Dr. Caron's current role as the Vice President responsible for International Affairs at the University of Montpellier involves playing a leadership role, guiding many scientific and technical personnel across departments and faculties to consolidate the international ambitions of a university with 50,000 students and 5,000 staff. As the International Director with the Montpellier University of Excellence, he is also responsible for designing and championing a shared organizational framework to ensure the convergence and international visibility and attractiveness of a heterogeneous alliance of 16 regional research and higher education organizations, which benefited in 2017 from a EUR 560 million endowment from the French government, and for allocating the resources to stimulate taking such a pathway. As the President of Agropolis International, he is responsible for ensuring the convergence, visibility, and influence of a community of 42 member institutions, including academic institutions, local governments, enterprises, and civil society organizations located in the Montpellier area and active in the field of agriculture, food, biodiversity, and environment.
A qualified veterinary practitioner, Dr. Caron spent much of his earlier career with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), a French public institution active in agricultural research in over 100 countries, including six years as the Director General for Research and Strategy. He has been extensively published. He served two terms as the Chair of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, the science-policy interface of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), which aims to facilitate policy debates and inform policy-making by providing independent, comprehensive, and evidence-based analysis and advice at the request of CFS, coordinating the development of six reports. He has recently been appointed as a member of the Scientific Group for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.
Dr. Caron brings a deep understanding of the interface between science and policy and leadership experience in steering, negotiating, and forging alliances across groups with diverging views and perspectives, including multi-institutional networks, the private sector, government, and civil society. He is also a certified mediator. He has held no formal role within the CGIAR System, but has been instrumental in developing and strengthening partnership between CIRAD and CGIAR, meaning he offers a valuable range of wellinformed external perspectives and insights.