Food Security Futures – Speaker Bios

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Tara Acharya
Senior Director R&D - Pepsico

Dr. Tara Acharya is a Senior Director in R&D at PepsiCo. She works with internal stakeholders and external partners to guide and develop PepsiCo’s policies and external partnerships in agriculture, nutrition and health. She has a keen interest in the interface between agriculture, nutrition and environmental sustainability.

Dr. Acharya previously held the position of Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation where she worked on international development issues, making grants to promote open innovation for development and to control the spread of infectious diseases derived from animals. She has also worked as a consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Global Health, with a focus on public-private partnerships to meet the health needs of poor people worldwide. Dr. Acharya’s interest in science and global health took shape at the University of Toronto, where she worked on the application of biotechnology to help meet the Millennium Development Goals, and the Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health. She has also been a scientist in the biotechnology industry, working at Celera and Genaissance Pharmaceuticals.

Dale Andrew
Division Head – Environment Division, OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate

With the OECD since 1977, Dale Andrew is the Head of the Environment Division in the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate.  The Division oversees two OECD Joint Working Parties- one on agriculture and the environment and the other on trade and environment. Both working parties are focusing on furthering analytical work on the interaction of climate change with sectoral policies.  In-house analysis, including modeling work, on adaptation and risk management are particularly important for the agricultural sector.

Tom Arnold
(Former) CEO – Concern Worldwide

Tom Arnold is the former CEO of Concern Worldwide, which has its headquarters in Dublin. Appointed as CEO of Concern Worldwide in October 2001, Tom led the organization through a period of growth in budgets, operations, innovation and influence. Tom left Concern in 2013 to take up the role of chairman of the Constitutional Convention. Before Concern, Tom was chief economist (1988 to 1993) and assistant secretary general (1993 to 2001) with the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food. He led a major programme that involved the certification of the department as an EU Paying Agency, responsible for accounting of €2 billion annually. Tom is a graduate in agricultural economics from University College Dublin and has Master’s degrees in business administration and strategic management from the Catholic University of Louvain and Trinity College Dublin, respectively. He was one of a handful of distinguished Irish people to receive honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland in 2009. Tom also received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from University College Dublin.

Shawn K. Baker
Vice President and Regional Director for Africa - Helen Keller International

Mr. Baker has 25 years’ resident professional experience in sub-Saharan Africa as well as 3 years’ experience in South Asia. He provides leadership in technical direction, advocacy, grant development and human resources supervision. Regional Director for Africa for Helen Keller International (HKI) since 1997, he has overseen the expansion from 4 country programs to 13 country offices and work in 4 non-presence countries, a more than 80-fold increase in program funding for the region and is a member of HKI’s Executive Management Team. Mr. Baker oversaw maintaining continuity of HKI programs in Côte d’Ivoire, regional office function and identification of new regional office location and transfer. From 1994 to 1996, Mr. Baker was country director for HKI-Bangladesh. Supervising a staff of 150, Mr. Baker ensured implementation of major projects including nutritional surveillance, homestead food production and education and rehabilitation of the blind.

Mr. Baker received a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 1989 with concentrations in international health and nutritional epidemiology. He is the author or co-author of over 70 peer-reviewed publications, presentations at international conferences and monographs. Mr. Baker’s longstanding commitment to Niger has been recognized by the awarding of “Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite du Niger” by the Presidency of the Republic of Niger and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in September 2001. He was appointed as a Permanent Member of the Technical Review Panel for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis starting with Round 7 in 2007, was elected Vice-Chair in August 2009 and has served as Chair since 2011. In 2009 he was appointed to the Leadership Group of the Flour Fortification Initiative (FFI) to represent HKI and received an FFI Leadership Award in November 2009. He serves on the Management Committee of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and the Advisory Committee of the upcoming Lancet series on undernutrition.

Howarth Bouis
Program Director – HarvestPlus, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

As program director of HarvestPlus, IFPRI, Dr. Howarth Bouis coordinates an interdisciplinary, global effort to breed and disseminate micronutrient-rich staple food crops to reduce hidden hunger among malnourished populations. Since 1993, he has sought to promote biofortification both within the CGIAR, among national agricultural research centers, and in the international agriculture and nutrition communities. Bouis holds a joint appointment at the International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington, D.C.) where he is based and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (Cali, Colombia). He received his B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University's Food Research Institute. He joined IFPRI in 1982 as a post-doctoral fellow in the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division (FCND) and later as Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow in FCND. His research concentrated on understanding how economic factors affect food demand and nutrition outcomes, particularly in Asia. Before entering graduate school, he spent three years in the Philippines with Volunteers in Asia.

