Ismahane Elouafi’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

Intro Research biosaline agriculture
Is Scientist 
From Morocco 
Type Biology 
Gender female
Birth August 1971, Youssoufia, Morocco
Age: 49 years

Ismahane Elouafi is Director General of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA). Ranked among the 20 most influential women in science in the Islamic world, she is internationally known for her work on promoting neglected and underutilized crops, use of non-fresh water in agriculture, and empowerment of women in science.

She has nearly two decades of experience in agricultural research and development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

She has been leading ICBA, based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, since 2012.


In 2006-2007, Dr. Elouafi served as Senior Adviser to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Branch in Ottawa, Canada, where she led the development of a new peer-review-based internal process for AAFC research.

In May 2007, she joined the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as the National Manager of Plant Research Section. In 2010, she was promoted to Director of Research Management and Partnerships Division at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and developed novel partnership models with Genome Canada, scientific departments in Canada and the private sector.

In 2012, Dr. Elouafi was appointed Director General of ICBA, where she has overseen the development of the center’s strategy for 2013-2023.

In her current role, she initiated a flagship program to empower Arab women scientists working in agricultural research and development called Awla, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Islamic Development Bank and CGIAR Research Program on Wheat.

Dr. Elouafi sits on the boards of the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI).

She is also a member of strategy experts panels of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Global Commission on Adaptation.

Previously, she had also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations, including the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).


Initially trained as a fighter pilot at the Aviation High School in Morocco, Dr. Elouafi went on to attend the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, Morocco, where she earned a B.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences in 1993 and an M.Sc. in Genetics & Plant Breeding in 1995.

In 2001, she received a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Cordoba, Spain.


Dr. Elouafi is a recipient of several prestigious awards and accolades, including the National Reward Medal by His Majesty Mohamed VI, the King of Morocco (2014), and the Excellence in Science Award from the Global Thinkers Forum (2014).

In 2014, Muslim Science ranked her among the 20 Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World under the Shapers Category.

In 2014-2016, CEO-Middle East Magazine listed Dr. Elouafi among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women in Science.

In 2016, she won the prestigious Arab Women of the Year Award by the London Arabia Organisation for Achievements in Science.

Personal life

She has two daughters and is a dual national of Canada and Morocco. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.