The World Food Prize Foundation

2001 Speakers & Transcripts

Abalu  | Becker  | Bertini  | Catley-Carlson  | Chalk  | de Haen | Doyle  | Fitzhugh | Goldburg | Horn | Johnson | Lash | Moore
Pederson | Pinstrup-Andersen | Sanchez | Schuh | Schwetz | Seckler | Shannon | Villarreal | Vlek | Wolf | Wolgin | Zewdie   

George Abalu
Principal Regional Adviser for Food Security and Sustainable Development
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Dr. Abalu is the Principal Regional Adviser for Food Security and Sustainable Development at the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University. Prior to joining the United Nations he was Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the Ahmed Bello University in Nigeria. He currently serves as Extraordinary Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He has published widely in the area of food security, and will discuss the current conditions in Africa.

Elizabeth Becker
Chief Agricultural Writer
The New York Times

Elizabeth Becker is a Washington correspondent at the New York Times covering domestic policy. Previously she was Pentagon correspondent at the Times, covering national security affairs and Assistant Washington Editor overseeing foreign and economic news. Before joining the Times, Ms. Becker was the Senior Foreign Editor at National Public Radio. Her work was honored with two DuPont-Columbia Awards as the executive producer for coverage of Rwanda and South Africa. She began her career in Asia as a war correspondent for the Washington Post in Cambodia. Ms. Becker is the author of “When the War Was Over,” a history of modern Cambodian and Khmer Rouge, which won a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.  She will chair the session, “Can the Land Sustain Needed Production?"


Catherine Bertini
Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations

Catherine Bertini was appointed head of the World Food Programme, the largest global food aid agency in 1992. She has worked to implement the agency's dual mandate: to avert starvation in humanitarian crises through emergency operations, and to promote long-term development projects aimed at breaking the deeply rooted hunger-poverty cycle. Under her leadership, the World Food Programme’s share of global food aid rose from 22 percent in 1993 to 36 percent in 1998. Ms. Bertini will discuss the world food security conditions and starvation/hunger “hot spots” in the world today. Earlier this year, she reported on an alarming trend concerning the poorest nations simultaneously hit by both natural and man-made emergencies, including in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Tajikistan. The current food emergency situation in Afghanistan has received priority attention from the WFP since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Margaret Catley-Carlson
Director, Global Water Policy Council

Ms. Catley-Carlson, a native of Canada, is an advisor to and/or Director of many international organizations. Her 35-year career in economic development has included terms as President of the Canadian International Development Agency, Deputy Director of UNICEF, and Chair of the Geneva-based Water Supply Sanitation Collaborative Council. In 2000, Ms. Carlson was named Chair of the Global Water Partnership, a network that links thousands of water management professionals around the world. She recently presented a paper at the Stockholm Water Symposium titled, “Water Security for the 21st Century: Building Bridges through Dialogue.”

Peter Chalk
Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation


Dr. Chalk is a Policy Analyst working in the Project Airforce and National Security Divisions of the RAND Corporation, a Washington D.C. think-tank. During the past year he has worked on projects examining unconventional security threats in Southeast Asia, new strategic challenges for the U.S. Airforce in Latin America and evolving trends in national and international terrorism. Prior to joing RAND, Dr. Chalk was an Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. He has also acted as a research consultant in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Austrialia.  Dr. Chalk will discuss the threat to the world’s food supply arising from bioterrorism and agroterrorism acts. His most recent book, published by MacMillan in 1996, is titled, “Non-Military Security and Global Disorder: The Impact of Extremism, Violence, and Chaos on National and International Security.”


Hartwig de Haen
Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Department
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Of the United Nations


Dr. De Haen, Assistant Director-General of FAO, will provide a review of the “State of Food Insecurity 2001” report, which is scheduled for release by the FAO on World Food Day, October 16. He will highlight new data on food security as he brings a message from his organization regarding the final preparations for the World Food Summit next month in Rome.


