Professor, Technical Univeristy of Denmark
Dr. Ahring has been a leader in bioenergy research and development in Denmark and internationally since receiving her Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Copenhagen in 1986. She currently leads the Danish Center for Biofuels, a collaborative among four universities and five private enterprises, and also heads the EU BioTroll project investigating sustainable energy production from olive oil byproducts. In 2006, she co-founded BioGasol, a second-generation bioethanol company for which she is also managing director, and won two major awards for her research in biofuels. Dr. Ahring has published over 500 articles and holds several patents.
Dr. Ahring has been a consultant with the Danish Technological Institute, UNDP, and the World Bank on a variety of programs related to bioenergy research and ecological management in Asia and Africa. She also has served as a visiting professor of environmental health and environmental engineering at the University of California. She is a member of the International Energy Agency’s Liquid Biofuels Group, the Academy of Technical Sciences, and the Danish Research Council for Foreign Research, and also serves on the board of Energinet.dk, which oversees Denmark’s entire energy-supply system.
Chair, Global Water Partnership
World Food Prize Council of Advisors
Former President, Canadian International Development Agency
Margaret Catley-Carlson is actively involved in international freshwater governance, health, agriculture, environmental protection and development. She is Chair of both The Global Water Partnership, a network that links thousands of water management professionals around the world, and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Syria. Ms. Catley-Carlson is also a member of the UN Secretary General Advisory Board on Water, and Chair of The Water Resources Advisory Committee for Suez/Lyonnaise of Paris.
Her professional career has included terms as President of the Canadian International Development Agency, Deputy Director of UNICEF, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Canada, and Chair of the Geneva-based Water Supply Sanitation Collaborative Council. Ms. Catley-Carlson is the former President of the Population Council, a nonprofit, non-governmental research organization established in 1952. She has received eight honorary degrees, became an Officer of Order of Canada in 2002, and serves as a member of the World Food Prize Council of Advisors.
Director-General, Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Italy
Chairman, G8 Global Bioenergy Partnership
Dr. Clini has served as director general of Italy’s Ministry for the Environment since 1990, where he has overseen national programs in sustainable development, environmental quality and natural resource conservation, and the development of new energy technologies. In this capacity he has led several Italian delegations to UN and G8 technical conferences and has headed over 260 international cooperative programs for environmental protection and emissions reduction in Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.
Dr. Clini led Italy’s delegations to the World Summit on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and to the Kyoto Convention in 1997. Since 1998, he has chaired Italy’s task force for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocols. He is also currently vice-chair of the Hydrogen Economy International Partnership.
Dr. Clini holds a medical degree, a Ph.D. in occupational health, and a Ph.D. in hygiene and public health. He is also a visiting professor at Tshingua University in Beijing and a senior research fellow at Harvard University, and his work on international cooperation on scientific and technical issues has been recognized by the Chinese government.
President, Chinese Agricultural University
Director, Chinese National Laboratory of Protein Engineering and Plant Genetic Engineering
Dr. Chen completed his Ph.D. in biology at Washington University in St. Louis in 1987 and returned to Beijing to establish the National Laboratory of Protein Engineering and Plant Genetic Engineering at Peking University. He founded and serves as president of the Weiming Biotechnology Company, which produces many DNA recombinant drugs, vaccines and some nature products. He is also Vice Chairman of China Biotechnology Association, Vice Chairman for the China National Youth Federation and Vice President of Peking University.
Dr. Chen has published seven books and more than 150 research papers and holds seven patents. He has also been honored with TIME's Global 100 Roster of Young Leaders for the New Millennium, the UNESCO Javed Husain Prize for Young Scientists, as well as the Science and Technology prizes from the Ministry of Education in China.
Chuck Conner was named Acting Secretary of Agriculture in September 2007, having served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture since May 2005. Working to develop, promote, and reform the Administration's farm policy, Mr. Conner led farm bill listening sessions around the country with farmers and other stakeholders, and also led the Department's review to develop a sound policy direction for the future of American agriculture.
Prior to his tenure at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mr. Conner served on the National Economic Council beginning in November 2001 as a Special Assistant to the President for Agricultural Trade and Food Assistance. From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Conner was President of the Corn Refiners Association, Inc. Mr. Conner also held several staff positions with the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry from 1985-1997, and has also worked as an assistant to Senator Richard G. Lugar.
Mr. Conner received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in 1980, having grown up working on his family's Indiana corn, soy, and cattle farm.
President, Global Corn and Seeds, Syngenta
Appointed global head of Syngenta Corn and Soybeans in 2005 and president of NAFTA Seeds, Inc., in 2006, Mr. Cox leads the business unit that is a primary driver of growth for Syngenta. He chairs the NAFTA Corn and Soybeans Leadership Team and is a member of the Global Seeds Leadership Team.
