Meet the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)
The SAC comprises eminent scientists from around the world, dedicated to addressing systemic challenges that exist in transformation pathways through credible, evidence-based and science-driven solutions.
PROFESSOR OLANIKE ADEYEMO
Professor Olanike Adeyemo is a COMSTECH Distinguished scholar and represents sub-Saharan Africa on the 6th Steering Committee of the World Food Security’s High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition (2021-date). She is the Pioneer Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships), University of Ibadan, Ibadan (2017-2021). Her research is in “One Health”, an innovative and transdisciplinary research approach that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms to create novel, conceptual, methodological, and translational innovation at the environment-livestock-wildlife-human interface with significant policy implication for Nigeria, the African Continent, and the rest of the world. She has a patent, copyrights and 135 publications. Among other preferments, Professor Adeyemo is an expert on the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on food additives, contaminants, natural toxins, and residues of Veterinary drugs (2011-2026) and a Council member of International Professional Recognition Committee (IPRC) for Research Management, South Africa. In 2022, She was invited by the British Council to join the Steering Committee of the Going Global Partners’ Group as an International representative. Professor Olanike Adeyemo is an elected Fellow of Nigerian Academy of Science, African Academy of Sciences, The World Academy of Sciences and International Science Council.
PROFESSOR KAOSAR AFSANA
Professor Kaosar Afsana has over 30 years of experience in public health and nutrition embracing research, implementation, management and policy-influencing. She was the Director of BRAC Health, Nutrition and Population Programme of BRAC (largest NGO in the world) where she conceived and led breakthrough interventions in RMNCH and nutrition. Having rich background in implementation and research on varied issues, she broadened her scope of work and capacity to expand innovative interventions in both development and humanitarian sectors. At present, her implementation experience mingled with research focuses on public health and nutrition, early child development, health systems and humanitarian crisis. Her knowledge and experience in research, implementation and policy advocacy in fact have positioned her in many international and local agencies including the government of Bangladesh to influence science-policy interfacing at country and global levels in diverse fields of health and nutrition. Prof Afsana has authored books and widely published journal papers and book chapters. She has been awarded with many prestigious awards for her academic and professional excellence.
DR. MOHAMED AIT KADI
Dr. Mohamed AIT KADI is presently Resident Member of Hassan II Academy of Sciences and Technology. He was President of the General Council of Agricultural Development, a high level policy Think Tank of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development and Forestry in Morocco. He was the Chief Agricultural Negotiator of the free trade agreement between Morocco and the United States. He chairs the Scientific Committee of the Adaptation of Africa’s Agriculture Initiative. He has been a member of the Board of the Central Bank of Morocco, the CGIAR Consortium Board and IFPRI’s Board. Presently he is member of the International Advisory Council of the Bioeconomy Summit. He has served in many high level international assignments. He has earned his engineering and doctorate degrees of “Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire HassanII”, Rabat, Morocco, “Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural des Eaux et Forêts”, Paris, France and Utah State University, USA.
DR. OUSMANE BADIANE
Dr. Ousmane Badiane, 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 (IFPRI), he was instrumental in developing and guiding the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). 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 PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kiel in Germany. He is also the recipient of a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of KwaZulu Natal.
DR. ROBERT BERTRAM
Dr. Rob Bertram is Chief Scientist in USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, where he leads USAID’s evidence-based efforts to advance agricultural and food systems research supporting the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. He oversees USAID’s food security research portfolio spanning the U.S. University-led Feed the Future Innovation Labs, the CGIAR and other International Agricultural Research Centers and public-private partnerships in agricultural biotechnology, all of which collaborate with and build capacity of national research organizations across Africa, Asia and Latin America. He is active in multilateral science contexts, where he leads USAID participation in the CGIAR and the Global Crop Diversity Trust, chairs the FAO Global Action on Fall Armyworm Technical Committee, and formerly chaired the FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and has also served as a Senior Official in the Executive Committee of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement.
