The World Food Prize Foundation

2009 Speaker Biographies

Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation
Minister Abaza has served in his current position since 2006. He began his career with the foreign relations department of the National Bank, working in Egypt and internationally in various capacities related to international finance and credit. He also previously served as president of the Egyptian Cotton Exporters Federation, chairman of the Al Arabeya Company for Cotton Trade and Ginning, and chairman of Modern Nile Cottons, and on the board of numerous corporations in Egypt and the Middle East.
Among the numerous institutions he leads in his current capacity, Minister Abaza also is the chairman of the National Bio-safety Committee and a member of the Council of Ministers. He is also the chairman of OPTIMA for Securities Traded and the Arab Company for Cotton. Minister Abaza received his B.Sc in economics and political science at the American University in Cairo. 
Owner and Founder
Amson Technology, LLC
Ms. Armstrong-Gustafson brings 30 years of marketing and product management experience to her strategic consulting practice, Amson Technology, LLC, which specializes in climate change, sustainability, and carbon offsets involving technology and business development. She previously served as a corporate officer and vice president of Pioneer Hi-Bred International.
Ms. Armstrong Gustafson continues to play a leading role in life-science technology issues of the day through her involvement as a member of the boards of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the Iowa Bioscience Alliance, the Iowa State University Research Park, and the Iowa Health System. She holds an MBA from Drake University and a B.S. in animal science from Iowa State University. She has also studied international finance at City University in London.
Concern Worldwide 
Mr. Arnold is the Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide, Ireland's largest NGO working in emergencies, long term development and advocacy, in over thirty countries, mainly in Africa and Asia.  He is also currently Chairman of the European Food Security Group, a network of 40 European NGOs working to enhance food security in developing countries and is a member of the Advisory Board for the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) 20/20 Initiative, which seeks to develop and promote a shared vision and consensus for action for assuring sustainable food and nutrition security for all by 2020.
Prior to working with Concern, Mr. Arnold was Assistant Secretary General and Chief Economist in the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food. He was Chairman of the OECD Committee of Agriculture from 1993 to 1998 and Chairman of the Working Group on Agricultural Policies and Markets from 1990 to 1993. At an earlier stage in his career, he worked with the European Commission for ten years, three of which were in Africa. Mr. Arnold is a graduate in Agricultural Economics from University College Dublin and has Masters Degrees from the Catholic University of Louvain and Trinity College Dublin.
Professor, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
2003 World Food Prize Laureate
Ms. Bertini served as the Executive Director of the UN World Food Program for ten years, turning the organization into the world’s largest humanitarian aid agency, and was the UN Under-Secretary General for Management from 2003 to 2005.  Since then, she has chaired the UN’s Standing Committee on Nutrition, served as a senior fellow to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Agricultural Development team within its Global Development Program, and currently serves on the USAID’s Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. 
For her innovative leadership in assisting hundreds of millions of victims of war and natural disaster throughout the world, Ms. Bertini received the 2003 World Food Prize. She has also been honored by the Republic of Italy with its Order of Merit and by the Association of African Journalists with its Prize of Excellence.  In 1996, The Times of London named her one of “The World’s Most Powerful Women.
Director General 
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
Through implementation of his vision for IICA, Dr. Brathwaite has been able to redefine the Institute as a development agency that promotes sustainable agricultural development, food security, and prosperity in the rural communities of Americas. In addition, as a partner institution to follow up on the decisions of the Summit of the Americas process, IICA has facilitated the Ministers of Agriculture of the Hemisphere in the development of the Plan Agro 2003-2015, a hemispheric agenda for Agriculture and Rural Life in the Americas.
After working for the FAO, Dr. Braithwaite joined IICA in 1981 and has worked in many nations in Africa, Latin America, and Europe. From 1998-2001, Dr. Brathwaite served as the IICA representative to Jamaica, Director of the Program for Horizontal Cooperation in Agriculture between Latin America and the Caribbean, and advisor to the Director General on Caribbean Affairs. Dr. Brathwaite obtained his Ph.D. in plant pathology from Cornell University.
Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor in Journalism 
Stanford University
Over the last 26 years, Mr. Brinkley has reported from 46 states and more than 50 foreign countries. During his career at the New York Times, Mr. Brinkley served as Washington correspondent, White House correspondent, and chief of the Times Bureau in Jerusalem, Israel. He spent more than 10 years in editing positions including projects editor in Washington, political editor in New York, investigations editor in Washington following the September 11 attacks, and political writer in Baghdad during the fall of 2003.