Previously, Mr. Cox was global head of Syngenta Diverse Field Crops, where he set strategy for the sugar beets, oilseeds and cereals businesses. A native of England, he has 20 years of global and country management experience in leading agribusiness companies, including Union Carbide, Stauffer, ICI, Monsanto and Syngenta.
Interim Chair, Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD)
Dr. Easter has been a faculty member at UIUC since his completion of a doctorate in animal science there in 1976. Dr. Easter served as Head of the Department of Animal Sciences from 1996 to 2001, assumed the role of Interim Dean of ACES in 2001, and was appointed Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) in 2002.
Dr. Easter and his students and colleagues have investigated the amino acid needs of the lactating sow, the impact of post-weaning nutrition on growth composition to market and the use of various agents to alter lean growth in pigs. An internationally renowned expert in the field, Dr. Easter has spoken on swine nutrition to audiences in the U.S. and 27 foreign countries and has also published several articles and texts.
His teaching efforts have been recognized by institutions including the University of Illinois and the American Society of Animal Science. Dr. Easter was appointed to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development in 2006. Dr. Easter earned an undergraduate degree in agricultural education in 1970 and a Master of Science degree in animal nutrition in 1972, both from Texas A&M University.
President, Iowa State University
World Food Prize Council of Advisors
In 2001, Dr. Gregory L. Geoffroy became President of Iowa State University, where he also holds the rank of professor of chemistry. He began his academic career as an assistant professor of chemistry at the Pennsylvania State University in 1974 and advanced to dean of the Eberly College of Science in 1989.
As president of one of the country’s top universities in biorenewable research, President Geoffroy has led many efforts to engage Iowa’s legislative leaders, businesses, agriculturalists, and academia in generating policies and programs to assure Iowa's continued leadership in renewable fuels and bio-based products and encourage future bioindustry investment and expansion in Iowa.
Dr. Geoffroy has published more than 200 research articles, presented over 200 invited lectures in the United States and nine other nations, and co-authored a textbook. He earned a B.S. with Honors from the University of Louisville in 1968, served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1970, and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1974 from the California Institute of Technology. He currently serves as a member of the World Food Prize Council of Advisors.
Chairman, President and CEO, Monsanto Company
In 2003, Mr. Grant was appointed president and CEO of Monsanto, where he became responsible for the strategic planning and development of new growth platforms for the company’s research-and-development investments in genomics, biotechnology, and other technologies applied to agricultural, food, and animal production systems. Mr. Grant has also served as chairman of the board, executive vice president, and chief operating officer of Monsanto.
Mr. Grant is a director of PPG Industries, Inc., and is a board member of both the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. He is also a member of the President’s Advisory Group of CropLife International and serves on the Board of Trustees of Washington University. Mr. Grant holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Agricultural Zoology from Glasgow University, a post-graduate degree in Agriculture from Edinburgh University, and a Master’s of Business Administration from the International Management Centre in Buckingham, United Kingdom.
CEO, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
James C. Greenwood is President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization in Washington, D.C., which represents biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and related organizations worldwide.
From 1993 to 2005, Mr. Greenwood represented Pennsylvania’s Eighth District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation. Prior to his election to Congress, Mr. Greenwood served for six years in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and six years in the Pennsylvania Senate. He specialized in health, environment, and children's issues. Mr. Greenwood graduated from Dickinson College in 1973 with a BA in Sociology.
Since 1998, Mr. Holliday has served as the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of DuPont. A longtime developer and producer of a variety of science-based materials and services, DuPont is the parent company of global agribusiness leader Pioneer, and is also pursuing a multi-part strategy to improve current biofuels production and to partner in the development of next-generation biofuels technologies.
Mr. Holliday has been chairman of boards including the Business Roundtable’s Task Force for Environment, Technology and Economy and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). While chairman of the WBCSD, Mr. Holliday co-authored the book Walking the Talk, which details the business case for sustainable development and corporate responsibility. Mr. Holliday received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tennessee, and honorary doctorates from both Washington University in Chestertown, Maryland, and Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, New York.
Consultant – Natural Resources Defense Council, UN Food and Agriculture Organization Global Bioenergy Partnership; Inter-American Development Bank
As director of the Worldwatch Institute’s bioenergy program, Suzanne Hunt coordinated the landmark study, Biofuels for Transportation: Global Potential and Implications for Sustainable Agriculture and Energy in the 21st Century. Ms. Hunt meets regularly with government, industry, and civil society leaders; has appeared on CNN International, CNN en Español, MTV, Voice of America, and public radio; and has spoken at the European Parliament, the World Bank, the United Nations, Yale University, on Capitol Hill, and before a variety of farm associations. In 2007, she drove a truck powered by biodiesel and waste grease from Washington to Costa Rica as part of the “Greaseball Challenge,” and was also featured in Science magazine as a “Pioneer.”
