The World Food Prize Foundation

2003 Speakers & Transcripts

Beahrs | Beckmann | Bertini | Bordewijk | Borlaug | Chowdhury | Cleaver | Dowswell | Fields-Gardner | Forney | Fukuda-Parr | Kisamba-Mugerwa | Lenton | McNeely | McPherson | Natsios | Pinstrup-Andersen | Quinn | Ruxin | Sachs | Sanchez | Scherr | Schockman | Sclar | Swaminathan | Symonds | Veneman | Vilsack


Mr. Richard Beahrs
President and COO, Court TV

Since 1992 Richard Beahrs has served as Chief Operating Officer of Court TV.  In 1999, Beahrs was named President and Chief Operating Officer of the crime and justice themed cable network.  A thirty year veteran of the company, Beahrs has experience on the print and broadcast side of different divisions of the company and currently oversees affiliate relations, marketing, advertising sales, research, and public affairs.

Mr. Beahrs holds a B.A. in history from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A degree through an Extension Program at Adelphi University.  While at Berkeley Beahrs served as Student Body President from 1967-68.  Currently Richard Beahrs serves as a Trustee of the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya, and has recently been appointed to the United Nations Hunger Task Force.  Additionally he serves on the boards of Cable in the Classroom, the School of Management at St. Petersburg University (Russia), the Arbor Day Foundation, the Near East Foundation, the Center for Sustainable Resource Development, University of California at Berkeley, and the Foreign Policy Association.

Mr. Beahrs and his wife Carolyn gave an incredible gift to the College of Natural Resources  at UC Berkeley in August of 2000 by establishing the Carolyn and Richard Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program.  The program offers opportunities for mid-career professionals and policymakers to gain expertise, enhance skills, and broaden their perspective on sustainable environmental management.


David Beckmann
President, Bread for the World


Since 1991 Rev. David Beckmann has served as president of Bread for the World, prior to which he served several years on the board.  Bread for the World is a nationwide Christian citizens’ movement against hunger.  Each year the organization mobilized about a quarter of a million letters to Congress on issues that are important to hungry people in the United States and worldwide.  Beckmann, an economist, has played a prominent role in the Bank’s heightened focus on poverty reduction, and fostered greater collaboration between the Bank and private voluntary organization serving poor people.

Beckmann is an economist as well as a Lutheran clergyman.  He received his undergraduate degree from Yale, then went on to earn his Master of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics, and additionally he attended Christ Seminary in St. Louis where he received a Master of Divinity.

Preceding his work at Bread for the World Rev. Beckmann worked in Bangladesh for a church-related relief and development agency from 1975-1976, along with 15 years as a World Bank economist.  Beckmann has several published works focusing on Christian faith and economics.  Of his most recent work is work entitled, Grace at the Table: Ending Hunger in God’s World, the piece was published in 1999 and coauthored by former Bread for the World president, Art Simon.


Catherine Bertini
Under Secretary General
United Nations
2003 World Food Prize Laureate


The World Food Prize Foundation is Proud to Announce that Catherine Bertini, former Executive Director of the World Food Programme and current United Nations Under Secretary General for Management has been named the winner of the $250,000 World Food Prize in 2003 ...more



Dr. Jeroen Bordewijk
President, Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI), Chairman, Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Steering Group


Jeroen Bordewijk (Dutch) has a 31 years professional career in Unilever, the Dutch-British multinational in food and home & personal care products. Worked in many different product categories in Unilever both in foods, detergents and personal care, mostly in Supply Chain and R&D roles.

In his current position he is responsible in Unilever’s global foods division for supply chain excellence which includes areas like QA, safety, environment and sustainable development projects.

Since July 2002 he is also president of the SAI-platform, the food-industry initiative for sustainable agriculture.


