The World Food Prize Foundation

Our Team

Ellen Franzenburg

Director, Awards and Lectures

Ellen Franzenburg joined the World Food Prize Foundation in 2018 as Director of Awards & Lectures. In August 2019, she also took on the role of Director of International Internships through the end of 2020.

As Director of Awards & Lectures, her responsibilities include facilitating the World Food Prize Laureate and Borlaug Field Award nomination and selection processes, providing logistical and organizational support for the Selection Committee meetings and deliberations, supporting event coordination for the Borlaug Dialogue and Laureate Announcement Ceremony, and organizing the annual Laureate Lecture Series, Laureate Lounge and other activities with the World Food Prize Laureates.

Ellen was a 2009 Borlaug-Ruan International Intern at the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan and a Wallace-Carver Intern in 2013. She has also served as a member of the World Food Prize Corps of Volunteers, where she assisted staff during the week of events in the fall with VIP schedules, registration, and youth programming.

Prior to her position at the World Food Prize, Ellen was working on growing her family's farm - Pheasant Run Farm located in Van Horne, Iowa. She also worked for two years at the USDA National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment. She was a volunteer for USAID's Farmer to Farmer program through Catholic Relief Services in Uganda and Ethiopia, training farmers in grain postharvest handling and storage.

Ellen has a Bachelor's of Science in Agricultural Engineering and Global Resource Systems from Iowa State University. Through Iowa State's study abroad programs, she grew primary school gardens in Uganda, surveyed private industry standards at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, and studied at Centreinar and the Universidade Federal de Viçosa in Brazil.

You can reach Ellen at 515-245-3793 or via email at

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