The World Food Prize Foundation announced today that University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Chancellor Dr. Robert Jones, will join the World Food Prize Foundation Council of Advisors.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Jones to the World Food Prize Foundation Council of Advisors,” said Foundation President Barbara Stinson. “His experience guiding the next generation of leaders in science and agricultural research at Illinois’s flagship public university will help add greatly to the Foundation’s plans for the future.”
On the Council, Dr. Jones will review, advise and guide the World Food Prize Foundation leadership on organizational policies and the design and implementation of Foundation programs. His other responsibilities will include appointing members of the World Food Prize Laureate Selection Committee and ratifying the Selection Committee’s choice of a new Laureate each year.
“I am extremely honored to be invited to join the World Food Prize Council of Advisors,” Jones said. “As someone who has spent my research career searching for avenues to improve crop yields in areas with challenging environmental conditions, the chance to be part of one of our world’s most visible and most important organizations devoted to food security and agricultural innovation is exciting and humbling. I am grateful to the World Food Prize Foundation for this singular opportunity.”
Dr. Jones is a renowned plant physiologist, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. He has contributed his expertise and leadership over several decades of service at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and as president of the University of Albany before becoming chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2016.
At the University of Minnesota, Jones helped establish the nation's first Urban Research and Outreach Center (UROC), which was named in his honor in 2015. Additionally, Jones spearheaded the establishment of the nation’s first integrated College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity while at Albany.
Since becoming chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Jones has overseen the creation of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine—the first engineering-based medical school in the world—and is shaping a new vision of the land-grant university for the 21st century. Throughout his career, Jones has worked tirelessly to make education accessible and affordable for all, supporting young scholars all around the world.
“Dr. Jones is a welcome addition to the Council of Advisors,” said Paul Schickler, Chair of the Council of Advisors. “With his accomplishments as a scientist and university leader, I am certain he will contribute to the positive new directions we are seeking at the World Food Prize Foundation. We look forward to working with him.”
Jones earned a Bachelor of Science in agronomy from Fort Valley State College, a Master of Science in crop physiology from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Missouri, Columbia.