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Management Team
Dr. William S. Niebur

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Niebur joined Origin as president and CEO in April 2016. Prior to joining Origin, he served DuPont Pioneer as vice president and general manager with strategic oversight responsibility for China, East Asia and Oceania. Dr. Niebur has been in the seed business for more than three decades, beginning his career as a corn geneticist in Princeton, Ill. He went on to gain extensive global experience, first overseeing research and development while living in Europe, then returning to North America as the company's global vice president for R&D, and finally moving into business operations managing seed businesses. In 2015, Dr. Niebur was named as one of 50 people "Shaping the Future of the U.S.-China Relationship" in the Pacific Power Index, publicized by Foreign Policy Group. Dr. Niebur was instrumental in integrating technologies into plant genetics programs and was granted several patents which led to the commercialization of more than 30 branded products during his scientific career. Dr. Niebur holds both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Iowa State University. He earned his doctorate in plant breeding and cytogenetics from the University of Minnesota.


Shashank Aurora

Chief Financial Officer

Aurora began working as CFO for Origin Agritech in May 2016. Prior to his current role, Aurora held various positions at DuPont Pioneer during his 23 year tenure with the company, and most recently served as global finance director. He led numerous DuPont Pioneer entities across the globe in their financial success, including locations in Africa, Canada, China, India, Latin America and Pakistan. Aurora implemented a variety of oversight and accountability measures, increasing revenues and earning a reputation as an effective leader. Aurora has also worked with Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Nestle and Otis Elevator Company in India and has articled with A F Ferguson and Company which is a member of PricewaterhouseCoopers network. Aurora earned his Bachelor of Life Sciences degree from Nizam College, Osmania University, in Hyderabad, India, along with certifications as FCA from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and CPA from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Aurora is fluent in English and Hindi, and is familiar with Arabic. He is actively involved in several nonprofit organizations, including serving as former treasurer and current board member for the Iowa International Center, an organization that provides resources to global leaders from around the world, in addition to services for immigrants and refugees in Iowa. He also serves as a panelist in Venture Net Iowa, advising entrepreneurs on ways to enhance and develop their business in Iowa. 

Dr. Jihong Liang

Chief Technology Officer, Origin Agritech Ltd.

Vice President and General Manager, State Harvest Company a subsidiary of Origin Agritech Ltd.

Liang joined Origin as chief technology officer in August 2016. He additionally serves as vice president and general manager of the State Harvest Company, a subsidiary of Origin Agritech Ltd. Prior to his current role, Liang served as the head of Syngenta’s global rice seed research and development. He has nearly 25 years of global industry experience, leading research and development at companies such as Syngenta, Monsanto and the Monsanto-Cargill joint venture Renessen. He has held leadership positions in multiple disciplines, including technology scouting, global crop strategy planning, market research and business development in China, Singapore and the United States. Liang’s scientific work has resulted in 10 patents globally and numerous research articles published in world-class scientific journals. Liang earned his Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from China Agricultural University, doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biology from the University of Chicago and Master of Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management in St. Louis.  


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