He has won more than a dozen national reporting and writing awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1980, and was twice a finalist for an investigative reporting Pulitzer in the following years. His areas of research focus on American foreign policy, and he is currently at work on a book on Cambodia. Mr. Brinkley graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
National Intelligence Council
Dr. Burrows was appointed Counselor to the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in July, 2007.  He was the principal drafter for the NIC publication, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, which received widespread recognition and praise in the international media and among academics and think tanks.  In addition, in September 2005, he was asked to set up and direct the NIC’s new Long Range Analysis Unit. 
Dr. Burrows joined the CIA in 1986, where he served as analyst for the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), covering Western Europe, including the development of European institutions such as the European Union.  In 1998-1999 he was the first holder of the Intelligence Community Fellowship, and served at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York.  Dr. Burrows received a PhD in European History from Cambridge University, England. 
Manager, Agriculture and Rural Development Department, 
The World Bank
Mr. Cackler joined the World Bank in 1981, after working as an overseas representative for John Deere Intercontinental, Ltd.  Initial assignments in the World Bank’s Washington headquarters included working in the agriculture and natural resources divisions for East Africa, China, Indonesia, and the Pacific Islands.  In 1988, he transferred to the agriculture unit of the World Bank’s New Delhi office. 
Following his return to headquarters from India in 1992, Mr. Cackler joined the Latin America and Caribbean Region.  In 2000, he was appointed manager of agriculture and rural development for Latin America. In February 2007, Mr. Cackler was appointed to his current position, where he oversees the World Bank’s global programs for rural poverty alleviation, agriculture, and natural resources management. Mr. Cackler has economics degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.   

World Economic Forum Advisory Council on Water
Ms. Catley-Carlson is actively involved in international freshwater governance, health, agriculture, environmental protection and development. She currently chairs the Global Crop Diversity Trust, is a patron and past chair of the Global Water Partnership, and is past chair of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Syria. 
Ms. Catley-Carlson’s professional career has included terms as president of the Population Council, president of the Canadian International Development Agency, deputy director of UNICEF, deputy minister of health and welfare in Canada, and chair of the Geneva-based Water Supply Sanitation Collaborative Council. She has received several honorary degrees and became an Officer of Order of Canada in 2002.
Former President, Mozambique 
World Food Prize Council of Advisors
President Chissano has played a key role in shaping Mozambique’s post-colonial history.  He took office as the prime minister of the transition government and was appointed minister of foreign affairs when Mozambique proclaimed its independence in 1975.  In 1986, he was elected president, a position he held until he voluntarily stepped down in 2005. While in office, President Chissano devoted himself to restoring peace and stability, initiating constitutional and economic reforms, and leading Mozambique to a multi-party system and an open market. From 2003 to 2004, he served as chair of the African Union.
In 2007, President Chissano was awarded the first Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, the world’s largest monetary award. President Chissano was cited specifically for his achievements in poverty reduction, infrastructure development, and action on HIV/AIDS. President Chissano currently serves as special envoy of the UN Secretary-General to northern Uganda, southern Sudan, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. He also chairs the Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government.
Senior Vice President, Market Transformations, 
World Wildlife Fund
Dr. Clay directs WWF’s  work with leading private-sector companies to improve their supply-chain management, particularly addressing embedded carbon and water issues. He manages the WWF Network’s private-sector advisory board, leads the WWF Network on private-sector engagement, R&D, global trend/issue spotting, and supply-chain management, and works with entire industries in developing credible global standards and helping sectors use them to measurably improve performance. He was previously lead for the WWF Network’s agriculture and aquaculture programs.
From 1999-2003, Dr. Clay co-directed a consortium with WWF, World Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and National Aquaculture Centres of Asia/Pacific to address the most significant environmental and social impacts of shrimp aquaculture. He has co-convened (with the IFC and others) multi-stakeholder roundtables identify and reduce the social and environmental impacts of products including salmon, soy, sugarcane, cotton, and palm oil. He has also previously run a family farm, taught at Harvard and Yale, worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and spent more than twenty-five years working with human rights and environmental organizations. He studied at Harvard and the London School of Economics before receiving his Ph.D. at Cornell University in anthropology and international agriculture. 
Professor of International Development, Imperial College London

World Food Prize Council of Advisors

Dr. Conway, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005, is a world renowned agricultural ecologist and is recognized as one of the first experts to define the concept of sustainable agriculture. As president of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1998 to 2005, he worked to increase that organization’s attention to ecological and food security issues, particularly the promise and challenges presented by biotechnology in the context of world hunger.
Dr. Conway’s field experience has included pioneering integrated pest management in Borneo in the 1960s, and developing agroecosystems analysis in Thailand. From 1970 to 1986, he was Professor of Environmental Technology at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.  He also directed the sustainable agriculture program of the International Institute for Environment and Development in London before becoming a representative of the Ford Foundation in New Delhi.  He is the author of several books – including The Doubly Green Revolution – and currently serves as president of the Royal Geographic Society.
