Biography of David Hopper

W. David Hopper served as IDRC’s first president from 1970–1978. He led the establishment and growth of IDRC as an innovative organization focused on initiating, encouraging, supporting, and conducting research to promote the economic and social advancement of the Global South. He championed IDRC’s role to, as the IDRC Act says, “assist the developing regions to build up the research capabilities, the innovation skills and the institutions required to solve their problems.”

David Hopper


Hopper trained as an agricultural economist at McGill and Cornell universities and served as an economist in India with the Ford Foundation starting in 1962. He later worked as a field director with the Rockefeller Foundation’s agricultural program and he was credited as one of the “fathers” of the Green Revolution in South Asia.

After leaving IDRC in 1978, Hopper served as vice-president of the World Bank until his retirement in 1990. He passed away on November 22, 2011 in Washington, DC at the age of 84.

Learn more about the David Hopper Prizes for Leadership in Research for Development by visiting the IDRC funding page.