Dr. Norman E. Borlaug
1970 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

In 1970 Norman E. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for a lifetime of work to feed a hungry world.  Although a scientist with outstanding contributions, perhaps Dr. Borlaug's greatest achievement has been his unending struggle to integrate the various streams of agricultural research into viable technologies and to convince political leaders to bring these advances to fruition ...more


Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury Co-Chair, Millennium Task Force on Child Health and Maternal Health, Executive Director, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee

A native of Bangladesh, Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury is the Deputy Executive Director of the Research and Evaluation Division of BRAC in Bangladesh.  BRAC is one of the largest indigenous non-governmental development organizations (NGO)  in the world, which is particularly concerned with poverty alleviation, education, empowerment of women, environment, and health issues.  He has also played a crucial role throughout the expansive introduction or Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT)by BRAC in Bangladesh.  

Dr. Chowdhury completed his undergraduate work in Dhaka, and he later obtained his PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  Currently, Dr. Chowdhury is a visiting professor at Columbia University in the United States.  At Columbia he teaches and does research and advocacy for equity in health.  Additionally, many articles and books in the areas of public health, education, and poverty eradication can be accredited to Dr. Chowdhury.  His work has spanned around the globe by working in China, Ethiopia, Nepal, and Thailand, and he has been a regular consultant to governments in South Asia and Africa as well as multilateral organizations including UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Red Cross.


Dr. Kevin Cleaver
Director of Agriculture and Rural Development, World Bank


Kevin Cleaver has long been associated with the World Bank.  In his current position manages the World Bank’s Agriculture and Rural Development Program.  His responsibilities at the World Bank includes managing the Bank’s Agriculture and Rural Development Board, which consists of rural development managers around the Bank, he sets the Bank’s corporate strategy in the area, and oversees its implementation throughout the Bank, he oversees recruitment for rural development and agriculture experts into the Bank, and he represents the Bank in dealing with rural development issues.  

Prior to his current position, Mr. Cleaver was the Director for Environment, Rural Development and Social Development in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the Bank.  Here he managed approximately 150 staff that worked on these sectors in this region, he also directly undertook sector analysis, advice to governments, environmental and social assessment of projects in all sectors.    Mr. Cleaver has also served as Technical Director of the Bank’s Africa region, Manager of the Africa region’s Knowledge Center , Director of the Africa Technical Department, managed various agricultural divisions in the Africa region, headed the Nairobi-based agricultural section covering several East African countries.  Mr. Cleaver has also worked as an agricultural economist in North Africa and Yugoslavia.  Before Mr. Cleaver joined the World Bank, he was an economist in the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Zaire.   

Mr. Cleaver obtained his BA in International Relations and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and from Tufts University he received an MA and PhD in Development and International Economics.  The World Bank Director has published multiple articles and books dealing with Africa’s agricultural policy and its environment and forestry.  Additionally, he has co-authored World Bank strategy documents for the Africa region, including “Continent in Transition” in 1996, the Long-Term Perspective Study for Africa in 1992, and he authored the first agriculture and rural development strategy for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.


Dr. Christopher Dowswell
Hunger Task Force Member; and Special Assistant to the President, Sasakawa Africa Association



Cade Fields-Gardner


Cade Fields-Gardner, MS, RD, LD, CD is an HIV-specialist dietitian providing training, education, research, and program development services for public agencies, professional organizations, health facilities, and industry. She has authored professional research and review articles, including the 1994 and 2000 Position Paper for nutritional management in HIV/AIDS for the American Dietetic Associations and Dietitians of Canada; patient-oriented pamphlets, handouts, and articles; a Clinician’s Guidebook on Nutritional Management in HIV/AIDS, two books on HIV Medication Interactions, and is working on a cookbook for patients in the era of HAART. Ms. Fields-Gardner is currently working on field-testing nutritional management guidelines for pediatric HIV-infected patients in the United States, and developing, implementing, and monitoring nutritional projects in selected Southern/Eastern African and Central American countries with an emphasis on targeting HIV-infected and affected populations. She is a regular consultant providing body composition recommendations and training for the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trial Group (PACTG) and selected Adult ACTG projects. She has a special interest in public policy on HIV infection and disease and has presented her work on nutrition-related issues in HIV disease locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.


