The World Food Prize Foundation announced today that Dr. Purvi Mehta, Head of Asia Agriculture for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has joined the Council of Advisors.
“On behalf of Council Chair Paul Schickler and all of us at the World Food Prize Foundation, I want to express our great pleasure that Dr. Purvi Mehta has agreed to join our Council of Advisors,” said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Prize. “Over the past two decades, in positions within the CGIAR research system and international development organizations, Dr. Purvi Mehta has been at the forefront of strategies and efforts to uplift poor smallholder farmers, particularly in South Asia, through scientific innovation, enhanced research and policy reform. As such, she has a great capacity to help shape and influence World Food Prize educational and youth programs.”
On the Council, Dr. Mehta will review, advise and guide the World Food Prize leadership on their policies as well as the design and implementation of Foundation programs. Other responsibilities delegated to Dr. Mehta include participating in appointing members of the World Food Prize Laureate Selection Committee and endorsing the Selection Committee’s choice of a new Laureate each year.
“I am honored to be a part of the Council of Advisors and to join the distinguished group of colleagues from across the world,” said Dr. Mehta. “I also see this as an opportunity to pay tribute to Prof. Norman Borlaug and Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, who have been my mentors and leaders with whom I have worked very closely. Globally, agriculture is at an interesting crossroads--we have come a long way in attaining food security and are yet to solve many persistent challenges like undernutrition and climate adaptation. The World Food Prize is an incisive forum that enables us to celebrate our successes while also reminding us of the untapped potential of agriculture.”
Dr. Mehta is part of the agriculture leadership team at the Bill & 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 (IFPRI). She has been associated with a large number of development programs, especially on areas of technology adaptation and policy influence working closely with a number of Government and non-governmental organizations across South, South East Asia and Africa. Currently she also serves as visiting faculty at Cornell University, Independent Director of India’s largest commodity exchange company NCDEX and with the International Centre for Rural Agriculture. She was the recipient of Agriculture Today’s national award for policy leadership in 2014.
Dr. Mehta has her formal education from M.S. University Baroda, Tokyo University and North Carolina State University.
Nicole Barreca, Director of Communications and Events
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About the World Food Prize: The World Food Prize is an international award that honors individuals who have improved the quality, quantity, or availability of food world-wide. The Prize was founded by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize, for his work that contributed to increases in agricultural outputs which was termed the Green Revolution. Since then, the Prize has been awarded to 49 worthy individuals during the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium. The Symposium, also known as the Borlaug Dialogue, is a week of events dedicated to an issue surrounding food insecurity or hunger each year.