Michael Doyle
Director, Center for Food Safety
University of Georgia


Dr. Doyle is Regents Professor of Food Microbiology, Director of the Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement, and Head of the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Georgia. He is an active researcher in the area of foodborne bacterial pathogens and works closely with the food industry on issues related to the microbiological safety of foods. He has published more than 300 scientific publications, including editor of two authoritative books, Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens and Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers. Dr. Doyle will address the potential impact of microbiological contamination on the world food supply, and review some of the national and international regulatory processes that are in place to ensure food safety.


Hank Fitzhugh
Director General
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)


Dr. Fitzhugh is the Founding Director-General of ILRI in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the 16 Future Harvest centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Most of his career has focused on smallholder livestock production in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Dr. Fitzhugh will address the issue of trans-border livestock diseases. In addition to diseases such as Foot-and-Mouth and “Mad-Cow,” there are numerous other diseases, most notably East Coast Fever, that afflict the livestock of small farmers in Africa and other regions—which can seriously impact the local economies and the supply of food. Dr. Fitzhugh will discuss the increasing vulnerability of livestock herds resulting from the freer movement of livestock and people around the globe.


Rebecca J. Goldburg
Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense


Dr. Goldburg is a Senior Scientist at Environmental Defense’s New York City headquarters. Trained as an ecologist at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Goldburg is active in public policy issues centered on food production—primarily ecological and food safety issues concerning agricultural biotechnology, aquaculture, and antibiotic use in agriculture. Dr.Goldburg was instrumental in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish scientific protocols for release of bioengineered organisms and ensure that the public is notified before they occur. She will discuss the environmentally responsible use of biotechnology, the role of regulatory agencies in protecting both the environment and the food supply, and will provide her views on how the public perception of biotechnology research is affecting both the funding and the credibility of science.


Floyd Horn
Administrator, Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
U.S. Department of Agriculture


Dr. Horn is the Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture. His responsibilities include overseeing the management of USDA’s agricultural research arm. This includes national and international research in improved crop and livestock production, pest management, livestock diseases, food safety and biotechnology, human nutrition, and sustainable agriculture. Dr. Horn has been recognized for his initiative and dedication in the development of research programs, and in 1992 received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service. Dr. Horn will present an overview of the USDA research agenda in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in the United States.


Ian Johnson
Vice-President, The World Bank
Chairman, Consultative Group on International Research (CGIAR)

Ian Johnson, a British national, was appointed as the World Bank’s Vice President for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network in 1998 and Chairman of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research in 2000. Dr. Johnson studied Economics at the Universities of Wales, Sussex, and Harvard. Prior to joining the Bank, he spent five years in Bangladesh working with a non-governmental organization as a Program Officer for UNICEF. He will discuss the challenges facing agriculture and poor farmers at risk in developing countries in the coming decades and how CGIAR is planning to renew its commitment to addressing global food security needs, especially those related to a warming world.


Jonathan Lash
President, World Resources Institute (WRI)

Mr. Lash, President of the Washington-based World Resources Institute, is a former Peace Corps volunteer. Before joining WRI, a non-partisan, non-profit think-tank, he directed the environmental law and policy program of the Vermont Law School and headed the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Mr. Lash will discuss the impact of climate change on global ecosystems that support the production of food for a burgeoning world population. He will discuss WRI’s objectives to catalyze action to reverse the accelerating trends of “biotic impoverishment,” climate destabilization, and ecosystem destruction—even as it explores ways to provide opportunity to more people. In his recent testimony before a U. S. Senate hearing on the “Climate Change Strategy and Technological Innovation Act of 2001,” Mr. Lash said, “The conclusion of the world’s scientists is quite unequivocal: climate change is real [and] we are beginning to see its consequences.”


Patrick Moore
President, Greenspirit

Dr. Moore has been a leader in the international environmental field for 30 years. He is a founding member of Greenpeace and served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International. In recent years, Dr. Moore has focused attention on the promotion of sustainability among competing concerns. In 1991 he founded Greenspirit, a consultancy concentrating on environmental policy and communications in natural resources, biodiversity, energy, and climate change. He will discuss how consensus building can help restore confidence by the public in the efficacy of science and dispel the skepticism that has dogged biotechnology research in the recent past.