Gerry Boyle
Director – Teagasc

Professor Gerry Boyle was appointed Director of Teagasc – the agricultural and food development authority for Ireland – on 1st October 2007. Gerry is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the National University of Ireland (NUI), Maynooth and former Head of its Economic Department. He also holds an Adjunct Professorship at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He was previously a Senior Research Officer with the Agricultural Institute and an Economist with the Central Bank of Ireland. From 1995-1997 he served as Economic Adviser to the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), Mr John Bruton T.D.. Prior to his position at Teagasc he was a Senior Associate with Farrell Grant Sparks Consulting and a Senior International Consultant, specializing in agricultural policy, with the World Bank on a number of their projects in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Tajikistan. Professor Boyle is a past President of the Irish Economic Association and of the Agricultural Economics Society of Ireland. He has also served as Editor of the Economic and Social Review, the European Review of Agricultural Economics and the Irish Journal of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. Professor Boyle has published an extensive range of papers and reports on public policy issues in national and EU media. He was recently elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (M.R.I.A.).

Karen Brooks
Director - CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets
Karen Brooks is the Director of CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets. Prior to joining IFPRI in August, 2012, Karen worked for the World Bank and for the last 10 years of her tenure there managed analytical and operational programs in agriculture and rural development for the Africa region. She also worked extensively in Europe and Central Asia and in Africa; in the former on issues related to the transition from central planning and in the latter on the investment and policy agenda associated with the renewed commitment to agricultural growth. Prior to joining the World Bank, she was Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. Brooks received both her PhD and Master’s degrees in Economics from the University of Chicago, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.

Nancy DeVore
Senior Economic Analyst/Director – Global Research Team/EMEA, Bunge Global Agribusiness

Nancy has been with Bunge Global Agribusiness since 2005, as Senior Economic Analyst with the global research team based in the US, and now is director of the EMEA region research and forecasting efforts based in Geneva.  Prior to Bunge, she worked as a consulting analyst in the global grain and oilseeds industry, as a partner in the Bellingham Commodity Trade Analysis group in Washington DC, and then with her own consulting company.  She started in the grain industry with Louis Dreyfus Corp, as an analyst and a trader of wheat and soybean products.  She grew up on a farm in Kansas, USA, and has Agricultural Economics degrees from Oklahoma State and Iowa State Universities.

Shenggen Fan
Director General - International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Shenggen Fan has been director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) since 2009. Dr. Fan joined IFPRI in 1995 as a research fellow, conducting extensive research on pro-poor development strategies in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He led IFPRI’s program on public investment before becoming the director of the Institute’s Development Strategy and Governance Division in 2005. He is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security. Dr. Fan received a PhD in applied economics from the University of Minnesota and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Nanjing Agricultural University in China.

Melinda Fones-Sundell
Senior Research Fellow - Stockholm Environment Institute

Melinda Fones-Sundell is coordinator of Sida Programme Support, SEI’s business development adviser, and senior adviser to the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI), which she used to coordinate. She is currently the Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute. She has over 30 years’ experience in research and teaching and private-sector international consulting. She has served as Team Leader/Project Manager for both short-term planning and evaluation missions and long-term development projects in Tanzania (1991-96) and Nicaragua (2000-05). Her general areas of work include small-holder agricultural development in Africa and Latin America and environmental and social impact analysis of infrastructural projects, with a special focus on bioenergy. Most recently, she has coordinated a SIANI-sponsored book on linkages between gender equity and agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Melinda has worked for Sida, Norad, Danida, the Nordic Development Fund, FAO, IUCN, the World Bank, USAID and Norwegian Peoples Aid. Her field experience is from 16 countries, and, in addition to published evaluations and analytical work, she has worked extensively as a facilitator in planning and institutional change processes in five languages (English, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese and Swahili). She holds a M.Sc. in agricultural economics.

