The World Food Prize Foundation

2019 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Ms. Jessica Adelman

Group Vice President, Corporate Affairs, The Kroger Co.

Jessica C. Adelman is Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for The Kroger Co. overseeing reputation management, internal and external communications, brand public relations, environmental sustainability and social responsibility, media, government and regulatory affairs, crisis management, cause-marketing, corporate philanthropy and community relations. These form Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact... [ View ]

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

President, African Development Bank

Akinwumi A. Adesina is the President of the African Development Bank Group. A distinguished development economist and agricultural development expert with 25 years of international experience, Adesina served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015, during which time he implemented bold policy reforms in the... [ View ]

Dr. Richard Broglie

Chief Technology Officer, Pivot Bio

Richard Broglie, Ph.D., is Chief Technology Officer at Pivot Bio. Prior to joining Pivot Bio, he held the position of Research Director for microbiome discovery in the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. In his more than 30-year career at DuPont, Rich has led various discovery programs to develop soybean and canola... [ View ]

Hon. William Brownfield

Senior Fellow, CSIS

Bill Brownfield was promoted to the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service, in 2012. For the last seven years of his career, he was Assistant Secretary for Drugs and Law Enforcement (INL), running a portfolio of more than $4 billion in 80 countries administered... [ View ]

Mr. Han Chen

CEO, ZeaKal, Inc.

Han Chen is the Co-founder and CEO of ZeaKal, Inc. Han brings with him over fourteen years of management and venture experience. He has been a pioneer in changing how agricultural trait technologies are commercialized, focusing on innovative public-private partnerships between industry, venture, and research. To date, Han has started... [ View ]

Mr. James Collins

CEO, Corteva Agriscience

James C. Collins, Jr. is Chief Operating Officer of the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont and was named the Chief Executive Officer-Elect for Corteva Agriscience™ in September 2018. He is leading the separation of Corteva from DowDuPont which is expected to occur by June 1, 2019, at which time, he will... [ View ]

Mr. Liam Condon

President, CropScience Division, Bayer AG

Liam Condon serves as a member of the Bayer AG Board of Management and as President of the Crop Science division of Bayer. Condon drives the vision for Crop Science and leads the business to shape agriculture responsibly, bringing innovation and sustainability to the forefront. Condon studied International Marketing & Languages.... [ View ]

Amb. Ertharin Cousin

Distinguished Fellow, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Ertharin Cousin is currently a Distinguished Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, Center on Food Security and Environment. Cousin co-chaired the CCGA 2019 publication, “From Scarcity to Security: Managing Water for a Nutritious Food Future”. Cousin has more than thirty years of national and international non-profit,... [ View ]

Mr. Nicholas Denis

Partner, McKinsey & Company

Nicolas Denis is a Partner at the McKinsey & Company Brussels office, which he joined in 1999. He is the global leader of the McKinsey Center for Agriculture Transformation and Food Security (MCAF), a leader of the Agriculture practice and a leader of the Sustainability practice. Denis also leads McKinsey’s... [ View ]

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta

Director, Center for Global Food Security

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 ]

Ms. Dina Esposito

Vice President of Technical Leadership, Mercy Corps

As Vice President of Technical Leadership, Dina Esposito leads Mercy Corps’ team of global technical experts who spearhead strategy and support programming in over 40 countries. Previously she served six years as the Director of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace, where she oversaw the Agency’s $2.8 billion relief and... [ View ]

Dr. Shenggen Fan

Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute

Dr. Shenggen Fan has been director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) since 2009. He is one of the Champions of Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, dedicated to cutting global food loss and waste. He serves as a member of the Lead Group for the... [ View ]

Mr. David Festa

Senior Vice President, Ecosystems, Environmental Defense Fund

David Festa is an expert on ecosystem resilience and has a long track record of bringing diverse stakeholders together to meet growing needs for food, water and infrastructure in ways that benefit the environment and the economy. As vice president of Environmental Defense Fund’s Ecosystems Program, David oversees initiatives to:... [ View ]

