Fazle Hasan Abed
Founder & Chairperson
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed is the founder and chairperson of BRAC. After Bangladesh’s war for independence, he established BRAC to rehabilitate returning refugees in a remote area in northeastern Bangladesh. Under his leadership, within four decades, BRAC grew to become the largest development organization in the world. Sir Fazle has received numerous awards for his achievements in leading BRAC, including the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award, the Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award, and Gates Award for Global Health. In 2010, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George by the British crown. He is a founding member of Ashoka’s Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and was appointed in 2010 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Eminent Persons Group for the Least Developed Countries. Sir Fazle was educated in both Dhaka and Glasgow Universities.
Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for the Government of Nigeria. He is a distinguished agricultural development expert with experience in leading successful agricultural programs across Africa. Prior to his ministerial appointment, he was the vice president of Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); principal economist for the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture;associate director at the Rockefeller Foundation; and president of the African Association of Agricultural Economists. Dr. Adesina was also appointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon as one of the 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals. He has received many awards for his work, including the YARA prize for his leadership in pioneering innovative approaches for improving farmers' access to agricultural inputs in Africa. He received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ife and his PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University.
Concern’s Special Representative for Hunger
Mr. Tom Arnold is the Special Representative for Hunger for Concern Worldwide. He served as CEO of Concern Worldwide from 2001 to 2013. He was previously assistant secretary general and chief economist in the Department of Agriculture and Food in Ireland; chairman of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Committee for Agriculture; and served on the UN Millennium Project’s Hunger Task Force. Mr. Arnold has also worked for the European Commission for 10 years, three of which were in Africa, and served as a governor and director of the Irish Times, Ireland’s leading newspaper. He currently serves as the chair of the Convention on the Irish Constitution. Mr. Arnold is a graduate in Agricultural Economics from University College Dublin, and has master’s degrees from the Catholic University of Louvain and Trinity College Dublin.
Cochair, Global Agricultural Development Initiative
Chair, Girls in Rural Economies
Ms. Catherine Bertini is a senior fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She serves as cochair of the Council's Global Agricultural Development Initiative and chair of its Girls in Rural Economies project. Ms. Bertini is also a professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at Syracuse University. She previously served as UN under secretary-general for Management, UN security coordinator, and as executive director of the UN World Food Programme, the world's largest international humanitarian agency, where she was credited with assisting hundreds of millions of victims of wars and natural disasters around the world. Ms. Bertini is the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate and serves on the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security for the UN's Committee on World Food Security & Nutrition. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the State University of New York at Albany.
Chair of the Governing Board of Agreenium
Marion Guillou is Chair of the Governing Board of Agreenium. Prior to this, she served as CEO and director general of INRA and director general of Food and Nutrition at the French Ministry of Agriculture. Dr. Guillou is a member of the CGIAR Consortium Board and chairs the Governing Board of the Joint Programming Initiative “Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change” and the board of Ecole Polytechnique. Dr. Guillou holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from Ecole Polytechnique and is a general engineer from the French Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering. She is a member of the French Academy of Agriculture.
Franz Heidhues is professor (em.) at the University of Hohenheim, Center for Tropical Agriculture in Stuttgart, Germany. He conducts research on poverty, rural development, and natural resource management; food and nutrition security; and rural finance, primarily in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining the University of Hohenheim, Franz Heidhues worked at the World Bank. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Muenster, Germany.
Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources
Government of Rwanda
Dr. Agnes Kalibata is the minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources for the Government of Rwanda. She previously served as permanent secretary in the same ministry, and as a scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. She serves on the boards of the International Fertilizer Development Center and the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry. Dr. Kalibata received her B.Sc and M.Sc from Makerere University, and her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Director, Eurasian Center for Food Security
Moscow State University
Dr. Sergey Kiselev is the director of the Eurasian Center for Food Security and professor at Moscow State University. He also serves as advisor to the Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation. Previously, he managed and coordinated projects as a Secretary of State at the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and led several teams and ministerial groups in the preparation of legislative acts, formulating laws, regulation and undertaking amendments to existing laws. He was also responsible for the coordination of ministerial work with the State Duma and the Council of Federation between 1997 and 2001. Dr. Kiselev is a member of a variety of professional bodies and has published a number of articles and papers. He graduated from the Moscow State University with a PhD in Economics.
