The World Food Prize Foundation

2015 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed

2015 World Food Prize Laureate

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh, the internationally renowned founder and chairperson of BRAC, will be honored as the 2015 World Food Prize Laureate for his unparalleled achievement in building a unique, integrated development organization that many have hailed as the most effective anti-poverty organization in the world. Sir Fazle,... [ View ]

Pamela Anderson

Director of Agricultural Development, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Pamela Anderson, Director, Agricultural Development, leads the team that works to reduce hunger and poverty for millions of farming families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia by increasing agricultural productivity in a sustainable way. Previously, Pamela worked with CGIAR Consortium, an organization focused on advancing international agricultural research. She was... [ View ]

Maria Andrade

Senior Sweetpotato Breeder for SSA & Asia, International Potato Center (CIP)

Maria Andrade, a Senior Sweet potato Breeder for SSA & Asia from the International Potato Center. She is a good breeder and publicist. She initiated the root and tuber crops program in Cape Verde Islands in 1984. In December of 1999 she released 9 Orange fleshed sweet potato varieties which... [ View ]

Michiel Bakker

Director of Global Food Services, Google

As the Director of Global Food Services Michiel Bakker leads Google’s world-renowned Food program, supporting all food service related activities and initiatives for Google’s global community. Bakker’s focus areas include developing new insights and evidence in how food experiences can enable individuals and teams to be their best short and... [ View ]

Her Excellency, Mrs. Joyce Hilda Banda

Former President of the Republic of Malawi and Founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation

Her Excellency, Mrs. Joyce Hilda Banda, is a Former President of the Republic of Malawi. She was President of the Republic of Malawi from 2012 to 2014. She was Malawi’s first female President and Africa’s Second Female Head of State. President Banda’s mission in life is to assist women and... [ View ]

Roger N. Beachy

Founding Director, World Food Center, University of California, Davis

Roger Beachy was appointed to the National Science Board in 2014; and 2009-2011 as Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri; Prof. of Cell Biology at The Scripps... [ View ]

Catherine Bertini

2003 World Food Prize Laureate

Catherine Bertini is a professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She teaches graduate courses in international relations and leadership. She is a Distinguished Fellow, Global Agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She is a leader... [ View ]

Kofi Boa

Director, Center for No-Till Agriculture, Ghana

Kofi Boa is an agronomist, farmer and Director of the Center for No-Till Agriculture, established in 2012 with funding from The Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The No-Till Center, located in Amanchia in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti region of Ghana, works to increase human capacity in the field... [ View ]

James C. Borel

Executive Vice President, DuPont

James C. Borel is executive vice president and a member of the company's Office of the Chief Executive. He also has responsibilities for DuPont Pioneer, Crop Protection and Nutrition & Health businesses, as well as Latin America's regional management. Mr. Borel joined DuPont in 1978 in Findlay, Ohio, as a... [ View ]

Howard G. Buffett

Chairman & CEO, The Howard G. Buffett Foundation

Mr. Buffett is Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private charitable foundation investing in global food security and conflict mitigation. He oversees a 1,500-acre family farm in central Illinois and farms with his son in Nebraska. He oversees four foundation-operated research farms in Arizona, Illinois, Nebraska... [ View ]

Florence Chenoweth

Minister of Agriculture, Liberia

In the 1970s, Dr. Florence Chenoweth became Liberia’s, and by extension Africa's, first female Minister of Agriculture. After escaping a violent coup in Liberia, Dr. Chenoweth joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as its representative in Gambia, West Africa in 1995. She went on to... [ View ]

Chelsea Clinton

Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation

Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, works to drive the vision and work of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Chelsea previously worked at McKinsey & Company and Avenue Capital. Chelsea serves on the boards of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the School of American Ballet, the... [ View ]

W. Ronnie Coffman

International Professor of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture & Life Science, Cornell University

Ronnie Coffman serves as International Professor of Plant Breeding and Director of International Programs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, and as Principal Investigator of the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project, the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project, and the Agricultural Innovations Partnership. Previous positions include... [ View ]

