||We will continue to invest the time and energy needed to increase the visibility of agriculture (and its research) on the political landscape, as well as to assure the continued viability of CIMMYT's own research program, not as an end in itself, but rather because the future welfare of so many people in the developing world depends on it. Finally, we have implemented a number of important organizational changes during the past two years, all of which are detailed in our Medium Term Plan. Most notable among them is our shift to a true multidisciplinary, project-based approach to managing our work. This strategy, which will be fully implemented in 1998, will underlie virtually all of our activities. We have organized CIMMYT's research into 21 projects. Eight of these are global in scope (and are inclusive of our mainstream genetic improvement, economics, and training activities); five are regional in nature, providing the mechanism by which outputs from our global projects are refined and transferred to developing countries; seven Frontier Projects support the above, focusing on higher risk research and involving the application of new approaches in science and collaboration; and one Special Project centers on wheat research and development for the Newly Independent States. We have also been working with outside consultants and professional facilitators to assess - and wherever necessary to modify - the influence of gender on our work environment. Our objective here is and will remain the creation of a more equitable and more productive workplace. CIMMYT staff have enthusiastically embraced this initiative, and we are making progress in a number of related areas, from a more transparent (and professional) staff classification and compensation system all the way through to more effective ways of evaluating the effectiveness and productivity of our personnel. All in all, it has been a fast-moving first couple of years for me in CIMMYT. I am extremely proud to be associated with this great institution, with its traditions of service to the poor and its forward-looking and highly competent staff. The future is indeed full of uncertainties, but of one thing our growing number of partners can be sure: we will do all in our power to continue providing the best products and services possible - secure genetic resources, new varieties, better methodologies, new scientific information, and high quality training.