Robert Forney
President, America’s Second Harvest


Robert H. Forney serves as President and CEO of America’s Second Harvest.  The organization is the nation’s largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization.  With a national network of more than 200 regional food banks and food-rescue organizations America’s Second Harvest provides over $2.3 billion in food and grocery products to 50,000 local charitable agencies.   Of which, these agencies operate more than 94,000 food programs including food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, Kids Cafes, Community Kitchens, and other local organizations that provide emergency food assistance to more than 23 million hungry Americans each year.

Forney has held a number of executive leadership positions throughout his career in which he has experienced much success.  To his credit Mr. Forney has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Stock Exchange Inc., the most technologically advanced stock exchange in the country.  Additionally,  Mr. Forney worked as Senior Vice President of Bricker & Associates, Inc., President and Executive Officer of Fortex Technologies Inc., Vice President of the Pansophic Systems Inc., Senior Vice President, Technology Solutions Company, and Managing Partner and International Executive Director at KPMG Peat Marwick Advanced Technology.

Mr. Forney is a graduate of Indiana University, earning his B.S. in accounting and finance as well as an MBA.


Dr. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr
Director, Human Development Office, UN Development Programme


Since 1995 Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, a Japanese national, has served as Director of the Human Development Report Office.  Fukuda-Parr has devoted over 20 years of her life as an economist working on development politics and operational programs, with a strong focus on Africa, agricultural development, poverty-oriented rural development, policy dialogue for aid coordination, aid management, capacity building and technical assistance effectiveness.

Prior to joining the Human Development Report team, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr was with UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa, focusing on capacity building issues, she has also served as Division Chief for West Africa, Principal Economist, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Burundi, and Technical Adviser in Agricultural development.  Mrs. Fukuda-Parr has also worked at the World Bank, where she served as an Agricultural Economist in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and went on to post-graduate studies at the University of Sussex and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.  Fukuda-Parr has co-authored the 1995 Report on Gender and Human Development, the 1996 report on Economic Growth, the 1997 Report on Poverty, the 1998 Report on Consumption, and the 1999 Report on Globalization.


H.E. Wilberforce Kisamba-Mugerwa
Minister of Agriculture,
Animal Industry, and Fisheries,
Republic of Uganda


Wilberforce Kisamba-Mugerwa serves as the Republic of Uganda’s Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries as well as Member of Parliament.  Kisamba-Mugerwa has a strong background in research, and has a special interest in management of natural resources, poverty, food security, and rural development in general.  He is a senior research associate with Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University, in Kampala.  Dr. Kisamba-Mugerwa holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from Makerere University.  Additionally, he is a member of various research networks, and regional and international associations.  


Dr. Roberto Lenton
Co-Chair, Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation, Executive Director, International Research Institute at Columbia University


Roberto Lenton, a native of Argentina, is Chair of the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership, hosted by the Earth Institute.  Additionally he serves as Co-chair of the Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation and Senior Advisor for International Development at the International Research Institute for climate prediction.  serves as the Executive Director of the Secretariat for International Affairs and Development.

Previously, Dr. Lenton served as the Executive Director of the Secretariat for International Affairs and Development; he has been responsible for setting UNDP policy in natural resources, energy and environment as Director of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Division, a position he held prior to joining IRI.  Further Dr. Lenton has also served as Director General of the International Water Management Institute, was a member of MIT’s Civil Engineering Faculty, and he has been engaged in international development assistance activities with the Ford Foundation.   

With a civil engineering degree from the University of Buenos Aires and a Masters and PhD in Water Resources Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dr. Lenton is recognized by the international community as an authority on water resources management.  Dr.  Lenton is the author or co-author of over 50 professional papers on scientific, technical, and policy subjects, including co-author of Applied Water Resources Systems.


