Dr. William D. Dar is a champion of the poor especially the small farmers, fisherfolks and agripreneurs. His servant leadership, guided by solid and enunciated principles of food security, has bestowed laurels such as the “Lifetime Achievers Award” during the Asia Leaders Award 2020, “Lifetime Contributor Award” by the Asia CEO Awards, and “Presidential Award” accorded by the University of the Philippines Los Baños Alumni Association.
Earlier in 1988, he was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines. In 2016, Dr. Dar received “The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award” in cognizance of his servant-leadership, which was instrumental in transforming the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) from a struggling institute to one of the top performing centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). In his 15 years of outstanding achievements as Director General of ICRISAT, he championed and institutionalized an overarching strategy called Inclusive MarketOriented Development (IMOD), to which the farmers became active participants for their own welfare. At present, he is advocating the same strategy in pursuit of inclusive agribusiness in the Philippines.
Prior to his international stint, he was a distinctive Professor 6 at Benguet State University (BSU) and became Vice President for Ramped in 1985-1987. Dr. Dar’s expertise in government service started when he became the founding Director of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) in 1987- 1994. Afterwards, he served as Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) in 1994-1998, and later appointed as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) under President Joseph Estrada Administration in 1998-1999. During his term as DA Secretary, the Philippine agriculture achieved a remarkable 9.6% growth, which has never been achieved until today.
In 2014, he founded the InangLupa Movement Inc. that advocates and calls action for agricultural modernization and rural industrialization anchored on inclusiveness, science-based, resilient, and market-oriented development. Dr. Dar reprised his role as Agriculture Secretary in 2019, this time under the President Rodrigo Duterte Administration, with the vision of a food-secure and resilient Philippines with empowered and prosperous farmers and fisherfolk. He is pushing for the transformation of Philippine agriculture thru the OneDA Reform Agenda with four major pillars: consolidation, modernization, industrialization, and professionalization.
Secretary William Dar’s formidable accomplishments is a result of his high standard for academic excellence. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from the Mountain State Agricultural College (MSAC), now BSU, in 1973; Master of Science in Agronomy from MSAC in 1976, and Doctor of Philosophy in Horticulture from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB) in 1980. Cognizant of his leadership and laurels, he was awarded ten (10) doctorate degrees honoris causa by various higher educational institutions in the country.
Behind the success of Dr. Dar, are his wife Beatriz Meria Dar and four children – May, William Jr (+), Celeste and Christine, who served as his inspiration.