Dryden, a managing director of New York-based Wolfensohn & Company, an investment firm, will begin the new post on Feb. 1. He replaces Dr. Rajiv Shah, who was sworn in Thursday as the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
At Wolfensohn, which was founded by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, Dryden focused on investments in alternative energies. He formerly headed Emergent Genetics, which develops and markets seeds. Emergent, the third-largest cotton-seed company in the U.S., was acquired by Monsanto in 2005 in a $300 million deal.
Dryden has also been president and chief executive of Agrigenetics, a seed company now part of Dow AgroSciences, and was founder of Big Stone, a private venture and development company. His career began as an analyst with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Dryden has 25 years of experience as an investor and entrepreneur in the life sciences. He has served on a number of international boards and commissions focused on agriculture development, economic development and food security.
Until June 2006, Sam served as the Chair and Corporate CEO of Emergent Genetics, Inc. - a global leader in the development and marketing of biotechnology-enhanced seed products. Sam began his career as an Analyst with the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, with responsibilities for modeling and forecasting selected sectors of the US economy. He was then employed by the Union Carbide Corporation from 1974 to 1980, with responsibilities for various aspects of new corporate ventures.
In 1980, Sam led the spin-out of Union Carbide's biotechnologies and related business operations and was subsequently co-founder, President and CEO of Agrigenetics Corporation. The company grew to become one of the world's largest seed enterprises and was acquired in 1985 -- it is now part of Dow AgroSciences. Following the sale of Agrigenetics, Sam founded and was President of Big Stone Inc. -- a private venture investment and development company focused on the life sciences.
Sam is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and serves on its Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property and American Competitiveness. Sam is a native of eastern Kentucky, received his B.A. degree in economics from Emory University in 1973.
Dryden, who was 67 years old, died on August 10 2017. Bill and Melinda Gates said that a recent illness forced him to step down from the foundation. Dryden suffered from multiple system atrophy, a Parkinson’s-like disease
Dryden’s widow is documentary filmmaker Sandy McLeod, who was nominated for an Oscar for her 2003 film Asylum.more » « less