Bernard Giraud
Senior Advisor - Sustainability and Shared Value Creation Danone/ Co-founder – Livelihoods Fund/ President – Livelihoods Venture

Mr. Bernard Giraud is a Senior Advisor Sustainability and Shared Value Creation Danone. Bernard is the co-founder of the Livelihoods Fund and President of Livelihoods Venture. Until recently, he was Vice-President Sustainability and Shared Value Creation of Danone. He created the Danone Fund for Nature in partnership with IUCN and the Ramsar Convention, a carbon fund which implemented large scale mangrove restoration agroforestry and rural energy projects in Africa and Asia. This successful experimentation gave birth in 2011 to the Livelihoods Fund. Before joining Danone in 1998, Bernard Giraud was Executive Director of Invest in France Agency North America. Bernard also served as a Board Member and Executive Director of Corporate Responsibility Europe, a coalition of large companies and a European leader on CSR.

Charles Godfray
Hope Professor/Director – Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, Oxford University

Charles Godfray is Hope Professor and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at Oxford University. He is a population biologist with broad interests in the environmental sciences and has published in fundamental and applied areas of ecology, evolution and epidemiology. He is interested in how the global food system will need to change and adapt to the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, and in particular in the concept of sustainable intensification, and the relationship between food production, ecosystem services and biodiversity. He chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Food and Farming and is a member of the Strategy Advisory Board of the UK Global Food Security Programme and the Steering Group of the UK Government Green Food Project. He was also a member of the writing team for the UN’s Committee on World Food Security, High Level Panel of Experts report on Climate Change and Food Security. He read Zoology at Oxford and was from 1987 to 2006 on the faculty of Imperial College London, latterly as Director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology and Head of the Division of Biology. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (the UK national science academy) in 2001.

Dave Gustafson
Senior Fellow, Environmental & Ag Policy Modeling Lead at Monsanto

Dave Gustafson is a Senior Fellow at Monsanto Company, where he serves as Director of Environmental & Ag Policy Modeling. He also serves as Director for the ILSI Research Foundation’s new Center for Integrated Modeling of Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition Security, a global forum for industry scientists to engage others from academia and the public-sector on the growing challenge to satisfy future nutrition needs in more sustainable ways. His academic training was at Stanford University and the University of Washington in Seattle, where he earned his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees, both in chemical engineering. His research on the environmental challenges surrounding agriculture has now spanned nearly 30 years. The initial focus of his work was the development of new computer models for predicting the environmental behavior of crop chemicals, especially their potential impacts on water quality. In subsequent years, Dave developed new modeling approaches to pollen-mediated gene flow and the population genetics of insect and weed resistance. In 2007, Dave served as an inaugural member and theme lead for the Monsanto Fellows Climate Change Panel, which reported back to the company on the degree of scientific certainty in climate modeling, and how climate change is already impacting agriculture around the world. He now serves on various national and international teams looking at these issues, including the Executive Secretariat of the US Government’s National Climate Assessment Development & Advisory Committee. Away from work, Dave is an avid song-writer and active member of Central Presbyterian Church, in Clayton, MO. He is also founder and President of the St. Louis Reconciliation Network, a non-profit dedicated to healing the broken race relations of the St. Louis area by harnessing the potential collective power of its diverse faith communities.

Jerry Hjelle
Vice President - Science Policy at Monsanto Company

Dr. Jerry Hjelle (Ph.D., Pharmacology, University of Colorado) is Vice President, Science Policy at Monsanto Company. He is responsible for coordinating key science policy initiatives within Monsanto’s Global Technology organization.  Previously, he was VP, Global Regulatory, managing over 550 scientists and professionals in the development of health and safety research on new agricultural chemical and biotechnology products and global regulatory approvals. Prior to that role, he was VP, Regulatory Nutrition and Consumer Products and Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He is President of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) a nonprofit, worldwide scientific organization whose mission is to improve public health. Its research and capacity building activities focus on food and water safety, the science of risk assessment, sustainable agriculture and food security, and nutrition and well-being. It fosters collaboration among academic, government and industry scientists.
Dr. Hjelle is a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology and is Vice Chairman of the Research Foundation within ILSI.