Director General, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
As the leader of ICRISAT – a Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)-supported center headquartered in Patancheru, India – Dr. Dar has intensively advocated a “Grey to Green Revolution” in the dry tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Towards this, he has spurred the development of a new vision, mission, and strategy for the Institute, which focuses on using science as a means to serve the poor for the improved production of sorghum, millet, chickpea, and other semi-arid tropical crops.
Dr. Dar holds the distinction of being the first Filipino and Asian to be Director General of ICRISAT and Chair of the Alliance Executive of the Alliance of Centers in 2005, which facilitates collective action among the fifteen CGIAR centers. He was recently elected Chair of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Dr. Dar was a member of the UN Millennium Task Force on Hunger. Dr. Dar received a Ph.D. in Horticulture at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. 
Executive Director
Syngenta Foundation
Dr. Ferroni is the Executive Director of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. Earlier in his career, he was an executive at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC, a senior advisor to the World Bank, and an economist and division chief in different capacities in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Public Economy in Switzerland.
Dr. Ferroni holds a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University and has work experience in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He has published and lectures frequently on food security, debt and development finance, international public goods, and sustainability challenges in open economies in the context of globalization.
Professor, University of Amsterdam
Former Deputy Director-General for Agriculture, 
UN Food and Agriculture Organization
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 and implemented major reforms towards more flexibility in responding to worldwide agricultural crises, increased collaboration with the private sector and NGOs, and a better gender balance. At FAO she also developed extensive cooperation with the IAEA, WHO, World Bank, UNEP and other UN partners.
Dr. Fresco obtained her Ph.D. in tropical agronomy (the first woman to do so) 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 CGIAR research centers as well as the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) and CIRAD. She currently serves on the board of Rabobank, was named a visiting professor at Stanford University, and is involved with the Round Table for Sustainable Bio-Fuels.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Mr. Gates began his major philanthropic efforts in 1994, creating the William H. Gates Foundation to focus on global health. Three years later, he and his wife Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public-access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the United States. Its name changed to the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 to reflect its focus on ensuring that low-income minority students are prepared for college and have the means to attend. In 2000, to increase efficiency and communication, the two groups merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Together with his wife, Mr. Gates shapes and approves grant-making strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization.
In 1975, Mr. Gates left Harvard University in his junior year to focus on Microsoft, the company he founded with his childhood friend Paul Allen. As chief software architect and chairman, Mr. Gates led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software, services, and solutions. In July 2008, he transitioned into a new role as chairman of Microsoft and advisor on some key development projects. 
Associate Vice President, Sustainable Economies Centers of Innovation, U.S. Institute of Peace
As director of USIP’s Sustainable Economies Center of Innovation, Dr. Gilpin leads the Institute’s work on analyzing complex economic relationships during all stages of conflict, including prevention, mediation, resolution and post-conflict. An expert in economics, conflict studies and security, governance and international relations, and environment and natural resources, he collates sound practices from practitioners and experts and designs appropriate capacity-building and reach-back tools for conflict environments.
Dr. Gilpin previously served from 2003-2007 as academic chair for Defense Economics at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, where he pioneered work on development economics and resource management in Africa’s security sector. He was also lead faculty for the Center’s work on energy, maritime security, and China. He has also been director for international programs, Intellibridge Corporation (now part of Eurasia Group); senior economist at the African Development Bank Group; research director at the Central Bank of Sierra Leone; and economist at the World Bank. Dr. Gilpin holds a doctorate from Cambridge University, and an executive certificate in international finance and capital markets from Georgetown University.
International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
President of ICRW since 1997, Dr. Gupta has more than 20 years of experience in women’s health and is a leading global authority on women’s role in development programs.  Prior to becoming president, she held a number of positions with ICRW including consultant, researcher and officer. She is frequently consulted on issues related to AIDS prevention and women’s vulnerability to HIV and is a dynamic advocate for women’s economic and social empowerment to fight disease, poverty, and hunger.
Dr. Gupta served as co-chair of the U.N. Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Youth Employment and co-chaired the U.N. Millennium Project’s Task Force on Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women. She also serves as an advisor to the UNAIDS Global Coalition on Women and AIDS. Dr. Gupta was the recipient of the 2007 Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” award and is frequently recognized for her commitment to quality research and dedication to the protection and fulfillment of women’s human rights. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from Bangalore University, India, and her M.A. and B.A. in psychology from the University of Delhi.
Senior Researcher
Worldwatch Institute
As a food and agriculture expert, Mr. Halweil has testified before the U.S. Senate on biotechnology, poverty, and hunger. In addition, he has spoken to non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and industry groups on a variety of issues, ranging from organic farming to vegetarianism to genetically engineered crops. Mr. Halweil’s work has been featured in national newspapers and on radio networks. He has traveled extensively in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa, learning indigenous farming techniques and promoting sustainable food production.
