Mike began his career in genetic resources in the 1970s during eight years at the International Potato Center (CIP), Peru followed by a decade on the faculty of The University of Birmingham, UK. In 1991, he joined the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines to manage the world’s largest genebank for rice as program leader for genetic resources and first head of the Genetic Resources Center. From 2001 until his retirement in 2010, he served as IRRI’s Director for Program Planning and Communications. He has over 40 years research experience, with more than 125 scientific papers and book chapters on genetic resources conservation, evaluation and use, and biosystematics, as well as pre-breeding, agronomy, and plant pathology. He is author/co-editor of four books on genetic resources, the most recent (in 2014) about genetic resources and climate change. He has a BSc (botany and geography, 1970) from the University of Southampton, and MSc (1971, genetic resources) and PhD (1975, potato biosystematics) degrees from The University of Birmingham.