Bios of the members of the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021

Ms. Kaosar Afsana (Bangladesh) serves as a Vice Chair of the Scientific Group. She is Professor at the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University. Dr. Afsana had served BRAC in Bangladesh for over 26 years and completed her tenure as the Director of the BRAC Health, Nutrition and Population Programme. Dr. Afsana started to work for BRAC JPGSPH since its inception in 2004. She is an MD with an MPH from Harvard University, USA and a PhD from Edith Cowan University, Australia. She represents BRAC JPGSPH and BRAC at the national and global level, playing a critical role in policy-making and planning, and in providing technical guidance, particularly, regarding sexual, reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health and nutrition and health system strengthening.

Mr. Ousmane Badiane (Senegal), Distinguished Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists, recipient of the Africa Food Prize in 2015 and member of the World Academy of Sciences, is the founder and Executive Chairperson of AKADEMIYA2063. He has over 30 years of experience, as an academic and a practitioner, in international development. As the Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute, he was instrumental in developing and guiding the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme.  As Lead Specialist for Food and Agricultural Policy at the World Bank, he served as advisor to the Vice President for Africa and originated projects with funding ranging from US$5 million to US$150 million. Between research and development finance, Dr. Badiane taught Economics of Development in Africa at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies for many years. Dr. Badiane received a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Kiel in Germany. He is also recipient of a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of KwaZulu Natal.

Mr. Joachim von Braun (Germany) serves as the Chair of the Scientific Group. Heis a Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn University, and Professor for economic and technological change (Germany) at the same institution. His research focuses on economic development, science and technology policy, poverty reduction, food and nutrition security, resource economics and trade. Von Braun is President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Vatican; member of the German National Academy of Science – Leopoldina, the Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), the Academy of Arts and Science North Rhine-Westphalia, a fellow of the African Academy of Science and of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He is Vice President of the German NGO “Welthungerhilfe”. Previously, he was Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He was elected as president of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), received honorary degrees and several other awards.

Mr. Patrick Caron (France) is a veterinary doctor and holds a PhD in development geography. He was Director General for research and strategy of CIRAD from 2010 to 2016. Currently, he is Vice President of the University of Montpellier, President of Agropolis International and Director of the Montpellier Advanced Knowledge Institute on Transitions, and furthermore is a member of many institutional and inter-institutional bodies. He chaired the High Level Panel of Experts of the UN Committee on world Food Security (HLPE/CFS) from 2015 to 2019. He is a member of the French National Council for Development and International Solidarity and of the French Academies of Agriculture and of Technology. In 2015 he chaired the Global Science Conference on Climate Smart Agriculture, in 2016 the international conference Agrichains on sustainable development and in 2017 the international conference on living territories. He is co-chairing the IV Conference on Global food security in December 2020 in Montpellier, France.

Mr. Martin Cole (Australia) is Professor and Deputy Director for Agriculture and Food within the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Martin Cole is a food scientist focussed on food safety, novel processing, nutrition and food security, with over 30 years’ experience in research management. Prior to his current role, he was Director of the U.S. National Center for Food Safety and Technology. He is currently the Chairperson of the HLPE Steering Committee of CFS, Chair of the International Commission on the Microbiological Specifications for Food, and Chair of the Food Security Taskforce for the International Union of Food Science and Technology. He is also a Director of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania and a graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms. Ismahane Elouafi (Morocco / Canada) is the Chief Scientist of FAO. Previously, she was Director General of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and earlier she held management positions with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. She also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations, including CGIAR and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences. Dr. Elouafi has over two decades of experience in agricultural research and development. She holds a PhD in Genetics (Cordoba University, Spain) and has a passion for science, its management, and its integration with policy. She is a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the National Reward Medal by His Majesty Mohamed VI, the King of Morocco (2014), and the Arab Women of the Year Award for Achievements in Science (2016).

Mr. Frank A. Ewert (Germany) is Scientific Director of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF). He is Professor of Crop Science with great expertise in production ecology, analysis and mathematical modelling, impact assessment, integrated assessment, and risk assessment. He serves on the Editorial Board of Nature Scientific Reports, is a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research initiative “Agricultural systems of the future”, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of FACCE-JPI, the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change of the European Union, and a Member of the coordination team of MACSUR (Modelling European Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security.

