Food: The Power is on Your Plate Series Speakers

Jessica Fanzo

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Jessica Fanzo is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at the Berman Institute of Bioethics, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University in the USA. She also serves as the Director of Hopkins’ Global Food Policy and Ethics Program, and as Director of Food & Nutrition Security at Hopkins’ Alliance for a Healthier World. She is the Editor-in-Chief for the Global Food Security Journal and leads on the development, in collaboration with GAIN, of the Food Systems Dashboard. From 2017 to 2019, Jessica served as the Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report, the UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition, and the EAT Lancet Commission. Before coming to Hopkins, she has also held positions at Columbia University, the Earth Institute, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the UN World Food Programme, Bioversity International, and the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya. Jessica has a PhD in nutrition from the University of Arizona.

Tara Garnett

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Tara has worked on food for over 25 years within both the NGO and academic sectors. Since 2012 she has been a researcher at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, a fellow of the Oxford Martin School and part of the Wellcome Trust-funded LEAP project. In 2005 she founded the Food Climate Research Network (FCRN), Table’s precursor. Tara has a degree in English Literature (University of Oxford), a Masters in Development Studies (School of Oriental and African Studies) and a PhD from the Centre for Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey. In 2015 she was awarded the Premio Daniel Carasso.

Lawrence Haddad

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Dr. Lawrence Haddad became GAIN’s Executive Director in October 2016. Prior to joining, he was the founding co-chair and lead author of the Global Nutrition Report (GNR).

From 2004-2014 Lawrence was the Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the world’s leading development studies institute, and prior to that, he was a research Director at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He was the UK’s representative on the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the UN’s Committee on Food Security (CSF) from 2009-2010. He is an economist and completed his PhD in Food Research at Stanford University in 1988.

In 2018, Lawrence was awarded the World Food Prize for his: “relentless leadership and advocacy in mobilizing political will to make nutrition the focal point of development strategies.”

Dr. Agnes Kalibata

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As the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy, Dr. Kalibata works with the United Nations system and key partners to provide leadership, guidance, and strategic direction towards the 2021 Food Systems Summit. She is responsible for outreach and cooperation with key leaders, including governments, to ensure the Summit serves as a catalytic process within the Decade of Action to improve food systems around the world to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement.

Since 2014, Dr. Kalibata has also served as President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), where she leads the organization’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa.

Prior to joining AGRA in September 2014, Dr. Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) from 2008 to 2014, where she drove programs that moved her country from a food insecure to a food secure status and became a reference point for other countries that sought to deliver agriculture transformation. Dr. Kalibata has held several other leadership positions, including Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Rwanda. She also worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Uganda, and various other agricultural development organizations. She sits on various boards, councils and commissions including the Global Commission on Adaptation, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, the Global Panel for Agriculture & Food Systems for Nutrition, the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP), the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, the Malabo-Montpellier Panel, and Africa Risk Capacity, among others.

Dr. Kalibata has a distinguished track record as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader. She was awarded the Yara Prize, now the Africa Food Prize, in 2012, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Liège in 2018, an Honorary Doctorate from McGill Univeristy in 2019, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal in April, 2019 for her work to drive Africa’s agricultural transformation through modern sciences and effective policy thereby improving livelihoods of stallholder farmers. Dr. Kalibata holds a doctorate in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Dr. Renata Micha

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Dr. Micha is a registered clinical dietician, public health nutritionist and epidemiologist whose research focuses on the effects of diet on health, and on population strategies to improve diet. Dr. Micha is Senior Investigator in current iterations of the Global Dietary Database (GDD), aiming to characterise diet habits and corresponding impacts on health on a global scale. Dr. Micha has also been instrumental in establishing and coordinating the work of the Food Policy Review and Intervention Cost-Effectiveness (Food-PRICE) initiative. As part of this initiative, she leads and guides components relating to modelling the health and economic impacts of food policies to improve diet and health in the US.

Sunita Narain

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Sunita Narain is a Delhi-based environmentalist and author. She is currently the Director General of the Center for Science and Environment (https://www.cseindia.org/) and Editor of the biweekly magazine, Down To Earth (https://www.downtoearth.org.in/).

