John E. Parkerson, Jr., director of the Office of International Programs at Clayton State University, takes an activist role in building international relationships.
In addition to directing Clayton State’s many and varied international programs, Parkerson is also Honorary Consul of Hungary for the states of Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. And, he also serves as secretary of the board of The Tropics Foundation, the funding arm of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE). CATIE’s mission, which targets impoverished communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, is to reduce rural poverty by promoting competitive and sustainable natural resource management, through higher education, research and technical cooperation. Parkerson, and his colleagues on The Tropics Foundation, are currently involved in fund-raising in support of CATIE’s center in Costa Rica.
According to Tropics Foundation President Wayne Reece, sustainable agriculture research centers have proven instrumental in alleviating poverty in developing countries in the Americas.
CATIE was formerly the field office of the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Sciences created in 1942 by the Pan American Union (now the Organization of American States). CATIE was officially established in 1973 to serve as a graduate school, research institute and training center dedicated to rural poverty reduction through promoting sustainable agriculture and natural resource management.
Parkerson is also familiar with fund-raising foundations, since he is a past president of the board of trustees of the Clayton State University Foundation.
A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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