Dr. John Bonnell Selected to Lead PRCI Capacity Development Team

Dr. Bonnell will replace outgoing PRCI institutional capacity development lead Dr. John Medendorp.

Institutional Capacity Development (ICD) is a core mission of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Capacity, and Influence (PRCI).  To assist in this effort, PRCI has hired Dr. John Bonnell from Michigan State University’s Global Ideas program of International Studies and Programs (ISP) to lead its ICD program. Dr. Bonnell will replace outgoing ICD lead Dr. John Medendorp.

In his new role, Dr. Bonnell seeks to continue the efforts of Medendorp saying, “I’m excited to take on this new position with PRCI. Dr. Medendorp played a significant role in PRCI from its conception and has left behind a foundation of success for us to build upon.”

Under Medendorp’s leadership PRCI successfully helped the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI) develop and implement a five-year strategic plan and led three African agricultural policy research centers through the Policy Influence Capacity Advancement (PICA) Process to identify institutional priorities and develop an actionable plan and budget that PRCI could support.

Bonnell says “I’ve worked on and off with John Medendorp for over a decade and seen how he empowers individuals and organizations across cultures to achieve goals with optimism and persistence. His breadth of expertise, work ethic, gracious spirit, and yes, even his jokes will be dearly missed. I’m honored that he and PRCI leadership have invited me to work with the talented and dedicated colleagues of PRCI, partner centers, and ReNAPRI in this important work.” 

Dr. John Bonnell

PRCI Director David Tschirley says, “John Medendorp's vast experience, his principled commitment to the work, and the great spirit he brings to it have been a fantastic asset to PRCI. He will really be missed. At the same time, John Bonnell is cut from very similar cloth – we are very lucky to be able to have John take over this effort and are excited to work with him.”

Dr. Bonnell brings with him a host of attributes and experiences to the new role as ICD lead.  Dr. Bonnell’s fields of expertise include international and comparative education, higher education in developing countries, organizational change, and faculty and leadership development. He has conducted educational research and development projects in numerous countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining MSU, John served for four years as a faculty member and head of department at a private university in Kenya.

Dr. Bonnell holds a PhD from MSU in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, with specializations in African Studies and International Development. John has co-lead institutional capacity development initiatives for the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (Innovation Scholars Program), the Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development program, and and is Higher Education Capacity Development Lead for Global IDEAS at MSU. Global IDEAS deepens and strengthens MSU’s faculty and scholars’ engagement in solving global challenges.

Over the coming months Dr. Bonnell hopes to, “deepen working relationships with the leadership and key personnel at PRCI partner policy research centers in Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda to advance their institutional strengthening strategies begun with Dr. Medendorp and Cait Goddard. I am also enthusiastic about the opportunity to continue collaboration with the ReNAPRI Secretariat to advance their strategic plans, and to pilot, contextualize, and scale the PICA process across the network."

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