John Agyekum Kufuor
Republic of Ghana
His Excellency John Kufuor was the president of the Republic of Ghana from 2001-2009. During his presidency, he served as chairperson of the African Union. He was chairman of the Economic Community of West African States for two terms and oversaw the successful negotiations that brought peace and major post-war reconstruction to Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Liberia. Since leaving office, he has assumed the presidency of the Alliance for Africa working in the health and education sectors on the continent, and has been serving as World Food Programme Ambassador of the UN against Hunger. He serves on the boards of the Netherlands Development Cooperation, Brenthurst Foundation of South Africa, and Leon Sullivan Foundation in the United States. He was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn, London, and studied at the University of Oxford, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics.
David M. Malone
United Nations University
Dr. David M. Malone is the sixth rector of the United Nations University, holding the rank of under-secretary-general of the United Nations. He previously served as president of Canada’s International Development Research Centre; ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations; director general of the Policy, International Organizations and Global Issues Bureaus within Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; and president of the International Peace Academy (now International Peace Institute). Dr. Malone has published extensively on peace and security issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree from l’École des Hautes Études Commerciales, a master’s in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; and a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University.
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
Mr. Peter McPherson is the president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the oldest higher education association in the United States comprised of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and state university systems. Mr. McPherson is the former chair of the Board of Directors of Dow Jones and Company, the founding co-chair of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa; and chair of the Boards of both IFDC and HarvestPlus. Prior to joining APLU, he was president of Michigan State University; deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury, serving as one of the principal negotiators for the Canadian Free Trade Agreement; administrator of USAID; and special assistant to President Gerald Ford in the White House. Mr. McPherson has been honored with many awards including the U.S. Presidential Certificate of Outstanding Achievement and the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Leadership Award. He received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, an MBA from Western Michigan University, and a JD from American University.
Professor and Founding Director
Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative, Cornell University
Dr. Prabhu Pingali is professor in Cornell University’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the founding director of the Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative. Prior to joining Cornell in June 2013, he served as deputy director of the Agriculture Development Division of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has three decades of experience analyzing global food, agriculture and development policy and was director of the Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN. He has served as director of the Economics Program at CIMMYT; agricultural economist at the International Rice Research Institute; and economist within the World Bank’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department. Dr. Pingali has authored ten books and over 100 referred journal articles and book chapters on food policy, technological change, productivity growth and resource management in the developing world. He has received several international awards and recognitions for his work, and is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, American Agricultural Economics Association, and the International Association of Agricultural Economists. He earned a PhD in Economics from North Carolina State University.
H.E. Babcock Professor of Food and Nutrition Policy
Dr. Per Pinstrup-Andersen is the H. E. Babcock Professor of Food, Nutrition and Public Policy, the J. Thomas Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship, professor of Applied Economics at Cornell University, and professor of Agricultural Economics at Copenhagen University. He is past chairman of the Science Council of CGIAR and past president of the American Agricultural Economics Association. He served 10 years as IFPRI’s director general and seven years as department head at IFPRI. He also served as an economist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture and a distinguished professor at Wageningen University. He is the 2001 World Food Prize Laureate and the recipient of several awards for his research and communication of research results. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Agricultural Economics Association. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Danish Agricultural University, and a master’s degree and PhD from Oklahoma State University.
Dr. Hans-Joachim Preuß is the managing director of GIZ. He held various positions throughout his career in Africa and at GTZ Head Office in Eschborn, including as a member of the Corporate Development Unit. He has also worked as research associate at the Centre for Regional Development Research at Justus Liebig University in Giessen; and both head of the Programmes and Projects Department and secretary general and manager director at Welthungerhilfe. Dr. Preuß acts as the deputy chair of the Peter Hesse Foundation and is also on the Advisory Committee on International Programmes at the German Church Development Service (EED); the Board of the German-African Business Association; the Board of Trustees of Welthungerhilfe; and the Advisory Board of the German foreign and security policy quarterly Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik. Dr. Preuß received a degree in agricultural science at Giessen, followed by postgraduate studies at the German Development Institute.
