India's President, Shrimati Pratibha Patil presents the Padma Shri award to Joseph Hulse.

Published at (

Former IDRC Vice-President Receives High Honour from India

Canadian biochemist Joseph H. Hulse, a former vice-president of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), has received the Padma Shri award, one of India’s highest civilian honours for distinguished service and excellence.

The award, announced on January 25 on the eve of India’s 59th Republic Day, was conferred by India's President Shrimati Pratibha Patil at a ceremony on May 5.

Professor Hulse has enjoyed a long and illustrious career, both in academia and international development. He worked at IDRC from 1970 to 1987 as a program director and later as Vice-President of Research.

He has also served as President of the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chair of the Canadian Freedom From Hunger Committee, Assistant Director of Nutrition at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, and President of the International Union of Food Science and Technology.

He is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester, the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore, India, and the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Tamil Nadu, India.

In 2006, he was elected Fellow for Life of India’s National Academy of Sciences.

Hulse is the author of the 2007 book Sustainable Development at Risk: Ignoring the Past, co-published by IDRC and Foundation Books. Long-time IDRC partner M.S. Swaminathan presided over the September 2007 launch of the book in New Delhi, where he remarked on the timeliness of the publication for researchers and others seeking to promote sustainable, pro-poor development.

Professor Hulse is among seven foreigners on this year’s Padma awards list, which also contains a posthumous honour for New Zealand’s Everest hero, Sir Edmund Hillary. Former IDRC Chair and Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs Flora MacDonald received the Padma Shri award in 2004.