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Hank Fitzhugh receives Texas A&M Outstanding Alumni Award

Henry A 'Hank' Fitzhugh Jr, who received a doctorate in animal sciences from Texas A&M University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1961, was awarded the college's Outstanding Alumni in an awards ceremony held on 20 May 2022 in College Station, Texas.


Photo credit: Sam Craft/Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications

Above: Hank (right) receives his Outstanding Alumni Award from Mark Hussey, interim vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and llfe sciences at Texas A&M University.

Fitzhugh has worked for over 50 years to decrease poverty and increase sustainability and scientific excellence in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Fitzhugh earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1961, a master’s degree in meat science in 1963 and a doctorate in animal breeding in 1965, all from Texas A&M. After a postdoctoral fellowship, he returned to Texas A&M as a faculty member. He then spent many years serving in positions of increasing responsibility in animal science research and development organizations.

Among his many roles, Fitzhugh helped lead the International Livestock Centre for Africa, ILCA, from 1990-1994. As director general and deputy director general, he managed the research of multidisciplinary teams to improve the productivity and sustainability of African livestock systems. When ILCA merged with a veterinary science organization to create the International Livestock Research Institute, ILRI, Fitzhugh was chosen as the new organization’s first director general.

Fitzhugh led ILRI from 1995-2001 to meet its global mandate for livestock research, developing interdisciplinary biological, agroecological and economic research to improve the productivity and sustainability of livestock production systems.


Photo credit: Sam Craft/Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications

Above: Hank delivers remarks at the award ceremony, held in College Station, Texas.

In his next role as director of the International Fund for Agricultural Research, he fostered scientific excellence in agriculture in Africa and South Asia. Fitzhugh also led a project to increase Ethiopian meat and livestock exports, which was managed by the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and Texas A&M University System and funded by USAID. In 2012, he became a senior fellow at the Borlaug Institute and an adjunct professor for the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M.


Photo credit: Sam Craft/Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications

Above: Hank with (left) Joe Straus, a partner with Hank's father in Texas cattle operations, and (right) with Elsa Murano, chair of the ILRI Board of Trustees and associate vice chancellor for strategic academic initiatives at Agriculture & Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

For his many contributions, Fitzhugh received the American Society of Animal Science Bouffalt International Animal Agriculture Award and the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development Special Service Award.