The World Food Prize Foundation

The World Food Prize Names New Director of Secretariat Operations


The World Food Prize Foundation announced today that Ellen Franzenburg has assumed the position of Director of Secretariat Operations.  

As Director of Secretariat Operations, Ms. Franzenburg will facilitate the World Food Prize Laureate and the Norman E. Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application nomination processes. She will also directly work with World Food Prize President Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn and the Director of Planning to organize the annual Laureate Announcement Ceremony and Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium.

In announcing her appointment, Amb. Quinn said, “Ellen Franzenburg was exactly the type of young woman Dr. Norman Borlaug had in mind when he established the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute for high school students. From that initial introduction to the issues affecting global food security, inspired by the passion Dr. Borlaug inculcated in her, Ms. Franzenburg has had an amazing international odyssey that has left her extraordinarily well prepared to assume the leadership of our Secretariat, which coordinates our Foundation’s most essential mission...the selection of our Laureates.”

Prior to this position, Ms. Franzenburg has engaged with the Foundation’s mission to improve the quantity, quality and availability of food. After attending the Global Youth Institute in 2007 and 2008, she was selected to research with the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan as a 2009 Borlaug-Ruan Intern. She later worked as a 2013 Wallace-Carver Intern and served in the World Food Prize Volunteer Corps in 2014-2017.

“Her participation in our Borlaug-Ruan International Internship and Wallace-Carver Fellowship programs when combined with her superb intellectual preparation at Iowa State University and her on-the-ground experiences in Asia, Africa and Latin America have given her all the elements for success in this critical position,” Amb. Quinn said.

"The World Food Prize made an enormous impact on me as a student. I never imagined then that I would someday be working with the very people who so inspired me to be involved in the global fight against hunger,” Ms. Franzenburg said.

Ms. Franzenburg graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural Engineering and Global Resource Systems. Through Iowa State’s study abroad programs, she grew primary school gardens in Uganda, surveyed Rome’s private industry standards with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and studied at universities in Brazil.

Ms. Franzenburg replaces Judith Pim, who retired from the Foundation on May 31 after 18 years of service.

“I'm grateful to Ambassador Quinn for giving me this opportunity and to Judith Pim for being such a fantastic mentor,” Ms. Franzenburg said.

You may contact Ms. Franzenburg by email at

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE: The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored 46 outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge global food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.

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