Ms. Erin Fitzgerald

CEO, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance

Erin Fitzgerald serves as CEO of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a farmer and rancher led organization committed to encouraging stakeholder and consumer dialogue about how food is grown and raised. Fitzgerald’s thought leadership in the sustainability space convenes food and agriculture stakeholders in an inclusive dialogue on... [ View ]

Ms. Kimberly Flowers

Director, Humanitarian Agenda & Global Food Security Project

Kimberly Flowers, a frequent speaker and author, has two decades of experience in international development, strategic communications, and public policy. She is currently leading research on agricultural development and humanitarian aid as director of the Humanitarian Agenda and the Global Food Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International... [ View ]

Prof. Dr. Ir. Louise O. Fresco

President Executive Board, Wageningen University & Research

Louise O. Fresco is the President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands. Louise combines a long academic career as a professor at Wageningen and other institutions with an extensive involvement in policy and development, with many programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America and... [ View ]

Mr. Erik Fyrwald

CEO, Syngenta

Erik Fyrwald joined Syngenta, one of the world’s leading agriculture companies, in June 2016 as president and chief executive officer. Prior to this, Mr. Fyrwald served as chief executive officer of Univar, a leading distributor of chemicals and related services, from May 2012 until May 2016. In 2008, following a 27-year... [ View ]

Mr. Elwyn Grainger-Jones

Executive Director, CGIAR System Organization

Elwyn Grainger-Jones began his career as an Overseas Development Institute (ODI) fellow in Guyana in 1993, following his studies in economics at the London School of Economics and the University of Warwick. After ODI he joined DFID, where he held various positions and worked in South East Asia leading the... [ View ]

Hon. Mark Green

Administrator, USAID

Mark Green was sworn in as administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development in August 2017. He previously served as president of the International Republican Institute. From 2011 to 2016, Green served on the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corp., a Senate-confirmed position. From 2007 to 2009,... [ View ]

Mr. Simon Groot

Founder, East-West Seed

Simon N. Groot has empowered millions of smallholder farmers in more than 60 countries to earn greater incomes through enhanced vegetable production, benefitting hundreds of millions of consumers with greater access to nutritious vegetables. As founder and leader of East-West Seed, his initiative over the past four decades has developed... [ View ]

Mr. Neal Gutterson

Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Corteva Agriscience

Neal Gutterson is Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer of Corteva Agriscience. He Joined DuPont Pioneer in 2014 as the Vice President of Ag Biotech R&D; assumed current global role in 2016. He is responsible for leading all of R&D to create innovative agricultural products, services and integrated solutions for... [ View ]

Dr. Lawrence Haddad

Executive Director, GAIN

Lawrence Haddad is a Senior Research Fellow in the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Poverty Health and Nutrition Division. He was the Director of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex from 2004 to 2014. Prior to that, he was a Division Director at IFPRI and a Lecturer in Development Economics... [ View ]

Ms. Marie Haga

Executive Director, Global Crop Diversity Trust

Marie Haga joined the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust) as Executive Director in March 2013. She had previously been member and Deputy Chair of the Crop Trust Executive Board. Ms. Haga has a background from Foreign Service as a career diplomat from politics and private sector. She has held various positions... [ View ]

Ms. Cynthia Hardin Milligan

President & CEO, Wood Stieper Capital Group

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 has served on the boards of directors of the Kellogg Company, Wells Fargo and Company, Gallup, Calvert Funds, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.... [ View ]

Mrs. Liz Hare

Executive Director, American Soybean Association's World Initiative for Soy in Human Health

Liz Hare is the Executive Director of the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) at the American Soybean Association (ASA). In this role, she leads the WISHH program’s efforts to develop agricultural value chains in emerging markets and to build U.S. soy trade through the improvement of health,... [ View ]

Mr. John Heisdorffer

Member, Board of Directors, American Soybean Association

John Heisdorffer, a soybean producer from Keota, Iowa, is chairman of the American Soybean Association (ASA). He previously served as president and vice president of ASA, and has served on the ASA Board of Directors since 2010. He also raises corn and finishes 10,000 head of hogs a year. Heisdorffer... [ View ]