Mr. Halweil joined Worldwatch in 1997 as the John Gardner Public Service Fellow from Stanford University, where he had established a student-run organic farm on campus. The farm was community-supported and sold produce to the university and local restaurants. In addition, he has set up community-supported farms and organic farms/orchards throughout California and assisted farmers who were making the shift from chemical to organic agriculture. He holds B.S. degrees in earth systems and biology from Stanford University. He has also completed research, fieldwork, and coursework at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California at Davis.
Senior Staff Scientist,
Consumers Union
Dr. Hansen has been responsible for developing positions on safety, testing and labeling of genetically engineered food, “mad cow” disease, and food-safety issues for Consumers Union, the publishers of Consumer Reports.  He has served on the USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology, on the California Department of Food and Agriculture Food Biotechnology Advisory Committee, a FAO/WHO Joint Consultation on Genetically Engineered Animals in 2003, and a second FAO/WHO Joint Expert Consultation of Safety of Genetically Engineered Animals in 2007. Dr. Hansen also served as an international expert on recombinant bovine growth hormone for a February, 1998 meeting of the FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives. 
Dr. Hansen has testified at hearings in Washington, D.C., many states, and Canada, and also represents Consumers International, a federation of more than 250 organizations in 110 countries, at Codex Alimentarius and other international fora on food issues. In June 2005, he joined the Board of ETC Group, previously known as RAFI. He has authored books and written reports on pest management and alternatives to agricultural pesticides in developing countries, and the pesticide and agriculture policies of the World Bank and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Dr. Hansen received his doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan and did post-graduate study at the University of Kentucky on the impacts of biotechnology on agricultural research.
Co-Chair, International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)

1995 World Food Prize Laureate

Hans Herren was the Director-general of the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, Kenya from 1994 to 2005 before assuming the presidency of the Millennium Institute.   He is the founder and chairman of BioVision , the President of the International Association of the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS) and a member of the U.S. board of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR).  He is Co-Chair of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) with Dr. Robert Watson.
Dr. Herren holds numerous awards and honors, including the 1995 World Food Prize, election to the U.S. National Academy of Science and the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World (TWAS), the 1995 Kilby Award, the 2002 Brandenberger Prize, the 2003 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the 1991 Sir and Lady Rank Prize for Nutrition. He earned his Ph.D. at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Executive Director
Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committe (BRAC)
Since June 2007, Dr. Hossain has been serving BRAC, which has established itself as a pioneer in recognizing and tackling the different dimensions of poverty by encompasses a range of core programs in economics, health, education, and human rights. BRAC received the $1.5 million Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2008.
Prior to heading BRAC, Dr. Hossain was the Head of the Social Sciences Division and Program Leader, Rainfed Ecosystems Program of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines. From 1989 to 1992, he was the Director General of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). Dr. Hossain was awarded the first Gold Medal from the Bangladesh Agricultural Economist Association in recognition of outstanding contribution to understanding the operation of rural economy in Bangladesh. He obtained his Masters in economics in 1969 from Dhaka University and his Ph.D. in economics in 1977 from Cambridge University.
Veterinarian, Mediator and Lecturer, 
University of Kassel (Germany) 
Since 2002, Dr. Idel has been leading the project-management consultancy  Animal Health & Agrobiodiversity. She works in a complementary way as business mediator in the fields of animal health and welfare and natural resource protection. Since 1986, Dr. Idel has been a lecturer at the University of Kassel in topics including; “Genetic Engineering in Agriculture, Longer Term Considerations for Animal Health, Ecology and Socio Economics”.
Between 1996 and 2007, Dr. Idel led several research projects regarding animal breeding and agro-biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa.  From 2005 to 2008, she was an author for the International Assessment of Agricultural Assessment for Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). She is a founding member of the Critical Vets, the Gen-ethic-Network, the World Herders Council, and other networks relating to sustainable land use, pastoralism, and animal breeding.
Executive Director, Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)
As the head of ASARECA, Dr. Ketema leads the organization in increasing the efficiency of agricultural research in the region so as to facilitate economic growth, food security, and export competitiveness through productive and sustainable agriculture. ASARECA’s member countries include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar.
Dr. Ketema previously served in Ethiopia as agricultural minister, director general for the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization, and general manager for the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research. Dr. Ketema has been the driving force in implementing and promoting the use of modern information technologies at EARO in collaboration with ICARDA. Dr Ketema has been a member of ICARDA Board of Trustees in 2000. He holds a Ph.D. in plant breeding and agronomy.
