Today is my last day as Founding Executive Director of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, and I am writing to say good-bye and to welcome my successor Peter McCornick, who arrives in Lincoln today and will assume his new position tomorrow. Peter is ideally placed to take the institute to greater and greater levels of achievement, and I know you will all extend to him the same generous welcome and support that you have extended to me over the last four and a half years. I am confident the institute will continue to grow and thrive under Peter’s leadership and the talented and dedicated team that is now in place.
As I prepare to hand over the gavel of the Water for Food Global Institute to Peter, I am proud of the progress we have made to establish the institute as an internationally-recognized player in the water for food arena. We have a superb staff and core leadership team, a wonderful network of 85 Faculty Fellows across the University and some 20 Global Fellows around the world, and valuable relationships with public and private partners – all of which have enabled us to initiate pioneering research, policy and education programs both locally and globally. We have outstanding office headquarters at the Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln; a strong system of governance and advisory support; and a robust strategic plan that moves the institute from the capacity building to the implementation phase, with specific benchmarks for program impacts and financial sustainability. Our annual Water for Food Global Conferences have become the ‘go-to’ gathering for the water for food community, and we have a strong and visible presence at the world’s most important water and food events.
It has been an intense – and intensely enjoyable – four and a half years since I was invited to join this ambitious endeavor. I have been extremely fortunate to have had the support and resources of so many people, to whom I would like to extend a special thank you on this occasion — the leadership of the University of Nebraska, past and present; the Daugherty Foundation; our board of directors and advisory panels; the faculty across all four campuses of the University; the leadership and staff of the University of Nebraska Foundation; our many other partners and friends in Nebraska and around the globe; and last but not least, our terrific staff who have been such a joy to work with.
It has been truly a pleasure to be associated with so many wonderful colleagues here and throughout the world, and I really look forward to remaining in touch in my new role as Professor of Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Effective September 1, my new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org; my office address will change to 238 Chase Hall, East Campus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and my office phone number will change to 1 (402) 472-1637.
Warm regards and best wishes to all,