Ms. Hunt is a co-founder of SmartFuel, an organization dedicated to teaching children principles of science and business through hands-on biodiesel production as a cleaner-burning fuel for their school buses, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance. Ms. Hunt has a BS in Environmental Science from Penn State and a dual master’s degree in International Affairs and Natural Resource Management from American University and the UN’s University for Peace in Costa Rica.
Senior Vice President, United Nations Foundation
Melinda Kimble is the Senior Vice President of the United Nations Foundation, overseeing program areas concerning health, population, the environment, and peace and human rights. Prior to joining the UN Foundation, she served as a State Department Foreign Service Officer, attaining the rank of Minister-Counselor.
She has held policy-level positions at the Bureau of Economics and Business, and the Bureau of Oceans, International Environment, and Scientific Affairs (OES), where she led environmental negotiations at events such as the 1997 Climate Change Conference in Kyoto. Ms. Kimble holds master’s degrees in Economics and Public Administration from the University of Denver and the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, respectively.
Ms. Kimble is married to James R. Phippard Sr., a former senior AID foreign service officer, who has been a senior vice president at ACDI-VOCA since 1998.
Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist,
Ms. Kutter has worked for the Global Environment Facility since 2002 in various land, water, and natural resources departments. The Global Environment Facility was established in 1991 to aid developing countries fund projects and programs that protect the global environment. In particular, GEF grants support projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. Prior to joining GEF, Ms. Kutter served as Associate Professional Officer for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She has worked extensively around the world, including in China, India, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ms. Kutter graduated from the K.F.W. Wander University of Educational Sciences in Dresden in 1990. She then earned a master’s degree in geography at Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany, and later attended the Centre for Advanced Training in Agriculture and Rural Development (CATAD) at Humboldt University in Berlin.
Executive Director, The Hub for Rural Development in West and Central Africa
Since its inception in 2004, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki has served as Executive Director of the Hub for Rural Development in West and Central Africa, which works to promote coherence in rural development programs worldwide. Between 1996 and 1999, he was successively appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, then Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger, where he took part in the designing and implementation of state policies, especially in the areas of food security, poverty reduction, and sustainable development.
Dr. Mayaki has taught and researched at several national institutes including Ecole Nationale d’Administration in Niamey, Niger; the Instituto de Estudios Superiores en Administracion in Caracas, Venezuela; Universidad Lisandro Alvarado de Barquisimeto, Venezuela; and the Université de Paris XI. Dr. Mayaki graduated from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration de Québec and holds a Ph.D. in Administrative Science from the University of Paris II. He has published several books on public affairs, planning, and local development.
Deputy Director General, International Water Management Institute
Mr. Molden is the Deputy Director General for research at the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka. He has a PhD from Colorado State University with specialties in groundwater hydrology and irrigation, and has since developed broader interests in integrating social and technical aspects of water management. David has lived and worked closely with local communities and governments in Lesotho, Egypt, Botswana, India, and Nepal.
Dr. Molden recently coordinated over 700 researchers and practitioners from around the world in the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, and edited the main synthesis work of the assessment, Water for Food, Water for Life. He has contributed to the publication of over 100 pieces of works in books, refereed journals, research report series, the media, project reports, and educational material.
Prior to joining Land O’Lakes in 1997, which is one of the largest farmer-owned cooperatives, dairy producers, and distributors of agronomy products in the United States, Mr. Policinski served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Dairy Foods. Mr. Policinski has more than 25 years of management experience and previously held leadership positions with General Foods, Kraft Foods, Bristol Meyers Squib and the Pillsbury Company.
Mr. Policinski has a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University and a Bachelors of Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Notre Dame. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Milk Producers Federation; serves on the President's Council of the Grocery Manufacturers of America; and is chairman of the non-profit, charitable organization Prosperity Worldwide.
Deputy Executive Director, World Food Program
Mr. Powell was named Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program in 2003. The world’s largest humanitarian agency, the World Food Program fed 87.8 million people, including 58.8 million children, in 78 countries in 2006. Mr. Powell has also served as the World Food Program’s director of the strategy and policy division, regional director of bureaus for Asia and Eastern Europe, country director in Pakistan, and regional manager of bureaus for West and Central Asia and Asia and the Pacific.
Prior to joining the World Food Program in 1990, Mr. Powell spent three years with the World Bank’s Latin American and Caribbean Division and more than 25 years with the Australian Government. He is a graduate of the University of Canberra and a barrister of the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
Director, Action Programs
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
Mr. Rehman has over 17 years experience in projects and activities related to rural development, dissemination of rural energy technologies, natural resources management, and watershed development in particular. His key areas of focus at TERI include involving and consolidating grassroots institutions, undertaking initiatives pertaining to market development for clean energy technologies in rural areas, and implementing replicable models of efficient management of natural resources at the grassroots level.