Ms. Louise O. Fresco (Netherlands) serves as a Vice Chair of the Scientific Group.She is the President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands. Louise combines a long academic career as a professor at Wageningen and other institutions with an extensive involvement in policy and development, with many programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America and teaching in Sweden, Belgium and the US. Louise O. Fresco is a member of eight Scientific Academies and holds four honorary doctorates. Ten years of her career were spent at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN. She is a non-Executive Director on the board of Syngenta as well as of various philanthropies while previously she served on the supervisory boards of companies like Rabobank and Unilever and at the board of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Her successful book “Hamburgers in Paradise, the stories behind the food we eat” was translated in several languages. In total she published thirteen books of fiction and non-fiction, and she also writes a bi-weekly column in NRC, the leading evening paper of The Netherlands. She presented a six part documentary on food and development for Dutch public television (to be found in translation on her website You may have seen her TED talk in Palm Springs in 2009.

Mr. Mohamed Hassan (Sudan) serves as a Vice Chair of the Scientific Group. He is President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Italy; President of the Sudanese National Academy of Sciences (SNAS); Chairman of the Governing Council of the United Nations Technology Bank, Turkey; and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the Center for Development Research (ZEF), Germany. He was Professor and Dean of the School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Khartoum; President of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP); founding Executive Director of TWAS; President of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS); founding President of the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC); Chairman of the Council of the United Nations University (UNU); and Chairman of the Honorary Presidential Advisory Council for Science and Technology, Nigeria. Among his honours: Comendator, Grand Cross, and National Order of Scientific Merit, Brazil; and Officer, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. He is a recipient of the G77 Leadership Award and the Abdus Salam Medal for Science and Technology. He is a member of eleven merit-based academies of science, which include the academy of Sciences of South Africa; the Pontifical Academy of Sciences; and the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology.

Ms. Sheryl L. Hendriks (South Africa) is Head of Department and Professor of Food Security, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development & Director of the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being, University of Pretoria. Prof. Hendriks is a food security policy expert with extensive experience in policy analysis and programme design. Her research focuses on food security and nutrition policy analysis and monitoring and evaluation of food security at household, national and global information system level. She is engaged in global food security policy think tanks and panels and is influential in food security and nutrition policy circles in Africa. She has made large contributions to capacity building for food security in Africa, having trained, mentored and supervised graduates and professionals from over 18 African countries, establishing a large network of graduates.

Mr. Mario Herrero Acosta (Costa Rica) is Chief Research Scientist of Agriculture and Food at The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Professor Herrero’s research focuses on increasing the sustainability of food systems, including the sustainable intensification of agriculture, climate mitigation and adaptation, livestock systems, and sustainable diets. He is a contributor to global initiatives such as the IPCC, the Lancet Commission on Obesity and the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. He is on the editorial boards of a variety of scientific journals and is a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, an Associate Fellow of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and an Honorary Professor of Agriculture and Food Innovation at the University of Queensland.

Mr. Thomas W. Hertel (USA) is Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. Prof. Hertel’s research and teaching focusses on international trade, food and environmental security. He is a Fellow, and a Past-President, of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the founder and Executive Director of the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP). Professor Hertel is the inaugural recipient of the Purdue University Research and Scholarship Distinction Award. He has also received a number of AAEA awards including, Outstanding Graduate Teacher, Publication of Enduring Quality, Distinguished Policy Contribution, Outstanding Journal Article and Quality of Communication. His research has also been recognized by the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (Best Journal Article) and the Ecological Society of America (Sustainability Science Award).

Mr. Jikun Huang (China) is Professor at the School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences and Director of the China Center for Agricultural Policy (CCAP), Peking University. He is a fellow of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) as well as a Honorary Life Member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE). He is the current president of the Asian Society of Agricultural Economists and vice-president of the Chinese Association of Agricultural Economics. He received his PhD in agricultural economics from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños in 1990. His research covers a wide range of issues on China’s agricultural economics and rural development. He received the Award for China’s Outstanding Youth Scientists in 2002, Outstanding Achievement Award for Overseas Returning Chinese in 2003, the Fudan Prize for Eminent Contributor to Management Science in 2008, and the IRRI’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 2010.

Ms. Elizabeth Hodson de Jaramillo (Colombia) is Professor Emeritus at the School of Sciences of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. She has a Ph.D. in Botany. She is an international consultant on bioeconomy, biodiversity, agro-biotechnologies and biosafety of GMOs, Member of the Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales and ; Honorary Fellow for the Scientific Committee in Fondazione Scuola Medica Salernitana (Italy). She furthermore is a member of the Ad Hoc Technic al Expert Group on Risk Assessment and Risk Management under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Convention on Biological Diversity); of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST); the Inter American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS); and serves as the Chair of Bioeconomy and Sustainable Development of the IICA (Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture).