PROFESSOR BARBARA BURLINGAME
Professor Barbara Burlingame is co-chair of the Sustainable Diets Task Force of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS), member of the HLPE Steering Committee of CFS, and Professor of nutrition and food systems, and the ex-Chief of nutrition at FAO. She has a PhD from Massey University and undergraduate degrees from University of California, Davis (nutrition science and environmental toxicology). Since 2016, she has been Professor on nutrition and food systems at Massey University, where her current role is adjunct professor at Massey Riddet Institute. From 1998 - 2014 she worked at the FAO, first as Senior Nutrition Officer and then as Chief/ Deputy Director of Nutrition. Before joining FAO, Dr Burlingame spent 12 years as Nutrition Programme Leader at the New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research and Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Throughout her career, she has been a member of many scientific advisory boards and international committees; author of many scientific papers and UN publications, book chapters and reference books; and editor of several food and nutrition journals, including 13 years as Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, and currently as Specialty Chief Editor at Frontiers. Her expertise includes food composition, nutrient requirements, dietary assessment, integrated/sustainable food systems, biodiversity for food and nutrition, indigenous peoples' food systems, and sustainable diets, and provision of scientific/policy advice on food security and nutrition. She is also a Fellow of the IUNS.
PROFESSOR JENNIFER CLAPP
DR. MÁXIMO TORERO CULLEN
Dr. Máximo Torero Cullen is the Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He joined the Organization in January 2019 as Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department. Prior to joining FAO, he had been Executive Director at the World Bank Group since November 2016 and, before the Bank, Dr. Torero led the Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). More information on his research work and accademic background can be found here.
DR. RUBEN ECHEVERRÍA
Dr. Ruben Echeverria is Sr. Advisor, Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is Director General Emeritus of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT.cgiar.org). During 2020-2021 Ruben chaired the Global Commission on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification; was Sr. Advisor to the FAO LAC Regional Office; and Sr. Research Fellow at IFPRI.org. Ruben was Executive Director of the Science Council of the CGIAR and worked in agriculture and rural development for more than a decade at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB.org). In the 1980s, he conducted research in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, based at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR). Ruben studied Agronomy in Uruguay and Agriculture Economics in the US with special emphasis on the economics of technical and institutional change. Ruben is a Member of the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee of Food Security.
DR. ISMAHANE ELOUAFI
Ms Ismahane Elouafi is Chief Scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and part of FAO’s core leadership structure. With nearly two decades of experience in agricultural research and development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Ms Elouafi is a strong advocate for diversifying into neglected and underutilized crops. She is also internationally known for her work on promoting use of non-fresh water in agriculture and empowerment of women in science. Ms Elouafi has been a member of various strategy expert panels and advisory groups. Her contributions to science and policy have been recognized with a number of prestigious awards and accolades, in particular the Excellence in Science Award from the Global Thinkers Forum. Dr. Elouafi holds a Ph.D. in Genetics.
DR. HILAL ELVER
Dr. Hilal Elver is a professor of international human rights law and international environmental law, and the co-director of the Climate Change, Democracy and Human Security project at the University of California Santa Barbara. From May 2014 to May 2020, Elver served as the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, responsible for carrying out the right to food mandate as prescribed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. She is currently serving as an appointed member of the Steering Committee of the High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the World Committee of Food Security (CFS) and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the UN Food Systems Hub. She maintains several affiliations with academic institutions worldwide. Select reports, articles, op-eds, and interviews are featured on her website: hilalelver.org.
DR. SHENGGEN FAN
Dr. Shenggen Fan is currently Chair Professor and Dean of Academy of Global Food Economics and Policy (AGFEP) at China Agricultural University (CAU). Prior to joining CAU, Dr. Fan served as Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) from 2009 to 2019. He was a member, vice chair and chair of food and nutrition council of the World Economic Forum from 2010 to 2018. He is currently a member of the CGIAR System Board and Vice Chairs of the Board of Trustee of the International Rice Research Institute and International Food Policy Research Institute. He is a Fellow of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), and an Honorary Life Member, International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE). 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.