Gordon Conway

Professor of International Development, Imperial College London

Gordon Conway is a pioneer of sustainable agriculture developed integrated pest management programs for the State of Sabah in Malaysia. He joined Imperial College in 1970 setting up the Centre for Environmental Technology in 1976. In the 1970s and 1980s he lived and worked extensively in Asia and the Middle... [ View ]

Brady Deaton

Executive Director, Deaton Institute, University of Missouri and Member PUSH Steering Committee

Brady J. Deaton was Chancellor of the University of Missouri from 2004–2013 and now, in emeritus status, is Director of the Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development at Missouri. He was appointed Chair of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development by President Obama in 2011, and... [ View ]

Ruben Echeverría

Director General, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Dr. Echeverría was appointed Director General of CIAT in Colombia in 2009. He has worked on agricultural and rural development issues for 30 years. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dr. Echeverría worked for the Uruguayan Land Reform Institute, heading its extension service. He has worked on agricultural research... [ View ]

Gebisa Ejeta

2009 World Food Prize Laureate

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, Distinguished Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, 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 people in sub-Saharan... [ View ]

Robert T. Fraley

2013 World Food Prize Laureate

Dr. Robert Fraley is executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto. He has been with the company for more than 30 years, and currently oversees the company’s global technology division which includes plant breeding, plant biotechnology, ag biologicals, ag microbials, precision agriculture and crop protection. Dr. Fraley is... [ View ]

Louise O. Fresco

President and Chairman Executive Board, Wageningen UR

Since July 2014 Professor Louise O. Fresco is President of Wageningen UR (University and Research centre), in The Netherlands. She combines a long academic career as professor in Wageningen and Amsterdam, with various visiting professorships, and an extensive involvement in policy and development. She is a member of the Dutch... [ View ]

Joseph Glauber

Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute

Joe Glauber is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC where his areas of interest are price volatility, global grain reserves, crop insurance and trade. Prior to joining IFPRI, Glauber spent over 30 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture including as Chief... [ View ]

Alexander B. Howard

Senior Editor for Technology and Society, Huffington Post

Alexander B. Howard is the first senior editor for technology and society at The Huffington Post. He is a former research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and the Ash Center for Democratic Innovation in Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2013, Howard founded... [ View ]

Monty Jones

2004 World Food Prize Laureate

Monty Jones is a renowned plant breeder and the Special Adviser to the President of Sierra Leone. He is the immediate past Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and co-winner of the 2004 World Food Prize. He won the award based on his discovery of... [ View ]

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

Director, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)

Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg served as an assistant professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and a lecturer in International Relations at Hekima College, a constituent college of the Catholic University of East Africa. She also founded and served as Executive Director of Akili Dada, an award-winning leadership incubator that... [ View ]

Mehmood Khan

Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, Global Research and Development, PepsiCo

Dr. Mehmood Khan, M.D., is PepsiCo’s Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Global Research and Development. In its global portfolio of food and beverage brands, PepsiCo has 22 different brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. With net revenues of over $66 billion,... [ View ]

Jeppe Kolding

Professor, Department of Biology, University of Bergen

Employed by Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Norway from 1987-2000 and from 2002 to present. Taught and supervised more than 100 students from 40 countries. In 2000-2001 he was employed by the IMR, Centre for Development Cooperation in Fisheries where he worked with the R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen programme... [ View ]

Yangxuan Liu

Ph.D. Candidate, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

Yangxuan Liu is a Ph.D. candidate in agricultural economics advised by Dr. Michael Langemeier at Purdue University. Liu concentrates on agricultural finance and agribusiness management issues. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics with a minor in business administration at University of Macau in China, and a Master... [ View ]

Jan Low

Principal Scientist and Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative Leader, International Potato Ce

An agricultural economist by training, Jan Low’s professional career has focused on integrating nutritional concerns into agricultural programs. Currently a principal scientist based at the International Potato Center’s regional office, Dr. Low has spearheaded research to build the evidence base demonstrating the nutritional impact of utilizing pro-vitamin A rich orange-fleshed... [ View ]