Chief Executive Officer
United Phosphorus Limited
Mr. Jaidev Rajnikant Shroff is the global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Uniphos Enterprises Limited (UPL), responsible for managing new ventures and products, and international business and strategic alliances. He is also the director of Uniphos Agro Industries, Uniphos Enterprises Ltd., and Advanta India Ltd, among many other ventures. He previously served as director of Nirlon Ltd. and Mount Everest Mineral Water Ltd. Mr. Shroff is a graduate in chemistry from Bombay University and was named as being among the top 40 most influential figures in the chemicals industry worldwide.
President and CEO
Helen Keller International
Ms. Kathy Spahn is the president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Helen Keller International (HKI), responsible for all operations, programs, finances, communications, and public policy initiatives of HKI. Prior to joining HKI in 2005, Ms. Spahn was president and executive director of ORBIS, a global non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of blindness in the developing world, and executive director of God’s Love We Deliver, a New York-based AIDS service organization. Ms. Spahn serves as board chair of InterAction, and board member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and The Bernadotte Foundation for Children’s Eyecare. She is a founding board member of both the North America chapter of IAPB and the Association of Nutrition Services Agencies, and a founding partner of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control. She also serves on the Partnership Council of GAIN.
Emeritus Chairman and Chief Mentor
M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation
Dr. M.S. Swaminathan is the emeritus chairman and chief mentor at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India. He also serves as the UNESCO chair in Ecotechnology. He has been acclaimed by TIME magazine as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the 20th century, alongside Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. Swaminathan is widely referred to as the scientific leader of the Green Revolution; his advocacy of sustainable agriculture leading to an evergreen revolution makes him a world leader in sustainable food security. He has served as chairman of both the UN Science Advisory Committee and the FAO Council, and president of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. His many awards include the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the Albert Einstein World Science Award, and the first World Food Prize in 1987. Dr. Swaminathan earned degrees in zoology, agricultural science, genetics, and plant breeding at Maharajas College, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and a PhD from the Plant Breeding Institute of the University of Cambridge’s School of Agriculture.
Executive Managing Board Director
Royal DSM N.V
Mr. Stephan Tanda is the executive managing board director for Royal DSM, where he is responsible for the Nutrition Cluster. He started his career with DuPont, where he held increasingly responsible positions in Europe and the United States, including director of Corporate Planning and vice president of Strategic Planning and New Business Development, Agriculture, Nutrition and Bio-Based Materials for DuPont. He also served as president of both Protein Technologies International, Inc.; The Solae Company, an innovative food ingredient Joint Venture between DuPont and Bunge; and Freudenberg Nonwovens, a global group of industrial businesses. Mr. Tanda has also held supervisory directorships and other positions including chairman of EuropaBio and board member of both the Swiss Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry Association and Bio, the US Biotechnology Industry Organization. He studied polymer engineering at the University of Leoben, Austria, and Business Administration at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Joachim von Braun
Center for Development Research (ZEF)
Dr. Joachim von Braun joined ZEF as professor and director of the Department for Economic and Technological Change at the University of Bonn. He was also director of ZEF during its foundation phase 1997-2002. Previous to his current post, he was the director general of IFPRI from 2002 to 2009. Dr. von Braun has also served as president of the International Association of Agricultural Economists and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He is vice president of the NGO Welthungerhilfe and chair of the Bioeconomy Council of the German Federal Government. His awards include the Bertebos Prize of the Swedish Academy of Agricultural Sciences for his research on food security and the Justus von Liebig Prize for his research on international nutrition. He has a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from the University of Göttingen, Germany.
Senior Advisor, Institute of Nutrition
Dr. Emorn Wasantwisut is vice president for International Relations at Mahidol University and senior advisor at Mahidol’s Institute of Nutrition. She also serves as associate professor in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has served as coordinator of the WHO-SEARO South-East Asia Nutrition Research-cum-Action Network and as committee member of the "Nutrition and Immunity" for International Development program for the International Union of Nutritional Science. Dr. Wasantwisut serves on many international bodies including the Council of the IUNS, the Scientific Advisory Council of the International Obesity TaskForce and the Steering Committee of USAID’s Micronutrient Forum. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Chulalongkorn University, she completed a master’s degree in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at Brigham Young and a PhD at MIT.