Dr. Jeffrey McNeely
Chief Scientist, IUCN—The World Conservation Union


Jeffrey McNeely, chief scientist of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the largest non-governmental organization (NGO) of environmental scientists in the world, based in Switzerland, has been working on a broad range of conservation issues.

Before joining IUCN, McNeely worked for 12 years in Asia, dividing his time between Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka advising on conservation issues.

McNeely was educated as an anthropologist and zoologist at the University of California at Los Angeles.  As a writer, he has written and edited over 30 books and published over 200 technical and popular articles on a wide range of conservation issues, seeking to link conservation of natural resources to the maintenance of cultural diversity and to economically sustainable ways of life.  His books include  Soul of the Tiger: The Relationship Between People and Nature in Southeast Asia; Conserving the World’s Biological Diversity; National Parks, Conservation, and Development; Conserving Nature: A Regional Overview, Protection of Global Biodiversity: Converging Strategies.  McNeely serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of 7 biodiversity-related journals.


Dr. Peter McPherson
President, Michigan State University Chair, Board for International Food and Development, USAID Founding Co-Chair, Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa


Michigan State University President, Peter McPherson’s roots run deep within the University.  McPherson graduated from Michigan State receiving a B.A. in political science.  He later received his M.B.A.  from Western Michigan University, and his J.D. from American University Law School.  While as President of Michigan State University, McPherson has worked with the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students of the university to ensure that it remains affordable and accessible to students from all walks of life.

McPherson’s position’s before Michigan State University included Group Executive Vice President, Investment Management Group Bank of America; Group Executive Vice President, Latin America and Canada Division, CEO; Executive Vice President, Global Debt Restructuring Administration; Deputy Secretary of Treasury Department; Administrator, Agency for International Development; Chairman of the Board, Overseas Private Investment Corporation; Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease; The White House, Special Assistant to President Ford and Deputy Director, Presidential Personnel Office; and the Internal Revenue Service.

Additionally, McPherson serves as one of 25 members of a Kellogg Commission national committee devoted to studying the future of higher education.


Hon. Andrew Natsios
Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development


Andrew Natsios is Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), appointed on May 1, 2001. He previously served at USAID as director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance from 1989 to 1991 and as Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance from 1991 to 1993. He is also Special Coordinator for International Disaster Assistance and Special Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sudan.

Before assuming his current position, Mr. Natsios was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority; Secretary for Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Vice President of World Vision U.S.; and Executive Director of the Northeast Public Power Association of Milford, Massachusetts. In addition, he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1975 to 1987, and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after serving 23 years in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Mr. Natsios is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where he received a master’s degree in public administration. He is the author of numerous articles on foreign policy and humanitarian emergencies, as well as the author of two books: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and The Great North Korean Famine.


Dr. Per Pinstrup-Andersen
2001 World Food Prize Laureate, H.E. Babcock Professor of Food and Nutrition Policy, Cornell University


Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen has been Director-General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) since 1992. Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen received the World Food Prize in 2001 for his contribution to agricultural research, food policy and uplifting the status of the poor and starving citizens of the world.

Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen personally initiated the research effort which enabled several governments to reform their food subsidy programs, dramatically increasing food availability to the most poor in each country.  This research laid the foundation for the establishment of "Food For Education" programs in which the families receive food subsidies when children stay in school.  Driven by a deep desire to alleviate the suffering of malnourished and starving children, Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen initiated a global effort to uplift those most at risk by formulating IFPRI's 2020 Vision Initiative. 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.