David W. MacLennan

Chairman and CEO, Cargill

David W. MacLennan is chairman and chief executive officer of Cargill. He was elected to the Cargill Board of Directors in 2008 and previously served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer. MacLennan is a member of the Cargill Corporate Leadership Team. Joining Cargill in 1991, he has held... [ View ]

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda

Chief Executive Officer & Head of Mission, FANRPAN

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda is the CEO and Head of Mission of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN). She is an animal scientist by training and a practicing commercial beef cattle farmer. She received her BSc degree at the University of Alexandria in Egypt, and her MSc... [ View ]

Árni M. Mathiesen

Assistant Director-General, Fisheries & Aquaculture Department, Food & Agriculture Organization, UN

Mr Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Mr Mathiesen was a member of the Board of the Icelandic Veterinary Association from 1986 to 1987 as well as the Chairman of the Council for the Prevention of Cruelty to... [ View ]

Alejandro López Moriena

Chief Sustainability Officer, Adecoagro

Alejandro has worked with Adecoagro since its inception. His responsibilities include defining, developing, evaluating and transferring the most efficient, profitable and sustainable technologies to be applied in each business line, region and country. His sustainability responsibilities include the definition of a corporate policy and strategy, its discussion at board level... [ View ]

Robert O. M. Mwanga

Sweetpotato breeder for SSA, International Potato Center (CIP)

Dr. Robert Mwanga has over 30 years of experience working with research and development teams. He led in Uganda collaborative multiple-trait improvement of sweetpotato, breeding for increased provitamin A-rich orange-fleshed cultivars to alleviate vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) under the Vitamin A for Africa (VITAA) initiative, Sweetpotato... [ View ]

Raymond C. Offenheiser

President, Oxfam America

Raymond C. Offenheiser is President of Oxfam America, a non-profit international development and relief agency and the U.S. affiliate of the Oxfam International confederation. Oxfam works to end global poverty through saving lives, strengthening communities and campaigning for change. Since Ray joined Boston-based Oxfam America in 1995, the organization has... [ View ]

Per Pinstrup- Andersen

2001 World Food Prize Laureate

Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen is H.E. Babcock Professor of Food & Nutrition at Cornell University. His life's work has been characterized by a desire to alleviate the suffering of persons without sufficient nutritious food, particularly malnourished and starving children. He has been the driving force in pressing forward a global effort, The... [ View ]

Eric B. Pohlman

Rwanda Country Director, One Acre Fund & 2015 Borlaug Field Award Winner

Eric B. Pohlman is the 2015 recipient of the “Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application by the Rockefeller Foundation.” Mr. Pohlman is the co-founder and Rwanda Country Director and Senior Partner of the One Acre Fund which in six years has grown to 1,000 field-based staff and 130,000... [ View ]

Chris Policinski

President and Chief Executive Officer, Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Chris Policinski is President and Chief Executive Officer of Land O’Lakes, Inc., and has more than 30 years of experi¬ence in the food industry. He joined Land O’Lakes in 1997, and was appointed President and CEO in 2005. Prior to join¬ing Land O’Lakes, Policinski held leadership positions with Kraft General... [ View ]

Benjamin J. Pratt

Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs, Mosaic Company

Ben Pratt is Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs at The Mosaic Company, the world’s largest producer of phosphate and potash fertilizers. Ben leads internal, executive, investor, media and crisis communications, as well as the company’s community investment activities and its sustainability reporting. Prior to joining Mosaic in February 2012, Ben... [ View ]

Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn

President, World Food Prize

On January 1, 2000, Kenneth M. Quinn assumed the presidency of the World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moines, Iowa, following a 32-year career as an American diplomat which focused significantly on refugee and humanitarian relief efforts and culminated with his service as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia.... [ View ]

Cory J. Reed

Senior Vice President, Intelligent Solutions Group, Deere & Company

Cory Reed is Senior Vice President, Intelligent Solutions Group, a position he has held since August 2013. Reed joined the company in 1998 and has held a variety of regional and platform-based marketing and sales positions. In 2007, Reed moved to John Deere International in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, where he was... [ View ]