Julie Howard
Chief Scientist - Bureau for Food Security, USAID

Julie A. Howard is the chief scientist in the Bureau for Food Security, which leads the implementation of Feed the Future, the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative. She also serves as the senior advisor to the USAID administrator on agricultural research, extension and education. In this role, she oversees the implementation of the Feed the Future research strategy and leads related new programs to advance innovation in global food security efforts, working with both global and national partners. Howard previously served as deputy coordinator for development for Feed the Future, where she led a core team in elevating interagency engagement in Feed the Future strategic planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Before joining USAID in 2011, Howard served as the executive director and chief executive officer of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, an independent nonprofit coalition dedicated to increasing the level and effectiveness of U.S. assistance and private investment through research, dialogue and advocacy. She is also the co-author, with Emmy Simmons, of “Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Assistance in Transforming the Food Security Outlook in Sub-Saharan Africa” in Jennifer Clapp and Marc Cohen, (eds.), The Global Food Crisis: Governance Challenges and Opportunities (2009).

Howard served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic, and has written on agricultural technology development and transfer, the development of seed and fertilizer systems, and the role of farmer associations in agricultural development in Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Somalia. She holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Michigan State University, and Master’s and undergraduate degrees from the University of California, Davis, and George Washington University.

Leslie Lipper
Senior Environmental Economist and EPIC Programme Director – Agriculture and Development Economics Division, FAO

Leslie Lipper is a Senior Environmental Economist in the Agriculture and Development Economics Division at FAO, where she also leads the Economics and Policy Innovations for Climate smart agriculture (EPIC) programme. EPIC is implementing an EC funded project to support climate smart agricultural policies and investments in three partner countries. Leslie has been at FAO for over 12 years, leading applied research and policy analysis programs related to natural resource management and poverty reduction. She is a contributing author to the food security and food production systems chapter of the IPCC fifth assessment report the lead author of two recent FAO reports related to climate change and food security: Climate Smart Agriculture: policies, practices and financing for food security, adaptation and mitigation (2010) and Food Security and Agricultural Mitigation in Developing Countries: Options for Capturing Synergies (2009). She was the lead author of the FAO State of Food and Agriculture report 2007 focusing on paying farmers for environmental services (PES). She has also several peer-reviewed publications on PES and poverty reduction, as well as crop genetic diversity and seed system management in the context of agricultural development. Leslie received a doctorate in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2000.

Geraldo B. Martha Jr.
Researcher - EMBRAPA

Geraldo Martha is a researcher at EMBRAPA (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) since 2001, and is currently at the Center for Strategic Studies and Training in Tropical Agriculture (Cecat, "Embrapa Studies and Training"), Brasilia-DF. Dr. Martha is an agronomist, with PhD. in Agronomy /Animal Science and Pastures (University of São Paulo/ESALQ, 2003) and a Post-doc in Economics (University of Brasilia, UnB, 2007). He is the General-Coordinator of Embrapa’s Strategic Intelligence System (Agropensa).

John McDermott
Director - CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health

John McDermott joined IFPRI in 2011 to lead the new CGIAR research program on agriculture for nutrition and health. Previously he was Deputy Director General and Director of Research at ILRI in Nairobi (2003-11). John has lived and worked in Africa for 25 years. As a researcher, John’s research career has focused on public health, animal health and livestock research in developing countries, primarily Africa. He has led projects on zoonotic and emerging diseases in Asia and Africa. John has a strong background in quantitative methods (modeling, study design, statistics). He has a PhD in quantitative epidemiology from the University of Guelph, a Master’s Degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine from the University of California – Davis and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Guelph. During his research career, John is the author or co-author of 200 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and conference papers and has advised over 30 post-graduate students, including 20 PhD graduates. He was a visiting Lecturer at the University of Nairobi and a Professor at the University of Guelph. He has also served as an advisor to FAO, WHO, OIE and other international agencies, a non-executive Director of the Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines and Medicine (GALVmed and as a member of the advisory committee of Veterinarians with Borders (Canada).

Robert Nasi
Director – CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry

Robert Nasi was appointed director of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry in August 2011. Since 1982 Robert has lived and travelled extensively in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. His research has been on the ecology and management of tropical forests. He worked in various research and project management positions in CIRAD between 1982 and 1999. He joined the Center for International Forestry Research in August 1999 where he has held various research and management positions. Robert graduated as a forest engineer from the French National Forestry School and received a PhD in ecology from the University of Paris Sud – Orsay. He has published extensively on of conservation and sustainable use of forest resources and his last works focused around the issue of bushmeat hunting in terms of environmental issue and overlooked potential food crisis.

