Director, CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Karen Brooks joined IFPRI in 2012 as Director, CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets. Prior to that she worked for the World Bank for more than 20 years, primarily on agricultural development in Africa, Europe, and Central Asia.
For the last 10 years of her tenure at the World Bank, she managed analytical and operational programs in the Africa Region. Brooks has published on issues related to price and land policy in countries transitioning from planned to market economies, and on challenges of youth employment in Africa South of the Sahara. 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.
Dyborn Charlie Chibonga
Chief Executive Officer, National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM)
BSc and Diploma, Bunda College of Agriculture, University of Malawi; MSc in Landscape Ecology Design and Maintenance and Master's in NGO Management, Wye College, University of London. Since 1999, Chief Executive Officer, National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM). Board Member: African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC); Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN); Opportunity Bank of Malawi (OBM); Cooperative Insurance Company (CIC) Malawi, Councilor of the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI); Member of the European Economic and Social Follow-Up Committee (EESC); World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Food and Nutrition Security.
Senior Programme Coordinator, Science and Technology Policy at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) in the Netherlands
Judith Ann Francis is Senior Programme Coordinator, Science and Technology Policy at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) based in the Netherlands. Since joining CTA in 2003, she has been responsible for promoting science, technology and innovation (ST&I) for agriculture and rural development in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States. Through her leadership; improving foresighting capacity and tertiary education in agriculture as well as recognizing and rewarding excellence of women scientists and young professionals have gained prominence in the policy, academic and research communities. She has contributed to intensifying science and technology collaboration within and across the ACP regions and between the ACP and European partners. She has also championed the application of the innovation systems approach for transforming the agricultural sector in the 79 ACP member countries.
Prior to CTA, Judith worked with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and before that as a researcher with the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute in her home country, Trinidad and Tobago. She also lectured at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Food Science and Human Nutrition. Judith holds post graduate degrees in Management, Food Technology and Human Nutrition; BSc honours in Science and; certificates in the Management of Technology and Innovation, ST&I Policy and, Evaluation of Science and Innovation Policies. She has benefitted from international fellowships and served on several boards and international committees. She has held various positions in professional organizations including as president of both the Caribbean Association of Food Science and Technology and Caribbean Association of Nutritionists and Dieticians. Judith is a member of the board of SciDev.net and of the International Advisory Panel of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFOUM) in Africa. Recently, Judith was nominated to serve as Executive Secretary, of the European Forum for Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD). Judith also manages the CTA S&T portal Knowledge for Development http://knowledge.cta.int/.
Senior Nutrition and Partnership Advisor and Head of the Nutrition Program at the African Union / New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
Isatou Jallow serves as the Senior Nutrition and Partnership Advisor and Head of the Nutrition Program at the African Union / New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). She has previously worked as Chief of Gender, Women and Children at the United Nations World Food Program. Prior to that, she worked in her home country, the Gambia, where she established and served as the first Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA). She has served in several global and regional advisory and technical committees and is currently serving on the Technical Advisory Committee of the IFRI led Compact2025 initiative. In her current role, she has established a NEPAD Nutrition Expert Panel drawing on various African and International expertise.
Director, CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
John McDermott is the Director, CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health. Former deputy director general and director of research at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, John has lived and worked in Africa for 25 years. John’s research 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. He was a visiting lecturer at the University of Nairobi and a professor at the University of Guelph. He has also been an advisor to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and other international agencies. John has been a non-executive director of the Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines and Medicine and a member of the advisory committee of Veterinarians without Borders.
John 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 doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Guelph.
Professor of International Agriculture and Animal Science at Cornell University
In 1990, Professor Alice Pell joined Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences where she was in the graduate fields of Animal Science, Nutrition, Microbiology, Global Development and Public Affairs. From 2005-2009, she directed Cornell’s International Institute for Food and Agricultural Development (CIIFAD), a university-wide center involved in sustainable agricultural and rural development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She served on international panels supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the African Academy of Science, the Gates Foundation, the U.S. Academy of Science and the MacArthur Foundation.
Pell has been a STIAS fellow at Stellenbosch University studying the integration of agriculture and nutrition and is an Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape. From 2008-2013, she was Cornell’s Vice Provost for International Relations overseeing Cornell’s international education, outreach and research initiatives. Her current research interests focus on the integration of agriculture and nutrition to reduce under- and over nutrition. She is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University in architectural science, has a Master's degree in international education from Harvard and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Vermont in animal nutrition. She has been involved in research and graduate training programs in Botswana, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, India and Indonesia.
