World Potato Congress Board changes: who is in, who is out?

Changes to the Board of the World Potato Congress: Albert T. Wada (top left, retired); Douglas Harley (top right, new to the Board); Frank Mulcahy (bottom left, new to the Board); Dr. Kaiyun Xie (bottom right, new to the Board)

David Thompson, President and CEO of World Potato Congress Inc. (WPC) announced today the retirement of Albert Wada, after an eight year term, as an active member the Board of Directors. David Thompson:

"Mr. Wada has contributed significantly to World Potato Congress."

"We fully appreciate his commitment while a director and wish Albert well in the future."
The United States will continue to be represented, on the World Potato Congress Board of Directors, by Dr. Nora Olsen of Idaho. Dr Olsen joined the Board in 2014 and has recently been reappointed to a three year term.

The vacancy created by Wada's retirement gave the organization an opportunity to bring a new international perspective to the table with the appointment Douglas Harley of Scotland, a well recognized potato industry player from the United Kingdom. The Board also approved the appointment of two International Advisers Frank Mulcahy of Australia and Kaiyun Xie of China.

All three appointments come at an ideal time for the organization which is in the process of implementing of a new strategic plan designed to encourage a more proactive role for the Congress in the global potato industry. In particular the Board wishes to facilitate growth and development in regions where opportunities emerge from challenges.

David Thompson:

“The three appointees being announced today will strengthen the Board and the International Advisory Committee while WPC strives to achieve objectives set out in the new strategic plan.”

Douglas Harley (United Kingdom)

Douglas Harley

Douglas Harley is Managing director of Alexander Harley Seeds Ltd a privately owned business founded by his grandfather in 1947. It started and continues to produce certified cereal seed but now has activities in a range of crops including soft fruit, oil seeds, oats and potatoes. It funds the largest oat breeding programs in the UK and is involved in the introduction, processing and marketing of new varieties.

Its potato activities are coordinated by Cygnet Potato Breeders who are the largest potato breeders in the UK and own popular varieties such as Saxon and Cabaret They are a vertically integrated potato company who produce their own minitubers and are high grade seed growers and exporters in Scotland. Additional production is carried out by other licensed contract growers in Scotland. These protected varieties are then marketed and licensed to over 35 countries world-wide.

Douglas Harley gained a BSc. Agriculture (Honors) degree in crop science from Aberdeen University. He is a past member of the British Potato Council and past Chairman of the Seed Sectoral Group of the British Potato Council. He is also a past President of the Scottish Potato Trade Association and currently represents the British Society of Plant Breeders at the European Seed Association (Seed Potato Section) meetings in Brussels.

Frank Mulcahy (Australasia)

Frank Mulcahy

Frank is currently Research & Development Manager, Agricultural Services, Simplot Australia P/L. In this capacity he is responsible for managing a research team and budget dedicated to improving productivity and profitability for Simplot and grower/suppliers of potato and vegetables to Simplot’s Australian processing facilities.

With over thirty years experience in agriculture he has become highly skilled in the development and implementation of horticultural principles and an active researcher with a focus on agronomy challenges confronting growers.

With over five years experience living in developing countries, implementing leading edge agricultural technologies and systems, he has global experience in seed potato production in Australia, India, Iran, Turkey, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Canada and USA.

He has also been a contributor in the formulation of National Standards for Australian Certified Seed Potatoes. And served as a Tasmanian representative on a National steering committee overseeing the development of Horticultural Research Development Corporation project “National Certified Seed Potato Certification Standards” Australia, 1998 – 2002. The outcome of this project is a single National Australian standard for Certified Seed Potatoes.

Dr. Kaiyun Xie (China)

Dr. Kaiyun Xie

Dr. Xie (Kaiyun) of China has a comprehensive educational background where he developed strong expertise across the agricultural industry. In recent years he has specialized in potato research and development where he has played an instrumental role in the evolving potato industry of China.

Capitalizing on his project management training Kaiyun now represents the CIP-China Center for Asia Pacific. He was formerly affiliated with the International Potato Center Beijing Liaison Office and the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers.

Dr. Xie has travelled extensively to neighbouring countries as well as internationally. Through his travels and related studies he has become familiar with potato issues regionally and globally. Kaiyun has also served as Deputy Secretary General of Potato Association of China (PAC) where he was in charge of the organization of annual meeting of PAC.

Dr. Xie has managed a variety of projects and participated in over 18 initiatives. He has also produced over fifty research papers on a variety of agricultural issues. His work has been recognized nationally where he has received numerous awards of excellence for his contributions to research and development initiatives.