The World Food Prize Foundation

Council of Advisors

The World Food Prize Foundation maintains a Council of Advisors, comprised of distinguished leaders and experts  providing the Foundation Board and staff with insights and advice on advancing the mission of the organization and Dr. Norman Borlaug’s vision for the World Food Prize Foundation. 

Appointed by the World Food Prize Foundation Board of Directors, the Council members include former heads of state and government ministers, and leaders in public and private food and agricultural science, education, research and policy. The Council advises on the development of the World Food Prize, the Borlaug Dialogue and the Foundation’s varied and growing number of Youth Programs.

Paul E. Schickler - Chair

Chairman, Council of Advisors

Paul E. Schickler is the current Chairman of the World Food Prize Foundation's Council of Advisors. From 2007 to 2017, Mr. Schickler was president of DuPont Pioneer. In this role, he continued to expand Pioneer's global business with a focus on innovation that improved local productivity and profitability of farmers... [ View ]

Dr. Rachel Ruan McLean - Vice Chair

Vice President, Ruan Companies

Dr. Rachel McLean currently serves as Vice President Community Relations for the Ruan Companies, overseeing charitable giving through the Ruan Family Foundation. Prior to this role, from 2009 to 2013, she served as Vice President of Communications for Ruan Transportation Management Systems, overseeing communications for Ruan’s 4,500 transportation and logistics... [ View ]

Hon. Jimmy Carter - Honorary

Hon. Jimmy Carter was born in Plains, Georgia. He attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He served in the Navy as a submariner in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rose to the rank of lieutenant. Mr. Carter has... [ View ]

H.E. Joaquim Chissano - Honorary

H.E. Joaquim Chissano was born in a remote village in the Gaza province of Mozambique. He studied medicine at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, but because of his political activism he was forced to flee to Tanzania before he could finish his degree. H.E. Chissano was a founding member... [ View ]

Julie Borlaug

President, Borlaug Foundation and V.P. Corporate Communications and PR, Invaio Sciences

As granddaughter of Dr. Norman Borlaug, Julie Borlaug works to champion his legacy and lend a voice to his desire to see more successful collaborative partnerships across sectors and scientific disciplines to bring better and faster innovation to end hunger. As Vice President of Corporate Communications and PR at Invaio... [ View ]

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta

Chair, Laureate Selection Committee

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta is a Distinguished Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University. He received the 2009 World Food Prize for his sorghum hybrids that are resistant to drought and the devastating weed Striga. His work dramatically increased the production and availability of the food supply for hundreds of millions of... [ View ]

Dr. Shenggen Fan

Professor, China Agricultural University

Dr. Shenggen Fan (樊胜根) is a Professor at China Agricultural University. He served as Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) from 2009 through 2019. Dr. Fan joined IFPRI in 1995 as a research fellow, conducting extensive research on pro-poor development strategies in Africa, Asia, and the Middle... [ View ]

Prof. Louise Fresco

President, Wageningen University

Dr. Louise Fresco was born in Meppel, the Netherlands. Her graduate work in Zambia and UN volunteer services in Papua New Guinea led to further extensive international experience in Africa and Latin America. She received her Ph.D. in Tropical Crop Science from Wageningen University and then served as Professor of... [ View ]

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young

Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics (REE), USDA

Dr. Jacobs-Young is a native of Augusta, Georgia. She served in several leadership roles in USDA including Acting Under Secretary and Acting Chief Scientist for the Research, Education, and Economics mission area; Director of USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist; Acting Director for USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Dr.... [ View ]

Dr. Robert J. Jones

Chancellor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Robert J. Jones is the chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Jones’ tenured faculty home is in the Department of Crop Sciences, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). He is the first African American scholar appointed as Urbana chancellor in the institution’s history. He is the... [ View ]

Dr. Steven Leath

National Science Board

Over a 35 year career, Dr. Steven Leath built an extraordinarily distinguished record of leadership, research and administration at a number of leading Land Grant universities in America. Dr. Leath served as the 19th President of Auburn University and the 15th President of Iowa State University. Now retired, he was... [ View ]

Dr. Purvi Mehta

Senior Advisor and Head of Agriculture for Asia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Purvi Mehta is part of the agriculture leadership team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and leads the foundation’s agriculture programs across Asia. Prior to joining the foundation, she was with the CGIAR working at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute... [ View ]

Cynthia Hardin Milligan

Dean Emeritus, College of Business Administration, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Ms. Cynthia Hardin Milligan is Dean Emeritus of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and President and CEO of Wood Stieper Capital Group. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Kellogg Company, Wells Fargo and Company, Gallup, Calvert Funds and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.... [ View ]

Dr. Elsa Murano

Director of the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University

A graduate of Florida International University in Biological Sciences, Dr. Murano received an M.S. in Anaerobic Microbiology and a Ph.D. in Food Science & Technology from Virginia Tech. She began her career as an Assistant Professor in food microbiology at Iowa State University in 1990, where she conducted research in... [ View ]

Dr. Mortimer Neufville

President & CEO, 1890 Universities Foundation

Dr. Mortimer Neufville was born in Jamaica and began his education at the Jamaica School of Agriculture. He received his BS degree from Tuskegee University and his MS and PhD from the University of Florida. Dr. Neufville built a distinguished 45-year career of service, mentorship, policy development and leadership which... [ View ]

Dr. Madhura Swaminathan

Chairperson, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation

Madhura Swaminathan is Professor and Head of the Economic Analysis Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore. She has a doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford and has worked on issues of food security, agriculture and rural development for over 25 years. She has authored ten books and numerous publications... [ View ]

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen

President, Iowa State University

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen became the 16th president of Iowa State University on Nov. 20, 2017, after a nationwide search and a unanimous vote of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The first woman to hold the university’s highest office, Dr. Wintersteen has served Iowa State for nearly 40 years... [ View ]

Francine Barchett

Youth Member

Francine Barchett is a globally recognized social scientist, science communicator, and educator. In the research sphere, she holds three distinctions: 1) PhD Candidate at Cornell University’s Center for Conservation Social Sciences, 2) Research Fellow at the African Wildlife Economy Institute at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and 3) Member of the... [ View ]

Nick Blumenthal

Youth Member

Nick Blumenthal is an international food systems activist from the United States. Specializing in Nutrition and Artificial Science, he aspires to leverage science and technology to combat global food insecurity and malnutrition. He is passionate about global food policy, previously engaging with the United Nations, Committee on World Food Security,... [ View ]

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