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Gene Hettel

  • Editor and head, Communication and Publications Services
  • International Rice Research Institute
  • 1PublicationsNumber of items in Gene's My Publications folder on Mendeley.
  • 7Followers


As head of Communication and Publications Services (CPS) at IRRI since 1997, Gene Hettel—award-winning writer, editor, and photographer—leads a 20-member team of communication specialists who conceptualize and produce information materials about IRRI and its research. CPS aims to efficiently provide more people with access to information resources in various print formats, supplemented by audio, video, photography, and the Web. In the last 16 years, Gene has been involved in many facets of communication at the Institute, including science writing, editing, and publishing; multimedia and video production; photography; printing; and product distribution. He has been responsible for IRRI’s presence on the World Wide Web since the Institute’s first Web site went online in 1996. Beginning in 1999, he led the digitization of IRRI’s publications and photographs, which ultimately led to the wide availability of these on Google Book Search and flickr, respectively. In 2008, he started to build IRRI’s presence on YouTube, which currently has more than 320 videos that have accumulated more than 303,000 views as of March 2011. Gene championed IRRI’s Creative Commons Policy, adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2006, for distributing the Institute’s information products and facilitating the dissemination of rice knowledge and technology. He has given several international presentations, including in Taiwan, on promoting this concept of making information freely available to all for unrestricted use in the digital age. In 2005 (five years in advance of IRRI’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2010), Gene began an oral history project to preserve various accounts of and interpretations of Institute’s rich history and legacy on videotape. To date, he has logged more than 100 hours of interviews with nearly 60 pioneers, ranging from IRRI’s early researchers, to others recently retired, to researchers’ spouses and children, to its research partners, and to farmers themselves. A 12-part series has been published in Rice Today magazine. Full interview transcripts with links and video clips are also available. See He continues to conduct interviews since many of IRRI’s historical figures have many stories and insights that have not yet been captured. Gene and his CPS team work with other communication professionals across IRRI to help deliver a full compliment of communication services to the Institute.

Recent publications

  • Agricultural News in Ohio Newspapers

    • Gene P. Hettel

Professional experience

Editor and head, Communication and Publications Services

International Rice Research Institute

June 1997 - Present

Senior Science Editor-Writer, Communication and Publications Services

International Rice Research Institute

January 1995 - June 1997(2 years)

Science Writer-Editor, Wheat Program

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

October 1986 - January 1995(8 years)

Communications Specialist (animal science, horticulture, and veterinary medicine), Cooperative Exten

Iowa State University

August 1980 - September 1986(6 years)

Research News Editor, Department of Public Information

Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), The Ohio State University

August 1973 - June 1980(7 years)


M.A. Journalism

The Ohio State University

January 1978 - June 1980(2 years)

B.S. Agriculture

The Ohio State University

October 1969 - June 1973(4 years)

Followers (7)

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Following (3)