's College in London.

After the handover of Director General responsibilities, Dr. Blake Ratner will take up his role as Director of the Collaborating for Resilience initiative, which works across natural resource sectors to launch innovations that create vibrant local economies, reduce the risk of social conflict, and strengthen institutions for equitable environmental governance.

For more information or to request an interview contact:

Toby Johnson, Head of Communications
Mobile Tel: +60 (0) 175 124 606

About WorldFish

WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce hunger and poverty. Globally, more than one billion poor people obtain most of their animal protein from fish and 800 million depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.


CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partners.

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