Dr. Ramesh Kanwar is Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Water Resources Engineering at Iowa State University. His research interests and expertise are in the broader areas of water management (irrigation, drainage, surface and groundwater, water security), water for food security, climate smart agriculture and water quality, animal productions systems and water quality, soil health, bioenergy from animal manure, and land based ecological and environmental systems for sustainable development. He has led several international projects either as a member of the team or as a consultant. He has worked for the World Bank, USAID, USDA-FAS, UNDP, FAO, EU, and NATO projects which has taken him to 60+ countries. His additional passion is to work with institutions of higher learning to transform educational systems and prepare students and youth as globally competitive and responsible citizens. He received his Ph.D. in Water Resources and Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University; joined Assistant Professor at Iowa State University in 1983, promoted to full professor in 1991, and appointed Distinguished Professor in 2009. He served Director of Iowa Water Resources Research Institute from 1999-2001 and Department Head/Chair of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department at Iowa State University from 2001-2011. Also, he served as the Vice Chancellor of Lovely Professional University, Punjab, India, and Vice Rector and Provost of ADA University, Baku, Azerbaijan. He was Senior Fulbright Fellow at University Ss Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, Macedonia in 2017. He has taught irrigation, drainage, and water quality engineering courses in Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, India, Portugal, Thailand, and Uzbekistan as a visiting professor. He was awarded Doctorate Honoris Causa degrees by three international universities namely, the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation & Agricultural Mechanization Engineers, Uzbekistan in1997; Georgian Agrarian University, Tbilisi, Georgia in 2000; and Trakia University, Bulgaria in 2007. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India; Fellow of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), and Fellow of Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers. He received numerous awards including John Deere Gold Medal in 2009, Kishida International Award in 2019, and ADS/Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award in 2020 from the ASABE. In addition, he received Distinguished Service Award from ADA University, Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015; Sakai Science and Technology Award from Asian Association of Agric. Engineering, Beijing, China in 2012; and Distinguished Alumni Award from PAU Ludhiana, India in 2012. Iowa State University has recognized Dr. Kanwar with the award of International Excellence Service Award in 2004; Margaret E. White Graduate Faculty Excellence Award in 1993, Outstanding Young Engineering Faculty Research Award in 1991. He has been a major professor for 30 M.S. and 31 Ph.D./DSc students; received $16 million in research grants; and has published more than 600 papers including 210 refereed journal articles with an h-Index of 44. Sixteen of Dr. Kanwar’s PhD students are currently serving as lead USDA researchers, professors, deans/vice chancellors at leading universities in the USA and overseas.
Bureau for Latin America and Caribbean Countries (LAC)
Office of Regional Sustainable Development (RSD)
Professor Kanwar is the Jefferson Science Fellow with the USAID Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean Countries in the Office of Regional Sustainable Development. In the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, USAID helps to make the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere more peaceful, secure, and prosperous by strengthening the capacity of governments and private entities to combat crime, improve governance, address climate change, and create an economic environment in which the private sector can flourish and create jobs. Throughout the region, USAID has 13 field offices, 4 regional programs, and Washington-based programs focusing on Cuba, Ecuador, and Venezuela. USAID programs in LAC help to generate economic prosperity, reduce crime and violence, support civil society, defend universal rights, and protect the environment. USAID works closely with host governments (national and municipal), other U.S. Government agencies, civil society, the private sector, development banks, and international organizations to help achieve enduring results. Professor Kanwar brings his expertise in agricultural and biosystems engineering, and water resources management systems for sustainable development in the bureau's programs. He will help assist regional sustainable development and field mission offices with current and future sustainable development programs in areas of natural resources management (watershed ecology, soil erosion, soil health, pollution, water quality), irrigation, drainage, and water and food security, as well as become part of the teams in designing new and innovative development strategies for educating youth and women for job creation skills, economic growth, and achieving decent standard of living.