Reporters, The Wall Street Journal
Co-Authors, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty
Thurow Transcript
Over the past seven years, Mr. Kilman and Mr. Thurow have teamed up to produce a stream of front-page stories in the Wall Street Journal that have broken new ground in our understanding of famine and food aid. Their series “Anatomy of Famine” – on the 2003 famines in Ethiopia and southern Africa – was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in international reporting, and they were praised by the Pulitzer board for “haunting stories that shed new light on starvation in Africa and prompted international agencies to rethink their policies.” In 2005, Mr. Kilman and Mr. Thurow were honored by the United Nations for their reporting on humanitarian and development issues.
Mr. Kilman has covered agriculture at the Journal for much of the past two decades, chronicling both farmers and consumers worldwide. He writes about trade, biotechnology, food safety, subsidies, and the rural economy. Mr. Thurow has been a Journal foreign correspondent for 20 years. He was based in South Africa from 1986 to 1991, during the last years of apartheid and the early days of reconciliation, which ignited in him a passion for humanitarian and development issues. His reporting has taken him to more than sixty countries, including two dozen in Africa. 
Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Kullman is the 19th executive to lead DuPont in more than 205 years of company history.  In March 2008, she was tapped to lead the dynamic planning process for the company’s growth in emerging international markets. Ms. Kullman has lead DuPont’s transformation into a market-driven science company that leads the way in solving some of the most difficult and pressing human needs in a resource-constrained world.
Prior to joining DuPont, Ms.Kullman worked for General Electric in various business development and marketing positions. She holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a master’s degree in management from Northwestern University. Ms.Kullman is on the board of trustees at Tufts University, the board of overseers at Tufts University School of Engineering, and the board of trustees of the National Safety Council.
United States Navy (ret) 
CEO, RemoteReality
Admiral McGinn served 35 years with the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer, and national security strategist. During his service, he commanded the U.S. Third Fleet, which is responsible for approximately 50 million square miles of the eastern Pacific Ocean, and was recognized for leading advances in operational innovation, information technology, and international naval force experimentation and coordination. His last assignment was deputy chief of naval operations for warfare requirements and programs at the Pentagon, where he led the development of the U.S.  Navy’s future strategic capabilities.
Since retiring, Admiral McGinn has served on the CNA Military Advisory Board, which in 2007 and 2009 produced two reports on the national security threats of climate change and energy insecurity. He has also led or served on the boards of the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the U.S Naval Institute Board of Directors, is a senior policy advisor to the American Council on Renewable Energy, and is a senior fellow for international security at the Rocky Mountain Institute. In the private sector, Admiral McGinn was a corporate officer at and led the energy, transportation, and environment division of Battelle Memorial Institute, the world’s largest nonprofit independent research and development organization. He holds degrees from and has completed programs at the U.S. Naval Academy, the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and the U.S. Naval War College.
Counselor to the United States Agency for International Development
Ambassador Michel returned to USAID in August 2009 after an absence from public service of nine years. Prior positions at USAID included assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, acting deputy administrator, and acting administrator. He previously served in a number of senior management positions in his career with the U.S. government, including as deputy legal adviser to the US Department of State, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, and U.S. ambassador to Guatemala.
He has also been an independent consultant in development cooperation and senior counsel to DPK Consulting, a division of ARD Inc. specializing in support for good governance and the rule of law. From 1994 until 1999, he chaired the development assistance committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, where he presided over the principal international forum for donor policy coordination. He received his J.D. from Saint Louis University. 
Democratic Republic of Congo
Ambassador Mitifu is one of the longest serving ambassadors within the diplomatic corps in Washington. During her tenure, she has testified before Congress on the resolution of the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Africa's Great Lakes region. A staunch promoter of her country in the United States, she has been instrumental in strengthening US-DRC relations that culminated with new DRC President’s first visit abroad less than a week after he took oath in office and to several subsequent official presidential visits at the White House.
Ambassador Mitifu works with US and internationally based NGOs to enhance women’s participation in economic and political processes. She initiated and organized the first AGOA conference in Kinshasa in partnership with the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), educating and giving incentives to Congolese business on ways to export goods duty-free and quota-free to the United States. Ambassador Mitifu works in partnership with the Africa Society at the National Summit on Africa and the World Affairs Council for this endeavor throughout the United States. She holds a Ph.D. in romance languages from the University of Georgia.
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Dr. Ngongi leads the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, a comprehensive agricultural development partnership created in 2006 with $150 million in support from the Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations. Dr. Ngongi worked with the UN World Food Program from 1984 to 2001, serving as director for operational activities in 17 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and later as deputy executive director. From 2001 to 2003, he was UN under-Secretary-General and headed the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where his efforts were credited with contributing to the overall success of the peace negotiations as well as the formation of a transitional government.