Ambassador Kenneth Quinn
The World Food Prize Foundation


Dr. Kenneth M. Quinn, former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, assumed the leadership of the World Food Prize Foundation on January 1, 2000, following his retirement from the State Department ...more


Dr. Josh Ruxin
Co-Chair, Millennium Project Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Access to Essential Medicines


Josh Ruxin, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Public Health at the Mailman School of Public Health, focuses on scaling up national health programs.  Currently, Dr. Ruxin serves as Director of the Program to Scale Up Health in Developing Countries at the Center for Global Health and Economic Development, a joint initiative of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Mailman School of Public Health, is co-coordinator of the HIV/AIDS task force of the UN Millennium Project, and is implementing a project with the World Health Organization to apply the finding of the Commission of Macroeconomics and Health in eighteen countries.

Before joining the team at Columbia University, Dr. Ruxin was based at Harvard, Directing the Access Project for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  Before Harvard, Ruxin was Vice President at ontheFRONTIER, led projects in a dozen developing countries, and was an advisor to government and private sector leaders on business strategy and economic development.

Josh Ruxin first attended Yale University where he obtained a B.A. in the History of Science and Medicine.  From Yale he went on to Columbia University, receiving a Master of Public Health, and as a Marshall Scholar he received his Ph.D. in History from the University of London.  As a Fulbright Scholar in Bolivia, Dr. Ruxin wrote his dissertation on the United Nations Nutrition Policies in Developing Countries.  Part of his dissertation is published in Food, Science, Policy, and Regulation in the Twentieth Century.  Additionally, he is the author of “The History of Oral Rehydration Therapy,” published in Medical History.


Dr. Jeffrey Sachs
Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University Director, the Millennium Project


Jeffrey Sachs, a Harvard University Professor, serves as the director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.  Widely considered as one of the top economists in the world,  Dr. Sachs advises governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia, Africa, and the United Nations with his economic expertise.  While at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Sachs is also full professor of Economics, International and Public Affairs, and Health Policy and Management.  He will direct his work with Public Health projects to investigate the causes of health effects of Bangladesh’s toxic levels of arsenic in well water, as well as work with the University’s international HIV/AIDS initiatives.

While at Harvard, Dr. Sachs was director of the Center for International Development and Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade.  Additionally, he is former director of the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID), and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.  He was chairman of the Commission of Macroeconomics and Health of the World Health Organization, and served as a member of the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission.

Sachs has also served as co-chairman of the Advisory Board of the Global Competitiveness Report, and has been a consultant to the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD, and the United Nations Development Program.

He has been advisor to the president of Bolivia, and the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Poland’s first post communist government, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Slovenia, Estonia, Mongolia, and he was the first foreigner in a 43-year history of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party to be asked to deliver a keynote address at the LDP national convention.

Dr. Sachs has met with Pope John Paul II as a member of a group of economists invited to confer with the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace in advance of the Papal Encyclical Centesimus Annus.   

His research interests include the links of health and development, economic geography, globalization, transition to market economics in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, international financial markets, international macroeconomic policy coordination, emerging markets, economic development and growth, global competitiveness and macroeconomic policies in developing and developed countries.

Jeffrey Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University.  He has published more than 100 scholarly articles, and has authored or edited many books.  His books include, “Economics of Worldwide Stagflation,” co-authored with Michael Bruno, “Global Linkages:  Macroeconomic Interdependence and Cooperation in the World Economy,”  co-authored with Warwick McKibbin, “Peru’s Path to Recovery,” co-authored with Carlos Paredes, and his textbook on “Macroeconomics in the Global Economy,” co-authored with Felipe Larrain.


Dr. Pedro Sanchez
2002 World Food Prize Laureate
Co-Chair, U.N. Hunger Task Force


Dr. Pedro Sanchez, former Director General of The International Center for Research in Agroforestry, was named the recipient of the 2002 World Food Prize by Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of The World Food Prize Foundation ...more


Dr. Sara Scherr
Director, Ecosystems Service, Forest Trends, Director, Ecoagriculture Partners


Sara Scherr received her B.A. in economics at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and her M.S. and her Ph.D. in International Economics and Development at Cornell University in New York.  Ms. Scherr focuses her research on policies to reduce poverty and restore ecosystems through markets for carbon sequestration, watershed protection and biodiversity protection services; strategies to promote ecoagriculture; and development of local institutions for natural resource management.    