Gerald Nelson
Senior Research Fellow - Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Gerald (Jerry) Nelson is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He is an agricultural economist with over 30 years of professional and research experience in the areas of agriculture, policy analysis, land use and climate change. As co-leader of IFPRI’s global change program, he is responsible for developing IFPRI’s research in climate change modeling and spatially explicit assessments of potential adaptation and mitigation programs and policies. His previous professional activities includes leading the drivers of ecosystem services efforts of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, undertaking research that combines biophysical and socioeconomic data in quantitative, spatially-explicit modeling of the determinants of land use change, and understanding the effects of agricultural, trade and macroeconomic policies on agriculture and land use. Before joining IFPRI, Dr. Nelson was a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1985-2008) and an Agricultural Development Council specialist at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. He received his PhD from Stanford University in 1982.

Fina Opio
Executive Director - Association for strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)

Dr. Fina Opio is the new Executive Director of the Association for strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA). She assumed office on 1st March 2013. Dr. She holds a PhD in Plant Pathology; Masters in Crop Science; and a Bachelor in Agriculture. She brings over 20 years of experience in research, management and advisory work on technologies, policies, strategies, programmes, and projects that focus on agricultural and rural development and food security in Eastern and Central Africa. Prior to joining ASARECA in 2007, Dr. Opio was Director of the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NACRRI) of the Uganda National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO). She counts, among her achievements at NACCRI, the creation of partnerships with various International Research Centers and Universities which led to infrastructural developments such as the Biotechnology and Tissue Culture laboratories and Screen houses. She served as an advisor to Uganda government and on many boards and councils. Dr. Opio is a Fellow of the Uganda Academy of Science and the African Academy of Science. She has published over 25 papers in international scientific journals and over 40 papers in conference/workshop proceedings.

Frank Place
Impact Assessment Advisor – The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

Dr. Frank Place is an economist and Impact Assessment Advisor at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and he is responsible for designing and undertaking research on the impacts of the World Agroforestry Centre’s research and of agroforestry systems. He is also engaged in other research related to incentives for adoption of agroforestry and sustainable land management, particularly the influence of property rights and government policies. He has been a staff member since 1997 but has worked at the Centre’s Nairobi headquarters since 1992 where he led a multi-country project for the University of Wisconsin’s Land Tenure Center. Following the creation of the CGIAR Research Programmes, Frank coordinates one of the sub-themes of CRP2: Policies, Institutions and Markers, that on Production and Technology Policies. He is also a member of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessment team of CRP6: Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.

Terri Raney
Senior Economist/Chief Editor - The State of Food and Agriculture, FAO

Terri Raney is the Senior Economist and Chief Editor of The State of Food and Agriculture, the flagship publication of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She earned a PhD from Oklahoma State University in agricultural economics with a focus on international trade and development. Previously she worked as a trade policy economist with the FAO, the United States Department of Agriculture and Washington State University. Recent editions of The State of Food and Agriculture have shaped the global policy debates on investment in agriculture, gender in agricultural development, sustainable livestock systems, food aid and agricultural biotechnology. The next issue of the report will address mainstreaming nutritional objectives in agricultural and food policies. In addition to editing The State of Food and Agriculture, Dr Raney publishes regularly in peer-reviewed books and journals on topics related to agricultural technology and women in agriculture.

Mark Rosegrant
Director - Environment and Production Technology Division (EPTD), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Mark W. Rosegrant is the Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC. With a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, he has extensive experience in research and policy analysis in agriculture and economic development, with an emphasis on water resources and other natural resource and agricultural policy issues as they impact food security, rural livelihoods, and environmental sustainability. He currently directs research on climate change, water resources, sustainable land management, genetic resources and biotechnology, and agriculture and energy.