A British Chevening scholar in 2000, Mr. Rehman is a post-graduate in chemistry and a social scientist by training. He has several publications in reputed international journals and has authored or co-authored three books.
Director, Water and Climate Adaptation, Google.org
Since 2000, Mr. Rijsberman has served as the Director-General at the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka. While there, he has developed and spearheaded international initiatives to increase the dialogue among agriculturalists and environmentalists and to increase water productivity in agriculture.
From 1990-2000 he was a co-founder, partner and managing director of Resource Analysis, a private research and consulting firm in the Netherlands. From 1998-2000 Mr. Rijsberman was also one of the key organizers of the World Water Vision and second World Water Forum process. He has been a member of the Water Task Force of the UN Millennium Development Goals Project, an invited speaker at CSD 12, and a chapter review editor of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He has well over 50 scientific and technical publications.
Coordinator, Getulio Vargas Foundation Agrobusiness Center
Former Minister of Agriculture & Supply, Brazil
Co-Chair, Interamerican Ethanol Coalition
Mr. Rodrigues was appointed Brazilian Minister of Agriculture and Supply in 2003 and is a current co-chairman of the Interamerican Ethanol Coalition and coordinator of the Getulio Vargas Foundation Agrobusiness Center. Mr. Rodrigues is an agricultural engineer and producer by training, plus a strong supporter of the cooperative movement. He has chaired the Brazilian Cooperatives Organization, the World Committee on Agricultural Cooperatives, and the International Cooperative Alliance.
As a well-known agribusiness leader, Mr. Rodrigues served as President of the prestigious Brazilian Rural Society and the Brazilian Agribusiness Association. He was a chairman of the National Agribusiness Forum and has been on several national advisory committees, such as the Agricultural Policy Council, the Monetary Council, and the Foreign Trade Council. He is a Professor at the São Paulo State University in Jaboticabal, holding the Chair of Rural Economics.
Senior Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
As a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Dr. Rosenzweig leads the Climate Impacts Group, whose mission is to investigate the interactions of climate with systems and sectors important to ecological and human well-being. Dr. Rosenzweig is also currently leading the Metropolitan East Coast Region for the U.S. National Assessment of Climate Variability and Change.
She is an adjunct research scientist at the Columbia University Earth Institute and an adjunct professor at Barnard College, with degrees from Rutgers University and the University of Massachusetts. Her research focuses on the impacts of environmental change – including increasing carbon dioxide, global warming, and El Niño – on regional, national, and global scales.
Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy & Business Affairs
Mr. Sullivan leads the State Department bureau responsible for overseeing international policies for trade and investment, energy security, and finance, development, and debt, and also for supporting American business and private-sector interests overseas.
Mr. Sullivan came to the State Department in June 2006 from the staff of the National Security Council/National Economic Council at the White House, where he served in the International Economics Directorate. His focus included international trade, as well as international summits, including the G-8, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Summit of the Americas.
Mr. Sullivan graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and from Georgetown University with a J.D./Master of Science in Foreign Service joint degree. He is the recipient of numerous professional, military, and academic awards, including the National Security Council Outstanding Service Award, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the White House Fellowship.
Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services
Deputy Under Secretary Terpstra has extensive experience in international food and trade. In her current capacity, she oversees agencies responsible for American agricultural policy and international agricultural development and trade, and also is the American co-chair of the $100 million U. S - India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative. From 2002-2006, Ms. Terpstra served as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. There, she had a strong leadership role in expanding and maintaining international export opportunities for U.S. agriculture and supporting international economic development and trade capacity building.
She has served as trade negotiator and policy coordinator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and an agricultural policy analyst with the Congressional Research Service. She also has been a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy.
Before her appointment to USDA, Ms. Terpstra served as president and chief executive officer of the USA Rice Federation, and as president of the U.S. Apple Association. Ms. Terpstra received her Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Republic of South Africa
As Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Minister Xingwana has worked extensively to promote and further the Strategy for Biofuels in South Africa. In addition to her position as Minister, Lulama Xingwana is a member of the African National Congress Women’s League’s (ANCWL), the National Working Committee (NWC), and the National Executive Committee (NEC). She has also been a member of parliament since 1994. Her preceding position was Deputy Minister of Minerals and Energy of the Republic of South Africa.
Previous memberships include the Federation of South African Women, the African National Congress, the Cabinet Committee on Investment and Employment, International Relations, Peace and Security, and Economic Sector. She has also chaired such organizations as the SADC Regional Women’s Caucus and the Joint Monitoring Committee on Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women.
Minister Xingwana received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Witwatersrand in 1985. She then received two post-graduate diplomas; one in Rural Development and Leadership Studies from Zimbabwe, Harare in 1998 and one in Economics from the University of London in 2002.