The World Food Prize Foundation

Council of Advisors

Dr. Ismail Serageldin

Founder and Director Emeritus, Library of Alexandria, Egypt

Dr. Ismail Serageldin is the Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), the new Library of Alexandria, inaugurated in 2002, and is currently Emeritus Librarian and a member of the Board of Trustees. He is advisor to the Egyptian Prime Minister in matters concerning culture, science and museums. He serves as Chair and Member of a number of advisory committees for academic, research, scientific and international institutions, including as co-Chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC) and on the Advisory Committee of the World Social Science Report for 2013 and 2016, as well as the UNESCO supported World Water Scenarios (2013), the Executive Council of the Encyclopedia of Life (2010) and Chairs the Executive Council of the World Digital Library (2010). He has held many international positions including as Vice President of the World Bank from 1993 to 2000. He also co-chaired the African Union's high level panel for Biotechnology in 2006 and again for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in 2012 to 2013 and was a member of the ICANN Panel for the review of the future of the internet in 2013. 

Dr. Serageldin has received many awards including: first recipient of the Grameen Foundation Award for a lifetime commitment to combating poverty (1999); Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters awarded by the government of France (2003); Pablo Neruda Medal of Honor awarded by the Government of Chile (2004); the Bajaj Award for promoting Ghandian values outside India (2006); Order of the Rising Sun - Gold and Silver Star awarded by the Emperor of Japan (2008); Champion of Youth Award by the World Youth Congress in Quebec (2008); Knight of the French Legion of Honor awarded by the President of France (2008); The Swaminathan Award for Environmental Protection in Chennai, India (2010); Millennium Excellence Award for Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize by the Excellence Award Foundation in Ghana (2010); The Public Welfare Medal by the National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C. (2011); Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters awarded by the government of France (2011); Nizami Ganjavi Gold Medal of the Republic of Azerbaijan awarded by the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (2015); the "Dostlug" Order (Order of Friendship) of Azerbaijan awarded by the President of Azerbaijan (2015); the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation Award (2016); and the Honorary Sign of the President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (2016). 

He has lectured widely all over the world, including delivering the Mandela Lecture in Johannesburg in 2011, the Nexus Lecture in the Netherlands in 2011, and the Keynote Address to the First International Summit of the Book in Washington D.C. in 2012. He was also distinguished professor at Wageningen University and at the College de France. 

Dr. Serageldin has published over 100 books and monographs and over 500 papers on a variety of topics including biotechnology, rural development, sustainability and the value of science to society. He has hosted a cultural program on television in Egypt spanning over 130 episodes and developed a TV Science Series in Arabic and English. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from Cairo University and a Master's and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has also received 36 honorary doctorates. 

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