Dr. Ngongi retired from the UN in 2003, and returned to Cameroon. He has since taken up farming, while also undertaking high-level missions and work for the UN and other organizations. A graduate of Cornell University and California State University, Dr. Ngongi worked in Cameroon’s ministry of agriculture and the country’s embassy in Rome before joining the UN.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Nooyi leads one of the world’s largest convenient food and beverage companies, with 2008 annual revenues of more than $43 billion. The company’s products are sold in approximately 200 countries, and it employs some 198,000 people worldwide. Ms. Nooyi focuses on giving back to communities the company serves by offering foods and beverages that responsibly provide nourishment to people and societies; minimizing the company’s impact on the environment; and creating a diverse and inclusive culture that attracts, develops, and retains the most talented people.
Prior to becoming chairman and CEO, Ms. Nooyi served PepsiCo in a variety of roles, including President and Chief Financial Officer; Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  She serves on the boards of the International Rescue Committee, Catalyst, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and currently serves as Chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council. Ms. Nooyi received a B.S. from Madras Christian College, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale University.
International Fund for Agricultural Development
Named to the leadership of IFAD earlier in 2009, Dr. Nwanze brings to the organization 30 years of experience across three continents in poverty reduction through agriculture, rural development, and research. During his ten years as Director-General of the Africa Rice Centre headquartered in Benin, he was instrumental in introducing and promoting a high-yield, drought- and pest-resistant rice variety developed specifically for the African landscape, and in transforming WARDA from an association covering only countries in West Africa to an Africa-wide organization.
Dr. Nwanze has also held senior positions at a number of research centers affiliated with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), where he promoted public- and private-sector partnerships. As chair of the CGIAR’s Center Directors Committee, he drew on his leadership and negotiation skills to help align programs and encourage shared services, leading to the establishment of the Alliance of CGIAR Centers. Dr. Nwanze earned a degree in agricultural science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a doctorate in agricultural entomology from Kansas State University.
Ms. Paul has worked for over 20 years on issues related to agricultural biodiversity and sustainability, tropical forests and oil exploitation in the tropics, indigenous peoples’ rights, and genetic engineering. She is presently involved in the international negotiations of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with regards to agrofuels, land-use issues, and agriculture and climate change. Her current focus on agrofuels, the implications for food sovereignty, biodiversity, climate, soil and water, land rights and human rights, and genetic engineering was initiated by her research into soybeans, genetic engineering, and animal feed, especially in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Ms. Paul’s publications include: Agrofuels: Towards A Reality Check In Nine Key Areas, Agrofuels: The Myth Of The Marginal Lands, and Agriculture And Climate Change: Real Problems, False Solutions. She is also co-author of  Hungry Corporations: Transnational Biotech Companies Colonise The Food Chain.
Chief Economist
Deere & Co.
Before joining John Deere in August 2006, Dr. Penn served as under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services in the United States Department of Agriculture for more than five years. He began his career with USDA, holding several positions including deputy administrator for economics in the Economics and Statistics Service.  He also served as senior staff economist in President Jimmy Carter’s Council of Economic Advisers. 
Following his work in the federal government, Dr. Penn moved to the private sector for more than two decades.  He was a founding principal and president of economic and food consulting firm Economic Perspectives, Inc., and was senior vice president of Sparks Companies, Inc., whose Washington office he led from 1988 until 2001. Dr. Penn is a member of many organizations including the Farm Foundation Board of Trustees, the board of the Corporate Council for Africa, and the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council. Dr. Penn holds an undergraduate degree from Arkansas State University, an M. S. from Louisiana State University, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.
H.E. Babcock Professor of Food, Nutrition and Public Policy
Cornell University

2001 World Food Prize Laureate

From 1992 to 2002, Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen was the director-general of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., where he personally initiated the 2020 Vision Initiative, a research effort which enabled several governments to reform their food subsidy programs, dramatically increasing food availability to the most poor in each country. Over the past decade, the 2020 Vision Initiative has alerted world leaders to potential crises in food security issues, helped reverse the trend of decreasing global developmental assistance, and led to actions which have brought about an important reduction in world hunger and poverty levels.
From 1980 to 1987, Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen was the Director of the Food Consumption and Nutrition Policy Research Program at IFPRI.  He left that position to go to Cornell University, where he was a professor of food economics and director of the Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Project until 1992. Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen was awarded the World Food Prize in 2001. 
Regents Professor of Soil Science and Agroecology
Washington State University
As one of sustainable agriculture’s leading scientists, Dr. Reganold measures the effects of 
alternative and conventional farming systems on soil health, crop quality, financial performance, 
environmental quality, and social parameters. A professor at Washington State University since 1983, he teaches courses in soil science and organic farming in addition to his research, and spearheaded the development of the Organic Agriculture Systems major at Washington State University, the first such major in the United States.