Narain plays an active role in policy formulation on issues of environment and development in India and globally. She has worked extensively on climate change, with a particular interest in advocating for an ambitious and equitable global agreement. Her work on air pollution, water and waste management as well as industrial pollution has led to an understanding of the need for affordable and sustainable solutions in countries like India where the challenge is to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth. Narain’s work is also to research the interaction between food and the environment. Her interest is to ensure that countries in the Southern world do not adopt highly chemical intensive agricultural systems as they do not have the capacity to mitigate and manage the toxic fallout on the environment and human health. One of her key efforts most recently has been to combine her knowledge, experience, and know how to demonstrate the benefits of organic food and its impact on health and climate through town hall meetings. These meetings provide cooking demonstrations by leading chefs in front of large audiences from all walks of life as an effort to share insight with the general public on issues of food, health, and climate change.

She was a member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change and has been awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour. In 2005, the Centre for Science and Environment was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize under her leadership. In 2016, Time Magazine listed her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She received “The Order of the Polar Star” award from the Swedish Government in 2017. Narain also received the Edinburgh Medal 2020 conferred by the City of Edinburgh Council in the UK. The medal citation recognizes Narain’s strong leadership in championing climate justice for the poor and disenfranchised.

Johan Rockström

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Johan is an internationally recognized scientist on global sustainability issues and led the development of the Planetary Boundaries framework for human development in the current era of rapid global change. He is a leading scientist on global water resources, with more than 25 years experience in applied water research in tropical regions, and more than 150 research publications in fields ranging from applied land and water management to global sustainability. In addition to his research endeavours, which has been widely used to guide policy, Rockström is active as a consultant for several governments and business networks. He also acts as an advisor for sustainable development issues at international meetings including the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conferences (UNFCCC). Professor Rockström chairs the advisory board for the EAT Foundation and the Earth League and has been appointed as chair of the Earth Commission.

Kristian Teleki

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Kristian has more than two decades of strategic and senior management experience in the areas of ocean policy and science, environment, sustainability and development. He has broad international high-level experience in more than 35 countries, negotiating and managing projects in the public and private sectors.

In addition to serving as director of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative at WRI, Kristian is head of the Friends of Ocean Action for the World Economic Forum. Until early 2018, he was the senior marine adviser to the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, and the director of engagement for the Ocean Unite network, an initiative of the non-profit arm of the Virgin Group. From 2012 to 2016, he was the director of global engagement at the Global Ocean Commission. Kristian has also served as vice president of SeaWeb (2009-2012), where he was responsible for sustainable-markets, science, and Asia-Pacific programmes, head of the marine programme at UNEP - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (2006-2009), and director of the International Coral Reef Action Network (2001-2009).

Kristian is on the boards of several environmental, development and social initiatives, and the editorial board of the journal Aquatic Conservation. He has degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Cambridge University.

David Tilman

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David Tilman is an ecologist whose long-term experiments and related theory showed that biodiversity is a major determinant of ecosystem stability, productivity, carbon storage and susceptibility to invasion. His more recent work focuses on agriculture, and seeks ways to preserve biodiversity, prevent extinctions and moderate climate change while providing secure and healthy diets for all the people of the Earth. Tilman is a member of the National Academy of Science and a foreign membership of the UK’s Royal Society. Major awards include the International Prize for Biology (2008), the Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences (2010), the Balzan Prize (2014), the BBVA Foundation’s “Frontiers of Knowledge Award” (2015) and the Blue Planet Prize (2020) for work on food, health, agriculture and the environment.

Dr. Walter Willett

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Dr. Walter Willett served as Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for 25 years.

Dr. Willett was born in Hart, Michigan and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, studied food science at Michigan State University, and graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School before obtaining a Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Willett has focused much of his work over the last 40 years on the development of methods, using both questionnaire and biochemical approaches, to study the effects of diet on the occurrence of major diseases. He has applied these methods starting in 1980 in the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Together, these cohorts that include nearly 300,000 men and women with repeated dietary assessments are providing the most detailed information on the long-term health consequences of food choices.

Dr. Willett has published over 2,000 research papers, primarily on lifestyle risk factors for heart disease and cancer, and has written the textbook, Nutritional Epidemiology, published by Oxford University Press. He also has four books for the general public, Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating, just recently revised and released, Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less, co-authored with Mollie Katzen, The Fertility Diet, co-authored with Jorge Chavarro and Pat Skerrett and Thinfluence, co-authored with Malissa Wood and Dan Childs. Dr. Willett is the most cited nutritional scientist internationally. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the recipient of many national and international awards for his research.