DR. AMEENAH GURIB-FAKIM
PROFESSOR SJOUKJE HEIMOVAARA
Professor Sjoukje Heimovaara is since 1 July 2022 President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). She studied Plant Breeding at WUR and obtained her PhD at Leiden University. She subsequently worked at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and the international plant breeding company Royal Van Zanten, as Research & Development Director and thereafter as CEO. From 2020 until 30 June 2022, Heimovaara was Director of the Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group at WUR. Sjoukje Heimovaara has cross-sector experience in government, contract research, fundamental research, higher education, as well as in the corporate world. Sjoukje Heimovaara is a council member and deputy chair of the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (AWTI), which advises the Dutch government and parliament on policy concerning science, technology, and innovation. She is also a SDG 12.3 Champion, and member of the Supervisory Board of the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology.
PROFESSOR MARIO HERRERO ACOSTA
Professor Mario Herrero is a professor of sustainable food systems and global change in the Department of Global Development, a Cornell Atkinson Scholar, and a Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator in the Life Sciences. His research focuses on increasing the sustainability of food systems for the benefit of humans and ecosystems. He works in the areas of food systems and the environment, climate mitigation and adaptation, livestock systems, true cost of food, sustainability metrics, and healthy and sustainable diets. He has played senior roles in many global initiatives on food and the environment (FAO Food Systems Coordination Hub, IPCC, UN Food Systems Summit, AgMip, etc). He is currently a Coordinating Lead Author of the forthcoming IPBES-Nexus Report and a Commissioner and Executive Committee member of the EAT-Lancet 2.0 study. Mario is a highly-cited researcher according to the Web of Science, and is in the top 10 of Reuters list of most influential climate change scientists. He obtained his postgraduate degrees from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
PROFESSOR THOMAS HERTEL
Professor Thomas Hertel is Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. Prof. Hertel’s research and teaching focuses on international trade, food and environmental security. He is a 2022 recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize and 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 Honorary Life Member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) which now encompasses more than 26,000 researchers in 179 countries around the world.
DR. MARTA HUGAS
Dr. Marta Hugas served as Chief Scientist at the European Food Safety Authority until 1st March 2022. The position addressed the development of EFSA’s scientific strategic direction. In 2020 Marta was appointed to the scientific group preparing for the UN Food Systems Summit held in 2021. She was co-coordinator of Action Track 2: Shifting to sustainable consumption habits. Marta held several positions at EFSA (2003-2022): Head of Biological Hazards Unit, Head of the Risk Assessment and Scientific Assistance Department, Head of the Biological Hazards and Contaminants Unit (BIOCONTAM) and Chief Scientist . Prior to joining EFSA, she worked for the Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology (IRTA) in Spain, as Head of the Food Microbiology and Biotechnology Unit. From 1992 to 2004 she was an Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona.Marta holds a BSc in biological sciences, an MSc in genetics and microbial biotechnology and a PhD in food microbiology. She has extensively published papers and book chapters on food safety, risk assessment and governance.
PROFESSOR RATTAN LAL
Professor Rattan Lal, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of the CFAES Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration at The Ohio State University. He received B.Sc. from PAU, Ludhiana (1963); M.Sc. from IARI, New Delhi (1965); and Ph.D. from OSU, Columbus, Ohio (1968). He was Sr. Research Fellow at University of Sydney (1968-69), soil Physicist at IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria (1970-87), and Professor of Soil Science at OSU (1987 to date). He has authored/co-authored over 1000 refereed journal articles and 550 book chapters, and written and edited/co-edited 100 books. He received an Honoris Causa degree from 9 universities throughout Europe, USA, South America, and Asia; the Medal of Honor from UIMP, Santander, Spain (2018); the Distinguished Service Medal of the IUSS (2018); and is fellow of 5 professional societies. Dr. Lal has mentored 117 graduate students and 185visiting scholars. He was President of the WASWC(1987-1990), ISTRO (1988-1991), SSSA (2006-2008), and IUSS (2017-2018). He holds the Chair in Soil Science and is the Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainability Issues for IICA, and member of the 2021 U.N. Food System Summit Science Committee and Action Tracks 1 & 3. Dr. Lal is laureate of the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize (2018), Glinka World Soil Prize (2018), Japan Prize (2019), U.S. Awasthi IFFCO Prize (2019), Arrell Global Food Innovation Award (2020), World Food Prize (2020), India’s Padma Shri Award (2021).He is an honorary member of the Moldova Academy of Sciences (2022) , and a member of the Academia Europaea(2022).He received the Presidential Award of SSSA(2022), and the IPCC-Nobel Peace Prize Certificate (2007). The PAU, Ludhiana, named its Soil Science and Agronomy building as Rattan Lal Laboratories in 2020.
