The World Food Prize Foundation


Dr. Elsa Murano

Director, Norman E. Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University

A native of Cuba, Dr. Murano grew up in Miami, majoring in Biology at Florida International University. She then earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science & Technology from Virginia Tech. In 1990, Dr. Murano began her career at Iowa State University, and then joined the faculty at Texas A&M, leading the Center for Food Safety as Director. After successfully leading major research projects in food safety, in 2001 Dr. Murano was appointed by President Bush to serve as Undersecretary for Food Safety, the highest-ranking food safety official in the U.S. government. After reaching the Centers for Disease Control Healthy People 2010 goals for foodborne illness reduction 6 years ahead of schedule, she returned to Texas A&M in 2005, where she became Vice Chancellor of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the first woman and first Hispanic president of the University. Since 2012, she has been Director of the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture within Texas A&M, leading projects in applied research and extension designed to lift small farmers out of poverty and hunger in Asia, Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Dr. Murano serves on several Boards, including the Board of Directors of Hormel Foods Corporation, is Chair of the Board of Trustees for the CGIAR International Livestock Research Institute and is a member of the Council of Advisors for the World Food Prize Foundation. Dr. Murano has been named Outstanding Alumni in the Global Community of Virginia Tech University, was inducted into the U.S. Meat Industry Hall of Fame, the Texas Woman of the Year Hall of Fame and awarded the “American By Choice Award” by the Department of Homeland Security, among many other honors and recognitions.

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