Ms. Marta Hugas (Spain) is the Chief Scientist at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Dr Hugas joined EFSA after its creation and has since served as head of the Biological Hazards Unit, the Biological Hazards and Contaminants Unit, and the Risk Assessment and Scientific Assistance Department. Her work as chief scientist involves developing the strategic direction of EFSA’s scientific work, acting as a reference point on scientific issues and promoting scientific cooperation at a European and global level. Before joining EFSA, Dr. Hugas worked for the Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology (IRTA) in Spain, where she was Head of the Food Microbiology and Biotechnology Unit and led a research group on applied research on meat and food safety. From 1992 to 2004, she was an Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona. She is specialized in a number of food safety areas including food hygiene, the development of starter and bio protective cultures, probiotics for the safety of poultry meat, emerging conservation technologies as well as the risk assessment on food safety, in particular on biological hazards.

Mr. Andrew Kambugu (Uganda) is the Sande-McKinnell Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, and the IDI McKinnell Knowledge Centre, Makerere University Main Campus. Dr. Kambugu is an infectious diseases specialist. His research interests include HIV treatment outcomes in resource limited settings as well as the diagnosis and management of opportunistic infections in these settings with a focus on cryptococcal meningitis and tuberculosis. He is a principal investigator on a number of clinical trials spanning the fields of HIV therapeutics, HIV treatment strategies and implementation science. He is a co-founder – together with Dr. Jan Fehr – of the Researchers for Global Health (R4GH) initiative.

Ms. Kaoru Kitajima (Japan) is Professor at Kyoto University Graduate School of Agriculture. As a forest ecologist, she has ca. 40 years of research experience in tropical America, Asia and Africa, on wide-ranging topics including tree seedling regeneration, tree responses to climate factors and soil environment, plant-microbial interactions and ecology of exotic invasive plants. She has a PhD in Plant Biology from the University of Illinois, USA, and worked at the University of Florida (1997-2013), the University of Missouri-St. Louis (1994-1997), the University of Minnesota (1992-1994) and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. She is currently a member of the Science Council of Japan, and has contributed to various international organizations, including the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, the Center for International Forest Research, the World Center for Agroforestry, and the lead author group of the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land.

Mr. Rattan Lal (USA/India) is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Ohio State University, Prof. Lal worked at IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria for about 18 years. He is considered one of the most prominent soil scientists globally, working on environmental quality and sustainability, food security, climate change and soil carbon, soil degradation and restoration. He is mentioned by Reuters as part of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (2014-2016). He is laureate of the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize (2018), Glinka World Soil Prize (2018), the Japan Prize (2019), the U.S. Awasthi IFFCO Prize (2019), and the World Food Prize (2020).

Ms. Uma Lele (India/USA) is President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) and the first woman to be awarded a PhD in agricultural economics by Cornell University. Lele was elected President Elect of the IAAE in 2018. Since leaving services of the World Bank she has operated as an independent scholar and development economist and is affiliated with the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. She has five decades of experience in research, operations, policy analysis, and evaluation with the World Bank, universities and international organizations.

Ms. Lynnette M. Neufeld (Canada) is incoming President of the International Union of Nutrition Scientists (IUNS). She is Director Knowledge Leadership at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), where she heads a team of nutrition and food safety experts. She focuses on the generation and use of evidence to strengthen the quality of design and implementation of nutrition programs in low- and middle-income countries. Lynnette has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of nutrition where she has worked in several technical advisory and academic positions.  She is the Past-Chair of the Micronutrient Forum Steering Committee, former Board member of the American Society of Nutrition, among other global nutrition activities. She has received several awards including the Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Achievement Award, and holds a master’s and PhD in International Nutrition from Cornell University.

Mr. Urs Niggli (Switzerland) is a scientist focusing on sustainable farming systems (agroecology, organic agriculture and animal welfare). He sees the potentials of combining the knowledge of farmer communities and science-based innovation like digitalization, modern breeding techniques and high- & low-tech urban production. From 1990 to 2020, he led the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) which grew from 20 to 350 staff in different countries. The research work he supervised spans from soil sciences, plant production, plant protection, animal sciences and socio-economic sciences. He actively set-up cooperation in Asia, Africa, Latin America and in transitioning economies in Middle- and Eastern Europe. Urs Niggli graduated as PhD in plant production, holds an honorary PhD and two honorary professorships. Since his recent retirement, he works with a team of young scientists on projects with his own company. He is the member of various international advisory councils and scientific boards.