The Honorable Kim Reynolds

Lt. Governor, State of Iowa

Kim Reynolds, serves as Iowa’s 45th Lieutenant Governor. She was elected Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor on November 2, 2010. As Lieutenant Governor, Kim has led trade missions to China, Germany, Brazil, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. She has helped attract more than $11 billion in private investment to Iowa. Companies... [ View ]

Jose Simas

Senior Director, Global Market Access, Regulatory & Elanco Knowledge Solutions, Elanco

Dr. Jose Simas joined Elanco in 2000 in Brazil where he held a technical role for cattle products. In the past 14 years he has held several positions internationally and at the corporate office with the technical, sales and marketing and Research and Development (R&D). Brazil. In 2004, Simas took... [ View ]

Jimmy Smith

Director General, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Jimmy Smith, a Canadian, is director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), a position he assumed in October 2011. Before joining ILRI, he worked for the World Bank, in Washington, DC, where he led the Bank’s Global Livestock Portfolio. Before joining the World Bank, he held senior positions... [ View ]

Gavin Starks

CEO, Open Data Institute (ODI)

With a unique background in business, technology, science and media, Gavin has broad and deep knowledge of how data can change the world. He began developing internet-based research tools in 1993, and joined Branson’s award-winning Virgin Net (now Virgin Media) in 1995. In 2006 he created AMEE, raising over $10m... [ View ]

Michael K. Stern

President and Chief Operating Officer, The Climate Corporation

Mike leads the commercial implementation of The Climate Corporation’s systems and solutions, as well as enhanced global coordination, growth and operational efficiencies across the company. As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mike is responsible for the commercial implementation of The Climate Corporation’s systems and solutions, as well as enhanced global... [ View ]

Christine P. Stewart

Associate Director, Program in International & Community Nutrition, University of California, Davis

Christine P. Stewart is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at University of California, Davis and Associate Nutritionist at the University of California Agricultural Experiment Station. She received her B.S. from Cornell University, her M.P.H. from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and her Ph.D.,... [ View ]

Daniel A. Sumner

Daniel Sumner, Director, Agricultural Issues Center, University of California

Daniel A. Sumner is the Frank Buck Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis and the Director of the University of California, Agricultural Issues Center. He is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and presented the Fellows address at the 2015... [ View ]

MS Swaminathan

1987 World Food Prize Laureate

M.S. Swaminathan was named the first World Food Prize Laureate in 1987 for developing and spearheading the introduction of high-yielding wheat and rice varieties into India during the 1960s when that country faced the prospect of widespread famine. Wheat production doubled in just a few years, making the country self-sufficient... [ View ]

Alfred Busolo Tabu

Director General Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority of Kenya

Mr. Busolo Tabu is the Director General for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority of Kenya. Mr. Busolo Tabu holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Nairobi and an Master of Science in Food Industry Management and Marketing. Mr. Busolo Tabu has vast experience in the... [ View ]

Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted

Senior Nutrition Scientist, WorldFish

Dr. Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted is presently senior nutrition scientist at WorldFish. She represents WorldFish in the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) and contributes to the CRPs on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) and Livestock and Fisheries (L&F). Her broad area of research and expertise is... [ View ]

Thomas J. Vilsack

Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture

Tom Vilsack serves as the Nation's 30th Secretary of Agriculture. As leader of the Department of Agriculture, Vilsack is working to strengthen the agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for the innovation of rural America. Vilsack has worked to implement the President's agenda, putting Americans back... [ View ]

Mary Wagner

Global Senior Vice President R&D/Quality, Food Safety & Regulatory, Starbucks

Mary Wagner is currently the Global SVP R&D/Quality, Food Safety & Regulatory at Starbucks. Before Starbucks, Wagner was the General Manager/Chief Science Officer for Mars Botanical, a division within Mars, Incorporated. Wagner led technology as Vice President of Research and Development and Quality and Regulatory Operations for Gorton’s. For several... [ View ]

Sheryl WuDunn

Banker and Co-Author, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize, is currently a senior managing director at Mid-Market Securities. She is also co-founder of FullSky Capital, where she advises socially driven for-profit ventures. She focuses on education, healthcare, new media technology, among other fields. Previously, WuDunn has been vice... [ View ]

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