Mr. Ken Isley

Administrator, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Ken Isley was appointed administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in March 2018. He leads the agency’s staff in Washington, D.C. and 93 offices around the world in expanding trade and export opportunities for American agriculture. Concurrent with his duties as FAS administrator, Isley... [ View ]

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young

Administrator, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young is the Administrator of the ARS, USDA’s chief scientific in-house research agency, and currently also the Acting Chief Scientist of USDA. Prior to joining ARS, Dr. Jacobs-Young held several scientific leadership roles to help transform USDA’s scientific coordination and create a lasting impact on the conduct, quality,... [ View ]

Prof. Molly Jahn

Principal, Jahn Research Group

Dr. Molly Jahn is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she holds appointments in the Department of Agronomy, the Nelson Institute, and the Global Health Institute. She is also appointed Joint Faculty at the US Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) where she chairs the Scientific... [ View ]

Mr. Joseph Jones

Executive Director, The Harkin Institute

Joseph currently serves as Executive Director for The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement, working to create and facilitate nonpartisan programming, experiences, research, and connectivity focused on the areas that defined the career of Senator Tom Harkin (Retired): people with disabilities, retirement security, wellness and nutrition, and labor... [ View ]

Dr. Agnes Kalibata

President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa

Dr. Kalibata joined AGRA as its President in September 2014. She leads the organization’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, inclusive, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa. Under Dr. Kalibata’s leadership,... [ View ]

Hon. Kristie A. Kenney

Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University

Ambassador Kristie Kenney holds the State Department's highest rank of Career Ambassador. Over her 30-year career, she represented the United States abroad as Ambassador three times and served in senior positions at the State Department and the White House. Ambassador Kenney served as the 32nd Counselor of the State Department,... [ View ]

Mr. Sanjeev Krishnan

Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director, S2G Ventures

Sanjeev is the Chief Investment Officer and a managing director at S2G Ventures, and has been with the firm since its inception. He has nearly 20 years of experience in sourcing, executing, managing and exiting venture and private equity investments, including a focus in agriculture and food companies. As Managing... [ View ]

Mr. Paul Kuc

Chief Financial Officer, Provivi

Paul has been CFO of Provivi since 2017 and during these last two years he led the company through two major financing rounds which fueled the expansion of the company from the scientific start up to fully integrated, fast growing pheromone developer operating on five continents. Economist by training, Paul started... [ View ]

Ms. Heidi Kuhn

CEO, Roots of Peace

A fifth-generation Californian, Heidi Kuhn, was raised to respect the earth and its people, ideals established by her family who were early pioneers in the 1800s. In her early career, she ran a television news organization in Alaska, reporting for CNN on major events including the Exxon Valdez oil spill... [ View ]

Dr. Rattan Lal

Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, Ohio State University

Rattan Lal, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, The Ohio State University, and an Adjunct Professor of University of Iceland. He was President of the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (1987-1990), International Soil and Tillage Research... [ View ]

Mr. Kirk Leeds

CEO, Iowa Soybean Association

Kirk Leeds joined the staff of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) in 1989. Originally hired to serve as a field representative, Kirk moved into new positions with ISA and became their CEO in 1992. Since then, he has helped ISA implement the national checkoff program and has overseen the expansion... [ View ]

Mr. Mark Lowcock

Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, UN-OCHA

In May 2017, Mr. Mark Lowcock of the United Kingdom was appointed as the UN UnderSecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). With more than 30 years of humanitarian and development experience, Mr. Lowcock serves as... [ View ]

Dr. Felister Makini

Deputy Director, General Crops; KALRO

Dr. Felister Makini is the Deputy Director General, Crops in the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO). She is responsible for crops research that includes technology development and transfer, establishment and strengthening of strategic partnerships along the research development to utilization continuum and along the agricultural product value chains... [ View ]

Ms. Tjada McKenna

Tjada joined CARE in 2019 from Habitat for Humanity International where she also served as the COO. Prior to Habitat, Tjada spent over a decade working to end world hunger through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID. She was a key figure in establishing and leading Feed the... [ View ]

Ms. Sara Menker

CEO, Gro Intelligence

Sara Menker is the founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence. Gro is AI for agriculture. Gro’s platform automatically harvests vast amounts of disparate global agricultural data, transforms it into knowledge, and generates predictions for volatile markets. Prior to founding Gro, Sara was a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s commodities group.... [ View ]

Mr. Mick Messman

Chief Commercial Officer, GreenLight Biosciences Inc.

