Fort Myers, Florida, June 20, 2022—ECHO, Inc., a nonprofit global development organization, today announced that Dr. Abram J. Bicksler has been selected as ECHO’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. David Erickson, who has served as President/CEO for the last seven of his 12 years at ECHO, will continue leading through August. Dr. Bicksler will be joining ECHO in early September.
Bicksler has more than 15 years of international experience, including five years of experience as Director of ECHO’s Asia Regional Impact Center from 2013-2018. Most recently, Bicksler has served as Agricultural Officer in agroecology at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy.
“Abram’s passion and strong leadership capacity are just what we need to lead ECHO into the future,” said Doug Carlson, ECHO’s Board Chairman. “Abram has shown incredible commitment over the last 10 years to improve the livelihoods of the small-scale farmers that ECHO serves through his previous roles. His ability to lead teams of talented individuals will be key to continuing the incredible growth that ECHO has seen over the last 40 years.” “I too welcome Abram” said ECHO’s current President, David Erickson, “and look forward to partnering with him in a seamless transition for the global work of ECHO.”
“I am very excited to be rejoining the ECHO team,” said Dr. Bicksler. “I learned at ECHO Asia and at FAO to appreciate our diversity of skills, experiences, and passions and to give people the freedom to use theirs to the best of their ability. I look forward to helping ECHO accomplish its vision of honoring God by empowering the undernourished with sustainable hunger solutions and propel its 40-year focus of identifying, verifying, disseminating, and monitoring innovative ideas and hunger solutions to its diverse network around the globe.”
Bicksler earned his Doctorate and Master’s degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences with a focus on sustainable cropping systems and completed his Bachelor’s degree at Taylor University in Environmental Science and Biology. As a leader and researcher, Dr. Bicksler has been published in a number of journals including: Experimental Agriculture; Agronomy for Sustainable Development; Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems; the Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education; Ecosystems and People; the International Journal of Development Research; and, the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, in addition to contributing to a number of FAO publications
While at FAO, Bicksler guided agroecology and sustainable food systems initiatives in multiple regions of the world. Before serving in Rome, Bicksler led the ECHO Asia Impact Center’s international staff team, coordinated and implemented regional networking and training events, initiated research culminating in multiple published studies, planned and began execution of the ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center, and grew the capacity of the ECHO Asia Seed Bank.
ECHO provides hope against hunger around the globe through agricultural training and resources. Working through regional impact centers in Thailand, Tanzania, and Burkina Faso, ECHO connects small-scale farmers, and those working to eliminate world hunger, with essential resources, and each other. These resources include an online knowledge base of practical information, experienced technical support, and an extensive seed bank focused on highly beneficial underutilized plants. ECHO’s International Headquarters is located in Fort Myers, FL. Visit ECHO on the Web at www.echonet.org or www.ECHOcommunity.org.