Ms. Claudia Sadoff (USA) is Executive Management Team Convener and Managing Director, Research Delivery and Impact, of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. She was Director General, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), CGIAR. Before joining IWMI, Dr. Sadoff was Global Lead for Water Security and Integrated Resource Management at the World Bank where she spent nearly 25 years working in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. She received appointments from a wide variety of other organizations as well, serving as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Oxford University, Chair of the GWP/OECD Task Force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth, Economic Advisor to IUCN, Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water Security, Member of the Global Water Partnership Technical Committee and Fulbright scholar at the Thailand Development Research Institute. She holds a PhD in Economics.

Ms. Lisa Sennerby Forsse (Sweden) is Chair of the Governmental Council for Evidence Based Environmental Analyses, she is past President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA) and professor in short-rotation forestry. Sennerby Forsse was the vice-chancellor of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences 2006-2015. During 2001-2006 she was the Director General of the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning. She participated in and chaired a number of national and international agencies and councils in the area of agriculture and forestry, environment and climate change. Internationally she served as member of the CGIAR Science 2004-2006 and vice chair of the Board of World Agroforestry, ICRAF, CGIAR  2017- 2020. She has a PhD in plant biology and adjunct professorship in short rotation forestry. Her academic fields cover a range of forest and agricultural related issues including climate and environment. She has received honorary degrees and several other awards.

Mr. Jean-François Soussana (France) is Vice-President of International Policy at the Institute national de la recherche agronomique (INRAE). Dr. Soussana is an agricultural engineer with a doctorate in plant physiology. He began his career at the INRA in 1986, where he conducted research on the connection between agronomy and ecology. He ran one of the first INRA laboratories on climate change, grassland ecosystems and the greenhouse effect. Since 1998, he is part of the IPCC. 2010-2017, he was INRA’s Scientific Director for the environment. He has served in many international scientific committees, including GRA, the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate KIC) of the European Institute of Technology and the Lima-Paris “4 per 1000” initiative.

Ms. Morakot Tanticharoen (Thailand) is Professor at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) and Senior Advisor to the President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA). For over two decades, Prof. Morakot co-founded the School of Energy and Materials and the Division of Biotechnology, later transformed into the School of Bioresources and Technology for which she served as dean. She guided more than 100 postgraduate theses and dissertations. She was actively involved as member and executive of several regional and international scientific societies and organisations, and served on the editorial board of many international journals. Prof. Morakot is a leading researcher in the field of microbiology and biotechnology. Her interests include anaerobic wastewater treatment for biogas production and spirulina technology research, potential of insect fungi for bioproduct development and she is also a pioneer in biosensor research in Thailand. She served as President of the Thailand Society for Biotechnology 1999-2003. She became Executive Director of the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), NSTDA for two terms (2000 -2008), which she also served as chairman of the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Biotechnology.

Mr. Maximo Torero (Peru) serves in an ex-officio advisory role on the Scientific Group. Dr. Torero is Assistant Director General for Economic and Social Development at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Before joining FAO in 2019, he served at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. as the executive director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Between 2006 – 2016, he led the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington. He is a professor at the University of the Pacific, Peru (on leave) and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (Germany). Dr. Torero has won the World Award for Outstanding Research on Development given by the Global Development Network twice. Torero received the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole in 2014.

Mr. Aman Wirakartakusumah (Indonesia) is Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Technology, Senior Scientist at SEAFAST Center, IPB University, and Executive Director of IPMI International Business School, Indonesia. He is the President-Elect of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), Presiding Officer of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology, member of the Board of Trustee of ILSI Global, and Chairman of the Engineering Commission of Indonesian Academy of Sciences. He established excellent networking with the food industries, government, and professional societies on food policy formulations for education, science and technology. He was Rector of IPB University, Head of Food Science and Technology Department and Director of Inter University Center for Food and Nutrition. He was Indonesia’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Chairman of IUFoST Education Committee, Scientific Director of ILSI-SEA, and involved in Codex Alimentarius Commission FAO/WHO. He received PhD degree in Food Science/minor in Chemical Engineering from UW-Madison.

Mr. David Zilberman (Israel, USA) is a Professor, Extension specialist and holder of the Robinson Chair in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California at Berkeley. His areas of expertise include agricultural and environmental economics and policy, water, marketing, risk management, the economics of innovation, natural resources, biotechnology, and biofuels. He is the recipient of the 2019 Wolf Prize in Agriculture, and was the 2018-19 President of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA). He was elected to the USA National Academy of Science in 2019, and is a Fellow of the AAEA, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and Honorary Life Member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists. Among his awards are the 2005 and 2010 AAEA Publication of Enduring Quality Award and the UNESCO International Cannes Prize for Water and the Economy (2000). He is also one of the Founders of the International Consortium of Applied Bio-economy Research (ICABR).