The Honorable Sally Pederson
Lt. Governer of Iowa

Lt. Governor Sally Pederson, elected to office in 1998, serves as the lead of the Governor Vilsack-Lt. Governor Pederson team on workforce, disability, diversity, and health and human service issues for the State of Iowa.  She provides leadership to a broad range of task forces and committees whose charge it is to make Iowa a national leader in these critical areas. Through her volunteering efforts, Lt. Governor Pederson also focuses attention on volunteers and on those who rely on the service of volunteers.


Per Pinstrup-Andersen
Director-General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen, a native of Denmark, is the recipient of The 2001 World Food Prize, recognized for his contribution to agricultural research, food policy and uplifting the status of the poor and starving citizens of the world. He has served as Director-General of IFPRI since 1992. He will outline his Vision 2020 Program to reduce world hunger in the new millennium. Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen will also discuss a theme from new book, “Seeds of Contention,” which addresses the issues of whether biotechnology and genetically modified crops are essential to countering hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen argues that our assessment of biotechnology must take into consideration the fact that it may help poor farmers in developing countries grow greater quantities of more nutritious food.


Pedro A. Sanchez
Director-General, International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF)


Dr. Sanchez’s professional career has been dedicated to improving the management of tropical soils through integrated natural resource management approaches to achieve food security and reduce rural poverty while protecting and enhancing the environment. He just concluded ten years of service as Director-General of ICRAF, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Last August, Dr. Sanchez was anointed a Luo Elder with the name of Odera Kang’o by the Luo community of Western Kenya, in recognition for his assistance in eliminating hunger from many villages in the region. His presentation will focus on the crucial role of improving soil fertility in increasing the ability of small farmers to move to sustainable mixed crop-livestock-tree farming, which, he believes, can open avenues leading out of the cycle of hunger and crushing poverty. In January 2002, Dr. Sanchez will join the Center for Sustainable Resource Development at the University of California, Berkeley.


G. Edward Schuh
Director, Freeman Center for International Economic Policy
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs


Dr. Schuh is Regents Professor of International Economic Policy and the Orville and Jane Freeman Chair in International Economic Policy at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Dr. Schuh is the presidentially appointed Chair of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, which advises the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. His particular areas of subject matter interest include agricultural and food policy, economic development, international trade, and exchange-rate policy. Dr. Schuh will discuss the evolution and future of the soybean industry in South America and the impact of increased production on the world trade in soybeans. His presentation will focus on the importance of the breakthrough in learning how to use tropical soils, the contributions of an established research system such as EMBRAPA in Brazil in garnering a competitive advantage, and the potential for further expansion. As well, Dr. Schuh will highlight the differing approaches to expansion of soybean production in Brazil and in Argentina.


Bernard Schwetz
Acting Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs,
U. S. Food and Drug Administration

Dr. Schwetz was appointed the Acting Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs in January 2001. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology/Division of Interdisciplinary Toxicology, at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He was editor of Fundamental and Applied Toxicology from 1986 –1992, and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Environmental Health Perspectives and Critical Reviews in Toxicology.  Dr. Schwetz is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and is a member of the Society of Toxicology. In 1998, he received the U.S. Government’s Meritorious Executive Presidential Rand Award, and in 2000 the Distinguished Service Award of the American college of Toxicology. Dr. Schwetz will present views from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on what is being done to counter food terrorism.


David Seckler
Director General (retired), International Water Management Institute (IWMI)


Dr. Seckler served for five years (1995-2000) as Director-General of the International Water Management Institute, headquartered in Sri Lanka. Capitalizing on previous accomplishments of IWMI and others, a series of research publications was produced by IWMI that fundamentally changed the thinking about water resource management in the world. Dr. Seckler will discuss the complex relationships and issues concerning water resources and food production on a global scale—what is referred to as the “global water-food nexus.” He will present data indicating that by 2025 one-third of the world’s population will live in countries afflicted by absolute physical water scarcity. Dr. Seckler’s paper will show why the potential of such solutions as increased water-use efficiency in agriculture is not as great as many people, including some specialists, believe.


