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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

March 2, 2021

Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab Collaborator Appointed Advisor to the National Council of Cambodia

Submitted by Layne Wilson

Lyda Hok (top left) at the official appointment as a Member of Advisory Board for NCSTI

The Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition (CE SAIN) in Cambodia was established by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification (SIIL) at Kansas State University (KSU) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Lyda Hok, the director of the CE SAIN and faculty member of the Royal University of Agriculture, has been appointed as Advisor to the National Council of Science, Technology and Innovation (NCSTI) with the rank equivalent to Undersecretary of State in Cambodia.

Vara Prasad, director of the SIIL and university distinguished professor at KSU, said “This appointment of Dr. Hok as Advisor to the NCSTI is an amazing accomplishment. It is always a proud moment to watch our scholars and students taking up leadership and advocacy roles. I am confident in Dr. Hok’s work, research and commitment as he takes up this new appointment.”

The Royal Government of Cambodia restructured the NCSTI, formerly named the National Science and Technology Council. The Senior Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI), His Excellency Kitti Settha Pandita Cham Prasidh, is the chair and a few Ministers from various ministries in Cambodia serve as vice chairmen of the NCSTI.

Within the NCSTI, there is an Advisory Board and Hok was appointed as one of the members. Currently there is one chair, one vice chair and 21 members on the Advisory Board of the NCSTI. The main goal of NCSTI is to promote the development of science, technology and innovation sector in Cambodia.

“This appointment as the Advisor to NCSTI is truly an honor to receive,” Hok said. “I am excited to fulfill my duties and join the efforts to contribute to the NCSTI strategies to harness science, technology and innovation and to further accelerate the sustainable development in Cambodia.”

Manuel Reyes, research professor for the SIIL and coordinator of CE SAIN mentioned how Hok’s new appointment as the Advisor to NCSTI is a testament to the capacity building of the SIIL over the years.

“One of the main themes of the SIIL is to increase the capacity building of students, researchers and others who are involved in our programs,” Reyes said. “Dr. Hok is a prime example of that work. He completed his Ph.D. in December 2014, and by 2016 through SIIL he became the Director of CE SAIN and now is an Advisory Board member of NCSTI with the appointment signed by the Cambodian King, Norodom Sihamoni. It is fantastic to see this because now his title at such a young age is His Excellency Dr. Lyda Hok.”

Hok has experience in teaching, research and coordinating various agriculture-related research and development projects in Cambodia. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia; Master of Science in Agronomy from Khon Kaen University, Thailand; and Ph.D. in Energy and Environmental Systems from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, the United States.