Mick Messman, MBA, Chief Commercial Officer, is responsible for the commercial and agricultural strategy for GreenLight Biosciences, a bio-performance company with a unique cell-free production platform that delivers high performing RNA solutions to human, plant and animal challenges. Mick has over 20 years of global agriculture commercial experience. Mick also... [ View ]

Hon. George Moose

Vice Chairman of the Board, USIP

George Moose is Adjunct Professor of Practice at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He retired from the U.S. Department of State in 2003, at the conclusion of a thirty-five-year career. He holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank accorded to members of... [ View ]

Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana

Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda

As Minister she is responsible for oversight of all agricultural and livestock related activities in the country, charged with new policy formulation, oversight of implementation of existing policies, and work with other Ministries and Development Partners on issues that affect the agricultural sector, especially land use and land management, trade,... [ View ]

Dr. Emma Naluyima

Farmer & Private Veterinarian

Emma is a smallholder pig farmer in Uganda and a private veterinarian focusing on clinical medicine and herd health. She has previously worked for the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank and as an officer in Entebbe in charge of a Livestock Environmental Station. She currently serves on... [ View ]

Hon. John Negroponte

Vice Chairman, McLarty Associates

He has been Ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Nations, and Iraq. In Washington he served twice on the National Security Council staff, first as Director for Vietnam in the Nixon Administration and then as Deputy National Security Advisor under President Reagan. He has also held a cabinet... [ View ]

Dr. Chris Nelson

President & CEO, Kemin Industries

Dr. Chris Nelson is the President and CEO of Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer focused on improving the quality of life for more than 3.8 billion people every day with over 500 specialty ingredients made for the human and animal health, aquaculture, pet food, nutraceutical, food technology, crop technologies,... [ View ]

Mr. Samuel Kwame Ntim Adu

CEO, Yedent Agro Group of Companies Ltd.

Samuel is the founder and CEO of Yedent Agro Group of Companies Ltd., a leading agro processing company based in Ghana, West Africa, with a mission to bring nutrition, affordability, and convenience to cereal and legume staple foods eaten within the region. He is a strong advocate in the fight... [ View ]

Ms. Josephine Okot

Managing Director, Victoria Seeds Ltd

Josephine Okot is the Founder and Managing Director of Victoria Seeds Ltd, established for disseminating certified seed to small holder farmers. She has steered it from a struggling start-up to Uganda’s leading seed house, which is evident in the 2018 Access to Seed Index ranking for Eastern and Southern Africa... [ View ]

Hon. Nancy Powell

Formerly Department of State

Ambassador Nancy J. Powell retired from the U.S. Foreign Service on May 31, 2014 after a thirty-seven year career. She held the highest rank in the United States Foreign Service, with the title of Career Ambassador. Her overseas tours include Canada, Nepal, Pakistan, Togo, India, Bangladesh, Uganda, and Ghana. Among... [ View ]

Ms. Debbie Reed

Executive Director, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium LLC

Debbie Reed serves as Executive Director of the ESM Consortium, working on this project and its activities since its inception. She has focused on GHG mitigation and ecosystem services from the agricultural sector since 1997, having worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as the Director of Legislative... [ View ]

Ms. Polly Ruhland

CEO, United Soybean Board

As the Chief Executive Officer of United Soybean Board, Polly Ruhland works on behalf of U.S. farmer investors to advance agriculture’s sustainability through research, education and promotion programs. Prior to joining USB, Ruhland served as Chief Executive Officer at the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. She served as a senior... [ View ]

Dr. Timothy D. Sands

President, Virginia Tech

Timothy D. Sands is the 16th president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. A scientist, educator, and inventor, he has dedicated much of his career to advancing the impact of research and innovation in public education. As president, he engaged the university community in a visionary plan called “Beyond... [ View ]

