Peter Cornelius of AlpInvest Partners Joins BTI Board

by | May 4, 2016

CorneliusPeter Cornelius, the Managing Director of AlpInvest Partners is one of the newest members of the Boyce Thompson Institute Board of Directors.

Cornelius brings extensive experience in global economic development and investing and will lend this expertise to many critical areas of the institute’s management.

“There’s a huge amount of talent at the institute, at all levels,” said Cornelius. “And of course, BTI is affiliated with Cornell University, so I had little doubt in my mind that this would be a very interesting position.”

Cornelius first became familiar with BTI through friend, colleague and longtime BTI board member Lourdes Casanova, Academic Director of the Emerging Markets Institute at the S.C. Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. Cornelius is conducting research with Casanova and her husband, Soumitra Dutta, Dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell, and Casanova encouraged him to join the BTI board.

After attending his first board meeting last fall, Cornelius said he is fascinated by BTI’s research and excited to have the opportunity to be part of the institute’s governance structure. As a leading business mind and economist, Cornelius is well-versed in corporate governance and notes whether one is managing a country or an institution that good governance is vital.

Cornelius studied at the London School of Economics, received his doctorate in economics at the University of Göttingen and later was a visiting scholar at Harvard University. Early in his career, he spent seven years at the International Monetary Fund, a global organization that works to promote sustainable economic growth and to reduce poverty. He has since held chief economist positions at Deutsche Bank, the World Economic Forum and Shell. In 2005, he joined AlpInvest Partners, a global investment firm, where he leads economic and strategic research to help clients invest in private equity through funds providing buyout and venture capital.

Cornelius has joined the BTI Board’s Investment and Finance Committee and Audit Committee. He hopes that, in light of his professional experience, he can contribute to the management of the institute’s endowment.

He notes that private funding for scientific research plays a bigger role in the U.S. than in Europe. Though Cornelius currently resides New York City, he is originally from Germany and has worked on both sides of the Atlantic.

Cornelius is deeply interested in the roles of agriculture and the global food supply in alleviating poverty.

“I believe that BTI, with its research, is a very important part of that overall equation,” he said.

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