Dr. Reganold previously worked as a soil scientist with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and as an environmental engineer with Utah International Inc., a worldwide mining company. He is widely published in scientific journals, magazines, and proceedings; is also co-author of four editions of the textbook Natural Resource Conservation: Toward a Sustainable Future; and is co-editor of the book, Organic Agriculture: A Global Perspective. Dr. Reganold holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in soil science from the University of California and the University of California at Davis. 
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Minister Ritz was first elected to Canada’s Parliament in 1997, being named secretary of state for small business and tourism in January 2007 and appointed minister of agriculture and agri-food and minister for the Canadian Wheat Board in August 2007.   
During the course of his career, Minister Ritz has owned and operated a general contracting business, co-owned a weekly newspaper, and has run his own farming operation. As minister, he has travelled to Asia, South and Central America, Africa and the Middle East working on cooperative market and trade issues.  Minister Ritz also has worked in community involvement, including work with economic development organizations. Minister Ritz represents the riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster in the Canadian House of Commons.
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
For more than 20 years Dr. Sachs has been at the forefront of the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, and enlightened globalization, promoting policies to help all parts of the world to benefit from expanding economic opportunities and wellbeing. As well as leading the Earth Institute, Dr. Sachs is also the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and, from 2002 to 2006, was director of the UN Millennium Project and special advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the Millennium Development Goals. Dr. Sachs is also president and co-founder of the Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty.
In 2004 and 2005, he was named among the 100 most influential leaders in the world by Time Magazine. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, a high civilian honor bestowed by the Indian government in 2007. Dr. Sachs lectures constantly around the world and is author of hundreds of scholarly articles and many books, including the New York Times bestsellers Common Wealth and The End of Poverty. Prior to joining Columbia, he spent over twenty years at Harvard University, most recently as Director of the Center for International Development. Dr. Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard University.
Executive Director, 
United Nations World Food Programme
Ms. Sheeran became the eleventh executive director of the United Nations World Food Program in April 2007. While leading WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian agency, she also chairs the UN High-Level Committee on Management, is a member of the UN Development Group and the UN High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis, and leads the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security. Before joining WFP, Ms. Sheeran served as under secretary for economic, energy and agricultural affairs at the U.S. Department of State, where much of her focus was on economic diplomacy to help developing nations advance towards economic self-sufficiency and prosperity.
Believing that effective policies to address global issues such as hunger and poverty must focus on long-term solutions in addition to urgent responses, Ms. Sheeran has developed several important U.S. initiatives and aided development of critical multilateral projects to aid reconstruction in Afghanistan, in Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake, and in Lebanon after the 2006 war. Ms. Sheeran was managing editor of the Washington Times and has twice served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, including for foreign reporting. She earned her BA from the University of Colorado.
As president of Elanco, the animal-health division of Eli Lilly and Company, Mr. Simmons leads a global, research-based company, with offices in more than 30 countries, that develops and markets food-animal and companion-animal products that enhance animal health, wellness and performance.
Mr. Simmons joined Eli Lilly and Company in 1989 and, since then, has held many sales, marketing, and management positions globally. He served as Elanco’s executive director of U.S. operations, global strategy, and research and development. Mr. Simmons is a member of the Animal Health Institute (AHI) executive committee and serves on the board of directors for both AHI and the International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH). He is a member of the Harvard Public, Scientific, Academic and Consumer Food Policy Council and is the 2009 National FFA Foundation chairman. Mr. Simmons earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and marketing from Cornell University.
Director, Oxford University Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE)
Dr. Stewart has been director of CRISE, at Oxford University’s department of international development, since 2003, and was director of the University’s international development. She is coauthor of UNICEF’s influential study Adjustment with a Human Face and War and Underdevelopment, and editor of Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies, among many other publications. She has directed a number of major research programs financed by the UK Department for International Development, the Swedish Development Agency, and the Carnegie Corporation.
Scientific American named Dr. Stewart as one of fifty outstanding technological leaders for 2003 for promoting anti-poverty campaigns to help quell armed conflicts in developing countries. She is President elect of the Human Development and Capability Association and Vice-Chair of the United Nations Committee on Development Policy. She was previously Vice-Chair of the Board of the International Food Policy Research Institute. She received her Masters and Doctorate from Oxford University.
International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP)
Representing farmers at the world level, Mr. Vashee was elected at the 38th IFAP World Farmers' in June 2008, becoming the first president from a developing country in IFAP's 62-year history. He also served as the IFAP vice president from 2006-2008, during which time he was leading IFAP's work on environmental issues, speaking widely at international events such as the UN Committee on Sustainable Development.
Mr. Vashee is the founding and current President of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), which represents fourteen national farmers' organizations in Southern Africa. Previously, he served as president of the Zambia National Farmers Union, where he united diverse national farming interests under its umbrella for the first time in the history of the nation. Mr. Vashee is a member of the International Food & Agricultural Trade Council. A dairy and crop farmer in Zambia, he has been involved in organized agriculture for over 22 years.
