Vern Long is the Chief Executive Officer of World Coffee Research, the world’s first global, collaborative agricultural R&D organization for coffee. A plant breeder by training, Long brings 25 years of experience in international agricultural research with a focus on smallholders, and deep expertise on genetic resources policy. Prior to joining WCR, Long served as the director of the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she managed a global program portfolio of >$140 million per year. Long bring deep experience in convening diverse stakeholders — from industry, national governments, CGIAR international agricultural research centers, university scientists, and farmers—to formulate a shared crop research agenda to improve productivity among smallholder farmers. She received her PhD in plant genetics from Cornell University.