The World Food Prize Foundation

Council of Advisors

The World Food Prize Council of Advisors is a body of distinguished leaders and experts that provides the Foundation Chairman and its President with recommendations and insights on how best to continue to advance Dr. Norman Borlaug’s vision for the World Food Prize—that it become a permanent international entity recognized as the “Nobel Prize for Agriculture,” and, as such, that it bring people of diverse backgrounds together in the common goal of uplifting our planet’s most suffering and hungry people.

Appointed by the World Food Prize Board of Directors, the Council members include former heads of state and government ministers, and leaders in public and private food and agricultural science, education, research and policy.

The Council meets formally during World Food Prize Week in Des Moines in mid-October, and its members are consulted informally by the Foundation throughout the year. 

Paul E. Schickler - Chair

Chairman, Council of Advisors

Paul E. Schickler is the current Chairman of the World Food Prize Foundation's Council of Advisors. From 2007 to 2017, Mr. Schickler was president of DuPont Pioneer. In this role, he continued to expand Pioneer's global business with a focus on innovation that improved local productivity and profitability of farmers... [ View ]

Hon. Jimmy Carter - Honorary

Hon. Jimmy Carter was born in Plains, Georgia. He attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He served in the Navy as a submariner in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rose to the rank of lieutenant. Mr. Carter has... [ View ]

H.E. Joaquim Chissano - Honorary

H.E. Joaquim Chissano was born in a remote village in the Gaza province of Mozambique. He studied medicine at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, but because of his political activism he was forced to flee to Tanzania before he could finish his degree. H.E. Chissano was a founding member... [ View ]

Margaret Catley-Carlson

President, Canadian International Development Agency (Retired)

Ms. Margaret Catley-Carlson was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. She received her B.A. from the University of British Colombia. She has worked in numerous positions throughout her career including: Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF in New York; President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); President of the Population Council... [ View ]

Dr. W. Ronnie Coffman

Director, International Programs College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University

Dr. W. Ronnie Coffman was born in Kentucky. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees at the University of Kentucky and his Ph.D. at Cornell University. From 1971 to 1980, he served as a plant breeder at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and as an adjunct... [ View ]

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta

Chair, Laureate Selection Committee

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta is a Distinguished Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University. He received the 2009 World Food Prize for his sorghum hybrids that are resistant to drought and the devastating weed Striga. His work dramatically increased the production and availability of the food supply for hundreds of millions of... [ View ]

Dr. Shenggen Fan

Professor, China Agricultural University

Dr. Shenggen Fan (樊胜根) is a Professor at China Agricultural University. He served as Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) from 2009 through 2019. Dr. Fan joined IFPRI in 1995 as a research fellow, conducting extensive research on pro-poor development strategies in Africa, Asia, and the Middle... [ View ]

Prof. Louise Fresco

President, Wageningen University

Dr. Louise Fresco was born in Meppel, the Netherlands. Her graduate work in Zambia and UN volunteer services in Papua New Guinea led to further extensive international experience in Africa and Latin America. She received her Ph.D. in Tropical Crop Science from Wageningen University and then served as Professor of... [ View ]

Dr. Steven Leath

National Science Board

Over a 35 year career, Dr. Steven Leath built an extraordinarily distinguished record of leadership, research and administration at a number of leading Land Grant universities in America. Dr. Steven Leath served as the 19th President of Auburn University and the 15th President of Iowa State University. Now retired, he... [ View ]

Strive Masiyiwa

Founder and Chairman, Econet

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Chairman of the Econet Group, a pan-African telecommunications, media and technology company with operations and investments in 29 countries. Masiyiwa serves on several international boards including Unilever Plc, National Geographic Society, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations in the... [ View ]

Dr. Rachel Ruan McLean

Vice President, Ruan Companies

Dr. Rachel McLean currently serves as Vice President Community Relations for the Ruan Companies, overseeing charitable giving through the Ruan Family Foundation. Prior to this role, from 2009 to 2013, she served as Vice President of Communications for Ruan Transportation Management Systems, overseeing communications for Ruan’s 4,500 transportation and logistics... [ View ]

M. Peter McPherson

Former Administrator, USAID

M. Peter McPherson was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his B.A. in political science and M.B.A. from Michigan State University, and his J.D. from American University Law School. Mr. McPherson served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru and later held several governmental and private sector positions. Mr.... [ View ]

Dr. Purvi Mehta

Senior Advisor and Head of Agriculture for Asia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Purvi Mehta is part of the agriculture leadership team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and leads the foundation’s agriculture programs across Asia. Prior to joining the foundation, she was with the CGIAR working at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute... [ View ]

Cynthia Hardin Milligan

Dean Emeritus, College of Business Administration, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Ms. Cynthia Hardin Milligan is Dean Emeritus of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and President and CEO of Wood Stieper Capital Group. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Kellogg Company, Wells Fargo and Company, Gallup, Calvert Funds and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.... [ View ]

Dr. Elsa Murano

Director of the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University

A graduate of Florida International University in Biological Sciences, Dr. Murano received an M.S. in Anaerobic Microbiology and a Ph.D. in Food Science & Technology from Virginia Tech. She began her career as an Assistant Professor in food microbiology at Iowa State University in 1990, where she conducted research in... [ View ]

Yohei Sasakawa

Chair, Nippon Foundation

Yohei Sasakawa was born in Tokyo, Japan. He became a trustee of the Nippon Foundation in 1981, served as its President from 1989 to 2005, and assumed chairmanship in July of 2005. In 2001, Mr. Sasakawa was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the Elimination of Leprosy by the World Health Organization. Foundations... [ View ]

Dr. Ismail Serageldin

Founder and Director Emeritus, Library of Alexandria, Egypt

Dr. Ismail Serageldin is the Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), the new Library of Alexandria, inaugurated in 2002, and is currently Emeritus Librarian and a member of the Board of Trustees. He is advisor to the Egyptian Prime Minister in matters concerning culture, science and museums. He serves... [ View ]

Dr. Madhura Swaminathan

Chairperson, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation

Madhura Swaminathan is Professor and Head of the Economic Analysis Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore. She has a doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford and has worked on issues of food security, agriculture and rural development for over 25 years. She has authored ten books and numerous publications... [ View ]

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen

President, Iowa State University

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen became the 16th president of Iowa State University on Nov. 20, 2017, after a nationwide search and a unanimous vote of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The first woman to hold the university’s highest office, Dr. Wintersteen has served Iowa State for nearly 40 years... [ View ]

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