Minister, Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality, 
The Netherlands
Minister Verburg has led the Netherlands ’ Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality since February 2007. She was previously was a member of the House of Representatives of the States General for the Christian Democratic Alliance from 1998 to 2007. Prior public service in the Netherlands has included serving as general secretary of the Protestant Young Farmers Association (South Holland and North Brabant chapters) and working on and leading youth issues for the Construction Workers Union (affiliated to the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions (CNV)).
Minister Verburg was chairperson of the 17th session of the UN-Commission on Sustainable Development, which in May 2009 reached an agreement under her leadership on a clear path forward to achieve sustainable agriculture in developed and developing countries and on concrete actions in the area of combating food-insecurity in developing countries.  She has also been a member of the Social and Economic Council and the Labour Foundation and has served on the executive committee of the European Trade Union 
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Appointed by President Barack Obama, Secretary Vilsack was sworn in as the 30th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Secretary Vilsack has served in the public sector at nearly every level of government, beginning as mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in 1987, and then as state senator in 1992. In 1998, he was elected to the first of two terms as governor of Iowa. 
Under Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, USDA is working to promote a safe, sustainable, sufficient and nutritious food supply for all Americans and to end child hunger by 2015. Some of Secretary Vilsack’s programs include increasing the USDA’s main food assistance program to benefit families in need with an additional $80 per month, and providing healthy fruits and vegetables to women and their infant children to encourage nutritious eating, combat the obesity epidemic, and prevent health problems down the road. Secretary Vilsack received a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, in 1972 and earned his law degree from Albany Law School in 1975.
Director General
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Dr. von Braun guides and oversees IFPRI’s efforts to provide research-based sustainable solutions for ending hunger and malnutrition. Under his leadership, IFPRI – one of the 15 CGIAR-supported centers – has continued to grow in food policy-related strategy and governance, technology policy, markets, and health nutrition policy, and has significantly expanded its teams based in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in response to research challenges and partners' needs.
Dr. von Braun serves on the boards of several academic journals, as well as on the international advisory boards of a number of research and policy organizations. From 2000 to 2003 he was president of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE). Before coming to IFPRI, Dr. von. Braun was director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and professor of Economics and Technological Change at the University of Bonn. He was also professor of Food Economics and Policy at Kiel University, Germany. Dr. von Braun  received his doctoral degree in agricultural economics from the University of Goettingen, Germany.
Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP.
Former U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan
Throughout his career in public service and diplomacy, Ambassador Williamson has held positions including ambassador to the UN Commission on Human Rights; ambassador to the United Nations offices in Vienna; assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs; and a member of the President's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control. He has also headed the U.S. delegation to the OSCE annual conference on human rights.
Ambassador Williamson also has led or served on many other federal government bodies including the Administrative Conference of the United States, the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the President’s Regulatory Task Force; and the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Promoting Democracy. He held a variety of duties in the Reagan White House, including special assistant to the president and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs. Ambassador Williamson received his A.B. cum laude from Princeton University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. 
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Archer Daniels Midland Company
Under Ms. Woertz’s direction, ADM has articulated a strategic focus to expand ADM’s global position in the agricultural processing value chain. Ms. Woertz is a member of the Board of Directors of the Procter & Gamble Company, and is a member of the National Petroleum Council, the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, and The Business Council and Business Roundtable
Ms. Woertz began her career with Ernst & Young as a certified public accountant and later joined Gulf Oil Corporation in 1977 and held positions in refining, marketing, strategic planning and finance. Ms. Woertz served as president of Chevron Canada and later Chevron International Oil Company. With the merger of Chevron and Texaco, Ms. Woertz was named executive vice president in charge of the company’s refining, marketing, lubricant, and supply and trading operations. Ms. Woertz received her B.S in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.
Chief Executive Officer
Longping High-Tech Agriculture
Since 2004, Mr. Yan has led Longping High-Tech in its production of hybrid rice seed following the breakthrough accomplishments of Professor Yuan Longping, the “father of hybrid rice” and 2004 World Food Prize Laureate. His leadership in the Chinese and international food and agriculture sectors has also included co-founding the breakfast cereal company Morning Food, co-founding the infant-formula company Ausnutria Dairy  (one of the leading infant dairy companies in China), and serving as managing director of Hunan Yahua Seed.
Mr. Yan previously worked at the China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Group. He is a shareholder of the Changsha Xin Da Xin Group, a company engaged in the development, promotion, and application of advanced agricultural technology, and was a leader in creating Changsha Xin Da Xin Vilmorin Agri-Business in 2007, which first introduced Limagrain into China. Mr. Yan holds an engineering degree and an MBA.


© 2024 The World Food Prize Foundation. All Rights Reserved.