DR. LYNNETTE NEUFELD
Dr. Neufeld began her career in an academic position at the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico where she led a variety of implementation research and impact evaluation studies to improve the impact potential of social protection programs in Mexico and the region. She then brought her passion for improving the generation and utilization of evidence in program design and delivery to non-governmental organizations, most recently the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, before joining FAO as Director of the Food and Nutrition Division in early 2022. Dr Neufeld is President of the International Union of Nutrition Scientists (IUNS), Past-Chair of the Micronutrient Forum Steering Committee, former Board member of the American Society of Nutrition, and has been member of several WHO and other technical advisory groups. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and holds a Master’s and PhD in International Nutrition from Cornell University.
PROFESSOR NITYA RAO SWAMINATHAN
Professor Nitya Rao is Professor, Gender and Development at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom and Director of the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development. She has worked extensively as a researcher and advocate in the field of women’s rights, gendered wellbeing, and justice, with a particular focus on food, nutrition, health and livelihood security. She has published extensively on the gendered changes in agrarian relations, migration and livelihoods, especially in contexts of climatic variability and economic precarity. She has consistently engaged with policy and practice, at both the global and local levels. Apart from supporting networks of women farmers in India, she served on the Global Advisory Committee of the United Nations Girls Education Initiative for over a decade. She is currently a member of the Steering Group of the High-Level Panel of Experts to the Committee on World Food Security, and Commissioner, EAT-Lancet 2.0 on healthy and sustainable diets.
DR. SHAKUNTALA THILSTED
Dr. Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted is Director, Nutrition, Health and Food Security Impact Area Platform, CGIAR. She was awarded the 2021 World Food Prize for her ground-breaking research, critical insights, and landmark innovations in developing holistic, nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquatic food systems. She was awarded the 2021 Arrell Global Food Innovation Award for research innovation. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS). She was Vice Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021: Action Track 4 - Advance Equitable Livelihoods, and also a Food Systems Champion. In 2022, Shakuntala was appointed co-chair of the EAT-Lancet 2.0 Commission. Shakuntala holds a PhD from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark. She holds Honorary Doctorates from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and The University of the West Indies.
PROFESSOR JOACHIM VON BRAUN
Professor Joachim von Braun is Distinguished Professor for Economic and Technological change at Bonn University, in the Center for Development Research (ZEF). His research is on economic development, science and technology policy, poverty reduction, food and nutrition security, agriculture, resource economics, climate, and trade. von Braun is President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Vatican, and member of German National Academy of Science, the World Academy (TWAS), the African Academy of Sciences, and other academies. In 2020 and 2021 he served as Chair of the Scientific Group for the Food Systems Summit 2021 of the UN Secretary General. He is Vice President of the NGO WHH (Welthungerhilfe) and was director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington DC. He published more than 250 peer reviewed publications.
PROFESSOR AMAN WIRAKARTAKUSUMAH
Professor Aman Wirakartakusumah, Rector of IPMI International Business School (2019-2027), Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Technology, IPB University, Fellow of Indonesian Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science & Technology (IAFoST), The Immediate Past President of IAFoST (2020-2022), and the President of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST for 2022-2024). Professor Wirakartakusumah was Rector of IPB University from 1998-2002, Ambassador of Indonesia to UNESCO-Paris (2004-2008), Represented the Ministry of Food Affairs Indonesia at FAO-WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission (1994-1998), and member of Scientific Group at UN Secretary General for UN Food System Summit 2020-2021.He has bridged the coonection with industry as scientific director at ILSI SEA and member Board of Trustee. Professor Wirakartakusumah obtained his degree from IPB University in 1972, his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science/minor in Chemical Engineering from the UW-Madison, USA in 1977 and 1981, respectively.