Currently Dr. Scherr is an agricultural and natural resource economist, specializing in economics and policy of land and forest management in tropical developing countries.  Additionally, she is Director of Ecosystem Services Forest Trends, an NGO that promotes forest conservation through improved markets for forest products and ecosystem services.  She serves as Director of Ecoagriculture Partners, is a member of the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger, and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Agroforestry Centre.

Previously, she was Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland, Co-Leader of the CGIAR  Gender Program, served as Principal Researcher at the International Center for Research in Agroforestry, in Nairobi, Kenya.  Further, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington D.C, Fulbright Scholar, and a Rockefeller Social Science Fellow.   

Numerous papers and 11 books of Dr. Scherr’s have been published, including Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity (with Jeff McNeely) and A new Agenda for Forest Conservation and Poverty Reduction:  Making Markets Work for Low-Income Producers (with Andy White and David Kaimowitz).


H. Eric Schockman
Executive Director MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger


As Executive Director of MAZON:  A Jewish Response to Hunger, H. Eric Schockman, works to prevent and alleviate hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds.  The nonprofit organization was established in 1985, in which it collects donations from the Jewish community and later allocates those donations to prevent and alleviate hunger around the nation.  Schockman also serves as Chair of the Medford Group, which is an alliance of all major anti-hunger organizations in the nations.

Schockman is a policy expert and an authority on hunger and poverty issues.  Prior to MAZON, Dr. Schockman served as Associate Dean/Adjunct Associate Professor of Political Science for the University of Southern California.  He has also been a top consultant to the California State Assembly and the Los Angeles City Council, has served on the Little Hoover Commission, was a founder of the New Leaders Project, and is a member of Beth Chayim Chadashim and Kol Ami synagogues in Los Angeles.

Dr. Schockman, an alumnus from the University of California, holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations, and a Masters of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University.


Dr. Elliott Sclar
Co-Chair, Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers

Columbia University Professor of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, Elliott Sclar, holds senior appointments in two schools, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and the School of International and Public Affairs.  Sclar is also a co-coordinator of Taskforce 8 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal project.  Taskforce 8 is responsible for the range of environmental, economic, and social problems associated with the accelerating pace of global urbanization.

Professor Sclar has had critical involvement in several major planning efforts on Manhattan’s west side.  Working as a planning consultant Sclar has played a hand in several neighborhoods throughout the Manhattan area.  Such places include Chelsea, Clinton (Hell’s Kitchen), Greenwich Village, SoHo, West Harlem, and the Upper West Side.  Prior to his work in New York, Sclar served on the faculty of Brandeis University’s Heller School, teaching policy and urban economics, and he served as a planning consultant to the coalition of community groups that successfully ended plans to build a highway through Boston’s historic inner city neighborhoods during the late 1960s.

As a nationally recognized expert on local economic development planning, Sclar has written several papers on local economic development and the strategic role of older central cities in strategies for combating sprawl and revitalizing metropolitan regions.  One of his more recently published papers was, “One More Chance: Cities and the 21st Century Economy.”

Professor Sclar focuses his work on understanding the intersection between the transport and other technologies that define spatial possibilities and the economic, political, and social forces that drive actual metropolitan land use decisions.  His book, Access for All:  Transportation and Urban Growth, co-authored in 1974 is still considered a classic in its field.  He has also written Shaky Palaces:  Home Ownership and Social Mobility in Boston Suburbanization, with co-authors Matthew Edel and Daniel Lauria, and You Won’t Always Get What you Pay For:  The Economics of Privatization. Sclar earned his B.A. at Hofstra University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Tufts University.