Director of Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Marie T. Ruel has been Director of IFPRI's Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division since 2004, after serving as Senior Research Fellow and Research Fellow in that division starting in 1996. Since joining IFPRI, she led the Multi-Country Program on Challenges to Urban Food and Nutrition and the Global Regional Project on Diet Quality and Diet Changes of the Poor. Prior to IFPRI, she was head of the Nutrition and Health Division at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama/Pan American Health Organization (INCAP/PAHO) in Guatemala, where she worked and lived for 6 years. Dr Ruel received her Ph.D. in International Nutrition from Cornell University and her Masters in Health Sciences from Laval University in Canada.
Dr Ruel has worked for more than 25 years on policies and programs to alleviate poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition in developing countries. She has published extensively in nutrition and epidemiology journals on topics such as maternal and child nutrition, food based strategies to improve diet quality and micronutrient nutrition, urban livelihoods, food security and nutrition, and the development and validation of simple indicators to measure child feeding, care giving practices and food security. Her current research focuses on the evaluation and strengthening of a wide range of integrated, multi-sectoral development programs in the areas of agriculture, social protection and health, and at building the evidence on their role in reducing maternal and child malnutrition globally.
Dr Ruel has served on various international expert committees, such as the National Academy of Sciences, the International Zinc in Nutrition Consultative Group, and the Micronutrient Forum. She led the development of the CGIAR research program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), and is now a member of its Program Management Committee and leads its portfolio of research on integrated programs and policies.
Board Member, Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa/AGree
Emmy Simmons completed a career of nearly 30 years with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2005. In her last three years at USAID, she served as the Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade, a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed position.
From 1991 to 1994, she served in USAID’s regional office for east and southern Africa as Supervisory Program Economist. Simmons also served as Supervisory Agricultural Officer for Mali and as Regional Agricultural Advisor for West Africa, in addition to holding a number of supervisory positions in the Africa Bureau in USAID’s Washington headquarters. Prior to joining USAID, Simmons worked in the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs in Monrovia, Liberia, and taught and conducted research at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria.
Simmons is currently an independent consultant on international development issues, with a focus on food, agriculture, and Africa. She serves on the boards of several organisations engaged in international agriculture and global development, including: the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, the International Livestock Research Institute, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, the Washington chapter of the Society for International Development, and the Africa Center for Health and Human Security at George Washington University.
Simmons co-chairs the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability at the National Academies of Science and leads a Roundtable working group on Partnerships for Sustainability. Simmons began her international career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1962 to 1964. She holds an M.S. in agricultural economics from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Julia Tagwireyi has over 40 years’ experience in the field of public nutrition in the Caribbean, and Sub-Sahara Africa. Her experience includes programme planning and management, institutional capacity development for food and nutrition policy development, inter-sectoral co-ordination and advocacy targeting senior level policy makers and officials in public and private sector institutions including the development civic organizations. Tagwireyi is a member of the NEPAD Food Security and Nutrition Expert Panel. In July 2016, she was appointed by FAO to serve on the International Advisory Panel for the International Symposium on Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition, to be held in Rome in December 2016. She is a member of the National Food and Nutrition Security Strategic Advisory Group working on the Zimbabwe National Nutrition Agenda. The Group is a statutory multi-stakeholder body established under the Food and Nutrition Policy Implementation Framework, to provide strategic advice to the Food and Nutrition Council of Zimbabwe. In 2012, Tagwireyi received the African Nutrition Society (ANS) Award for outstanding contribution to nutrition in Africa. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, from the University of Surrey, England, and a Masters in Professional Studies in International Development, from Cornell University, USA.
President of the African Nutrition Society, based at the School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Hohoe, Ghana
Dr Francis Zotor has a doctoral training in public health nutrition and is a registered public health nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition, UK and Ireland. He is a recognized leader in nutrition across Africa and has been instrumental in driving and promoting the establishment of a strong nutrition profession on the continent through training and research to underpin programme delivery especially across the health and education sectors. His expertise covers developing links between poverty, food and nutrition security and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across the life cycle. He is a full time senior academic at the School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Hohoe, Ghana. Dr Zotor is a Trustee and current President of the African Nutrition Society (ANS). He is also a listed nutrition consultant on the WHO/AFRO database, and sits on the Steering Group of the UN’s Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Civil Society Network.