January 13, 2010 - Renowned sustainability expert Louise Fresco
joins Council of Advisors
University of Amsterdam professor and former FAO official a leader in global ag issues
January 13 , 2010 - - University of Amsterdam professor Dr. Louise Fresco, a recognized global leader in agricultural sustainability and former high-ranking official with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, has accepted an invitation to join the World Food Prize Council of Advisors.
Working at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization from 1997 to 2006 – first as director of research, extension and training and later as assistant director-general – Dr. Fresco oversaw major reforms towards more flexibility in responding to worldwide agricultural crises, increased collaboration with the private sector and NGOs, and a better gender balance.
Dr. Fresco was the first woman to ever obtain a Ph.D. in tropical agronomy from Wageningen University, where she later taught and led the department of agronomy. She also chaired the National Council for Environmental and Nature Research in the Netherlands and participated in many national committees on science and education policy. Dr. Fresco has served extensively on boards and evaluation committees for several Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers and currently serves as a non-executive director of Unilever, and as a board member of Rabobank, one of the largest cooperative banks in the world.
Throughout her professional career, Dr. Fresco has focused on shaping policy on sustainable agriculture, the effects of climate change on vegetation and land use, and forging partnerships between the non-governmental and private sector communities. She has traveled professionally to over 50 developing countries, particularly in Africa and Latin America.
Dr. Fresco also writes on international environmental and economic policy for the Dutch paper NRC Handelsblad and is a popular novelist. Her latest novel, De Utopisten (The Utopians), was nominated for the Netherlands’ major literary prize in 2008. In the same year she was also ranked as number 34 in the country’s top 200 influential people (the 4th woman on the list).
As a member of the World Food Prize Council of Advisors, Dr. Fresco will provide support and guidance to the World Food Prize Foundation in continuing to build World Food Prize Founder Dr. Norman E. Borlaug’s vision for the Prize into reality.
BELOW: Louise Fresco on feeding the world at the 2009 TED Conference