He is the author or editor of 7 books and over 100 refereed papers in agricultural economics, water resources, and food policy analysis. Dr. Rosegrant has won numerous awards, such as Outstanding Journal Article (2008), Quality of Communications Award (2004), and Distinguished Policy Contribution Award (2002) awarded by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (formerly American Agricultural Economics Association); and Best Article Award (2005) from the International Water Resources Association. Dr. Rosegrant is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Sara J. Scherr
President/CEO – EcoAgriculture Partners

Dr. Scherr is an agricultural and natural resource economist specializing in land and forest management policy in tropical developing countries. A decade ago, she founded EcoAgriculture Partners, an NGO that supports and promotes integrated agricultural landscape management approaches (“ecoagriculture”) that increase synergies between food production, ecosystem conservation, and rural livelihoods. She now serves as its President and CEO, and leads the international Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative. From 2001-2005, she was also Director of Ecosystem Services for Forest Trends, promoting forest conservation through improved markets for forest products and ecosystem services. She has served on the World Agroforestry Centre and Katoomba Group Board of Directors and on the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger. Dr. Scherr taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA and spent 14 years in the CGIAR as Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C.; Principal Researcher at the World Agroforestry Centre; and Co-Leader of the CGIAR Gender Program. She was earlier a Fulbright Scholar and a Rockefeller Social Science Fellow. Dr. Scherr received her BA in Economics at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and her MSc and PhD in International Economics and Development at Cornell University in New York. Dr. Scherr has published widely in international policy reports and scientific journals and written 11 books, including Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity, A New Agenda for Forest Conservation and Poverty Reduction: Making Markets Work for Low-Income Producers, and Farming with Nature.

Philip Thornton
Research Theme Leader - Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), ILRI

Philip Thornton is Leader of the “Integration for Decision Making” research theme of the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture from Reading University and a PhD in Farm Management from Lincoln College, New Zealand.  He has worked in Latin America, Europe, North America and Africa in agricultural research for development, mostly in the area of systems analysis and impact assessment, and most recently on integrated modelling and climate change impact projects in smallholder farming systems in the tropics and subtropics.  He has contributed to several global assessments, including the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development and the IPCC's Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports.  He is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh, and is currently taking time out from being Editor-in Chief of the journal Agricultural Systems.

Dominique van der Mensbrugghe
Senior Economist/ Team Leader – Global Perspectives Studies Team, FAO

Dominique van der Mensbrugghe is Senior Economist and Team Leader of the Global Perspectives Studies Team at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He joined the FAO in 2011 after twelve years at the World Bank where he was a Lead Economist in the Development Prospects Group. Prior to joining the World Bank, Dominique worked for 10 years at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) based in Paris. The focus of his work during his career has been on long-term structural change of the global economy and the analysis of global economic policy issues—including agricultural policies, regional and multilateral trade agreements, demographics and international migration, the Millennium Development Goals, and climate change. His work has appeared frequently in various economic journals and the World Bank’s annual flagship reports and he is one of the world’s experts on global computable general equilibrium modeling. He holds both Belgian and U.S. citizenship, received his undergraduate degree in mathematics at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Judi Wangalwa Wakhungu
Executive Director - African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)

Prof. Wakhungu is the Executive Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Nairobi, Kenya. Prof. Wakhungu's research interests include science, technology, and innovation; agriculture and food security; biodiversity and natural resource management; energy and water security; and gender issues in science and technology. She has published widely in these fields. Prof. Wakhungu serves on several national and international boards, task-forces, and committees. These include the African Conservation Centre (ACC), High-Level Consultative Group (United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) –Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-4), Innovation Africa, the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), the GoDown Arts Centre, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the Lemelson Foundation, Legatum Centre at MIT, Scientists Without Borders, the STEPS Centre – University of Sussex, and the World Bioenergy Association (WBA).

Xiangjun Yao
Director - Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension, FAO

Ms. Xiangjun Yao is currently the Director in the Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension (FAO). She is a national of China, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Agriculture Engineering from the China Agricultural University, Beijing, China; a Certificate in Energy System and Resources Management from Cornell University, USA and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, China. Ms. Yao started her career as a Director, Institute of Energy and Environmental Protection at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering, where she worked from 1998 to 2004. From June to September 2004, she served as Deputy Director-General of the Center of International Cooperation Service, Ministry of Agriculture, China. Before her appointment to FAO, Ms. Yao was the Deputy Director-General, Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Agriculture, China. Ms. Yao was also a Guest Professor at the University of International Business and Economics, China, as well as a Council Member of the China Energy Research Society and Evaluation Expert for Engineering Construction Projects authorized by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.