David Shannon
Chief Scientist, Department of the Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom


Dr. Shannon is the Chief Scientist at the UK’s Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs. Before he worked with the British government, he was in charge of veterinary products at Glaxo International. He will provide an assessment of the situation in Europe relative to the outbreaks of BSE and FMD in livestock as the movement of people, trading of foods, ingredients, and food-animal feeding stuffs becomes more global. He will discuss the implications for globalized trade, agricultural production, and world food security of the continuing threats posed by the potential for spreading deadly diseases and of terrorist attacks on agriculture.


Marcella Villarreal
Chief of the Population Programme Service
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations


Dr. Villarreal, a native of Columbia, is a specialist in Systems Engineering and Anthropology. Since 1996 she has served as Senior Population officer at FAO. In her presentation, she will present a picture of how HIV/AIDS impacts food security at the household, community, and national level and how FAO is responding to conditions where significant portions of the rural population—and even the agricultural extension officers—have succumbed to the disease. The death toll from AIDS is highest among people in the productive age groups. Dr. Villarreal believes that agricultural extension programs must change, and policies must be implemented to serve those who are left to farm, such as orphans and the elderly.


Paul Vlek
Professor, Director
Department of Ecology and Natural Resources
Center for Development Research (ZEF)
University of Bonn


Dr. Vlek, a soil scientist, is Professor and Director of the Department of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn, a federally funded multidisciplinary research and teaching institute concerning sustainable development issues. Prior to accepting this post, he was a Professor and Director at the Institute of Agronomy in the Tropics at Georg-August University in Goettingen. Dr. Vlek is Editor-in-Chief of “Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems,” and Editor of “Applied Botany,” and “Basic and Applied Ecology.” Dr. Vlek will provide a general overview of the world’s soil resources, agricultural use of land, and the evidence of ongoing degradation and desertification of the soil in many food-producing regions.

Aaron T. Wolf
Department of Geosciences
Oregon State University

Dr. Wolf is Assistant Profesor of Geosciences at Oregon State University. He will discuss issues surrounding potential political conflict over water supplies in the regions of the world where shortages and rights to freshwater are at the forefront of international concern. Drawing on his current research and from his recent book, “Water in the Middle East,” Dr. Wolf will describe the “hydro-security” needs of the competing nations of Syria and Israel. Dr. Wolf and his colleagues have been looking at the possibilities for cooperative sharing of the scarce and diminshing freshwater resources in that region, which would help to ensure a fair and adequate distribution of water.


Jerry Wolgin
Lead Economist, Partnership Group of the Africa Region
The World Bank


Dr. Wolgin is Lead Economist with the Partnership Group of the Africa Region of the World Bank. His work at the Bank is largely concentrated on developing an assistance strategy for Nigeria and supporting the strategic partnership with Africa, a multi-donor effort to support African efforts to reduce poverty. He will be speaking on hunger reduction in Africa, with an emphasis on the keys to enhanced nutrition and increased child survival. He is the author of a recent technical paper titled “A Strategy to Cut Hunger in Africa,” prepared under the auspices of the Partnership Group. Dr. Wolgin joined the Bank in 2000 after having worked on Africa issues for twenty years at the United States Agency for International Development.


Debrework Zewdie
Manager, AIDS Campaign Team for Africa
The World Bank


Dr. Zewdie, an Ethopian national, is the principal spokesperson for the World Bank’s participation in global action against HIV/AIDS. She plays a lead role in developing, implementing, and evaluating World Bank projects involving HIV/AIDS and also serves as the head of the AIDS Campaign Team for Africa (ACTafrica), a multi-sectorial unit created to mainstream HIV/AIDS into the Bank’s operations in the Africa region. Before joining the Bank in 1994, Dr. Zewdie was deputy regional director of the AIDS control and prevention project of Family Health International in Nairobi, Kenya. She will be speaking on the issues surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the potential impact on food production in Africa.

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