Dr. M.S. Swaminathan
1987 World Food Prize Laureate
Co-Chair, U.N. Hunger Task Force


 Dr. Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan received the first World Food Prize in 1987 for spearheading the introduction of high-yielding wheat and rice varieties to India’s farmers. In a career dedicated to alleviating human suffering, Dr. Swaminathan has completed the work of many lifetimes, and, like his mentor and colleague Dr. Norman Borlaug, he is recognized as a leader in the world’s "Green Revolution" ...more


Judith Symonds
Executive Director
Future Harvest Foundation


Judith Symonds is Executive Director of the Future Harvest Foundation.  She is a specialist  in strategic planning, communication, public affairs and fund-raising for international institutions.  Her areas of substantive expertise include European affairs and international development, agriculture policy and civil society.  She lived and worked in Europe from 1980 until the spring of 2002, when she assumed the position at the Future Harvest Foundation.

Most recently, she was President of the Foundation for the Development of Polish Agriculture (FDPA) in Warsaw, living in Poland from November 1996 until December 1998. Prior to the position at FDPA, Judith Symonds was Director of International Relations and Development at ESSEC, the French business school in Paris.  From 1992 through 1994 she was an independent consultant working for the OECD Agriculture Directorate in Central Europe and with clients such as: the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture and the Polish Council of Ministers.

In 1986 she moved to London to create the position of Director of European Corporate Communications for Drexel Burnham, an investment bank. In 1988 she established the London office for Ruder Finn, a US public affairs and public relations agency.  She returned to Paris in 1990 to set up the European headquarters and network for the agency.  Her major clients were: The Paribas Group, AXA-Midi Insurance, Compagnie Bancaire, the European Confederation of Maize Growers, the Hilton Prize and others.

From the early to mid-1980’s Ms. Symonds was based in Paris where she was representative of The German Marshall Fund of the United States and was international public affairs advisor to the Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole and Director of Development for the Atlantic Institute for International Affairs.

From 1990 to 1996 she lectured at the Institut d’Etude Politique de Paris on Citizen Participation and Political Decision-Making and has organised several seminars and workshops on the same topic for institutions and governments in Central Europe and Africa.

Judith Symonds is a history and international affairs graduate of Stanford University.  She has served on several boards of directors, including the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, the Joint Commission for Humanitarian Assistance and Caresbac in Poland.


Hon. Ann Veneman
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Ann M. Veneman was sworn in as the 27th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on January 20, 2001. Her lifelong commitment to food and farm issues, along with her bipartisan approach to solving problems and confronting new challenges, are reasons that explain why she was chosen by President George W. Bush to serve in his Cabinet and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

From 1991 to 1993, Veneman served as USDA's Deputy Secretary, the Department's second-highest position. She also served as Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs from 1989 to 1991. Veneman joined the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in 1986 and served as Associate Administrator until 1989. From 1995 to 1999, Veneman served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), managing agricultural programs and services for the nation's largest and most diverse agricultural producing state

The Secretary earned her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California, Davis, a master's degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a juris doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. In a personal capacity, she serves as a board member of the Close Up Foundation, a nonpartisan civic education organization.


The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Governor of Iowa, Chair of the Governors' Biotechnology Partnership


Governor Tom Vilsack was elected Iowa’s 39th Governor in 1998, the first Democratic governor of the state in more than 30 years. He was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2002.

Governor Vilsack is the chair of the Democratic Leadership Council and is the former chair of the Democratic Governors’ Association, the Midwest Governor’s Conference, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), and the Ethanol Coalition. The governor is also a member of the National Governors Association Executive Committee.

Prior to being elected governor, Governor Vilsack was an Iowa State Senator (1992-96) and the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa (1987-92) as well as managing a private law practice with his father-in-law. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, orphaned at birth, and adopted in 1951. He received a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York in 1972, and received a law degree from Albany Law School in 1975.

© 2023 The World Food Prize Foundation. All Rights Reserved.