Mr. Paul Schickler

Member, Board of Directors; The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

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 ]

Dr. Ismail Serageldin

Founding Director Emeritus & Member of the Board of Trustees, Library of Alexandria

Ismail Serageldin was the Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the New Library of Alexandria (2001-2017) and is currently the Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria. Before that he was the VP of the World Bank (1993-2000). He graduated from Cairo University and holds a PhD from Harvard University. He has lectured... [ View ]

Hon. Josette Sheeran

President & CEO, Asia Society

Josette Sheeran is the seventh President and CEO of Asia Society. She is responsible for advancing the organization’s global work in the fields of policy, business, education, culture, and art. Ms. Sheeran also serves as the UN Special Envoy to Haiti. Sheeran is former Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum. While... [ View ]

Dr. James Smith CBE

Chief Executive Officer, Aegis Trust

Dr. James M. Smith co-founded the Aegis Trust in 2000. In 2002, he staged the first major international conference on genocide prevention. In 2004, working with the Rwandan Government, he played a key role in establishing the Kigali Genocide Memorial, at a site where some 250,000 victims of the 1994... [ View ]

Dr. Roy Steiner

Managing Director for the Food Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Roy Steiner is the Managing Director, Food at the Rockefeller Foundation leading multi-year initiatives to advance a more nourishing and sustainable food system. Previously he was a Senior Director at the Omidyar Network where he worked across strategic initiatives and with the board to build a best-in-class learning organization... [ View ]

Dr. Gunhild Stordalen

Founder & Executive Chair, EAT

Gunhild is a driving force in linking climate, health and sustainability issues across sectors to transform the global food system. Together with her husband Petter A. Stordalen, Gunhild established the Stordalen Foundation in 2011, under which she later founded the EAT Initiative together with the Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC). In... [ View ]

Hon. Chanthol Sun

Minister of Public Works and Transport, Cambodia

He was a Senior Minister, Minister of Public Works and Transport of Cambodia from 2016 to September 2018. He served as a Senior Minister, Minister of Commerce and Vice Chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) from 2013 to April 2016. He was previously a Senior Minister... [ View ]

Dr. Thomas Thompson

Associate Dean and Director of Global Programs, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture Life and Scienc

Thomas L. (Tom) Thompson is Associate Dean and Director of Global Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. “CALS Global” builds partnerships on campus and around the world, creates opportunities for global engagement for students and faculty, and fosters successful global service and impact. He... [ View ]

Mr. Roger Thurow

Senior Fellow, Author; The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Roger Thurow joined The Chicago Council on Global Affairs as senior fellow for global agriculture and food policy in January 2010 after three decades at The Wall Street Journal. For 20 years, he served as a Journal foreign correspondent, based in Europe and Africa. In 2003, he and Journal colleague... [ View ]

H.E. Felix Tshisekedi

President, The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, born June 13, 1963 in Kinshasa, has been President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since January 24, 2019. He is the leader of the UDPS (Union for Democracy and Social Progress), succeeding his father, the late Étienne Tshisekedi. He was elected to the National... [ View ]

Dr. Victor Villalobos

Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mexico

Víctor Villalobos is Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mexico and former General Director of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. Villalobos was Undersecretary for the Secretariat of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, and Undersecretary for the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food. He was... [ View ]

Dr. Joachim Von Braun

Director, The Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn

Professor Joachim von Braun is the Director of The Center for Development Research (ZEF), at the University of Bonn. He is an agricultural economist and holds a Doctoral degree from the University of Gӧttingen, Germany. Professor von Braun was Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington,... [ View ]

Mr. Rodger Voorhies

Executive Director, Global Growth and Opportunity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Rodger Voorhies is President of the Global Growth & Opportunity Division and a member of the Executive Leadership Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reporting to the CEO. Rodger oversees the Agricultural Development, Financial Services for the Poor, Gender, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programs within the foundation.... [ View ]

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen

President, Iowa State University

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen is the 16th president of Iowa State University - the first woman to hold the university’s highest office. Dr. Wintersteen has served Iowa State for 40 years in several capacities. After working in eastern and central Iowa as one of the first female ISU Extension associates in... [ View ]

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