Nancy Birdsall is the founding president of the Center for Global Development (CGD). She became a CGD senior fellow when she stepped down as president of CGD in late 2016. Prior to co-founding CGD in 2001, she was executive vice president of the Inter-American Development bank from 1993 to 1998, where she oversaw a $30 billion public and private loan portfolio. Before that she worked 14 years in research, policy, and management positions at the World Bank, including as director of the Policy Research Department. She also served for three years as Senior Associate and Director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where her work focused on globalization, inequality, and the reform of the international financial institutions.
Birdsall is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books and many scholarly papers. Her most recent publications include Cash on Delivery: A New Approach to Foreign Aid and New Ideas on Development after the Financial Crisis, co-edited with Francis Fukuyama. Her writings have appeared in dozens of U.S. and Latin American newspapers and periodicals. She received a PhD in economics from Yale University and an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; and her BA from Newton College of the Sacred Heart. She has expertise in the following areas: development economics, globalism and inequality, the aid system, international financial institutions, education, Latin America, and climate financing.
Derek Byerlee is an Adjunct Professor in the Global Human Development Program in the School of Foreign Services at Georgetown University and Editor in Chief of the journal, Global Food Security.
He is an internationally recognized agricultural economist who specializes in agricultural development and food security. He has held senior positions at Michigan State University, USA; in the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico and South Asia; and in and the World Bank where he worked as Lead Economist, Rural Strategy and Policy. He finished his career in the Bank by co-directing preparation of the Bank’s flagship 2008 World Development Report on food and agriculture, the first on agriculture since 1982.
Since leaving the World Bank, he has continued working with a number of international organizations with an emphasis on investment in agribusiness, large-scale farming, and intensifications and land use. He served as Chair of Standing Panel on Impact Assessment of the CGIAR’s Science Council from 2009-, and Member and then Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Agricultural and Food Security Program, 2012-17. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association of Agricultural Economists in 2004.
Dr. Byerlee has a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Oregon State University, USA and D.Econ. (hon), University of Adelaide.
Margaret Catley-Carlson is a citizen of Canada. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia. She also holds a dozen honorary degrees. Dr. Catley-Carlson operates at the Board level in support of improved water resource management and the twin issues of agricultural productivity and rural development.
She is chair of the PAC section of the Board of Governors of the International Center on Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal. She serves on the Board of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), is a jurist of the Stockholm Water Prize and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Syngenta Foundation, the Library of Alexandria, and the World Food Prize.
She has chaired Boards of the Crop Diversity Trust, the Global Water Partnership, the Foresight Advisory Committee of the Group Suez, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Area (ICARDA), the Water Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), and vice chair of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Board, the Canadian Water Network, and a member of the Secretary General's Advisory Group on Water.
She was president of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) from 1983-1989; Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF in New York from 1981-1983; President of the Population Council in New York from 1993-1998; and Deputy Minister of the Department of Health and Welfare of Canada from 1989-1992.
Dr. Catley-Carlson in an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Dacian Julien Cioloş is an agronomist specializing in rural and agrifood economy. He served as Prime Minister of Romania between November 2015 and January 2017.
Prior to this, he was Special Advisor on Food Security to the European Commission in 2015 and the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development from 2010–2014. During his term, he conducted a deep reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, the first one following the increase of the European Union from 15 to 28 member states.
From 2009–2010, he served in Romania as the chairman of the presidential commission that created a national agricultural strategy and as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2007–2008.
He graduated from the Horticulture Faculty of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (USAMV) in Cluj-Napoca in 1994. Later, he obtained his diploma in Advanced Agronomy, specializing in “Systems of Agricultural Production Systems and Rural Development,” from the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique, ENSA, in Rennes, France. Between 1996 and 1997 he enrolled for a Scientific Master’s degree (MSc) course at the University of Montpellier and École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique, ENSA, in Montpellier, France.
On November 27, 2014, he received the “Personality of the Year for a European Romania,” awarded by Eurolink House of Europe, a part of the International Federation of European Houses (FIME). In October 2015, he received the title, Professor Honoris Causa of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (USAMV) Cluj-Napoca. He has been a member of the French Agricultural Academy since 2015.
S. Mahendra Dev has been Director and Vice Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) in Mumbai, India, since 2010. Prior to this position, he was Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Ministry of Agriculture, in the rank of Secretary to Government of India from 2008 to 2010. From 1999 to 2008 he was Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Studies in Hyderabad, India.
He received his PhD from the Delhi School of Economics and did postdoctoral research at Yale University. He was a faculty member at IGIDR for 11 years. He was a Senior Fellow at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation from 1996 to 1997 and a Visiting Professor at ZEF, University of Bonn, Germany, in 1999.
He has more than 100 research publications in national and international journals in the areas of agricultural development, poverty and public policy, food security, employment guarantee schemes, social security, and farm and nonfarm employment.
He has written or edited 12 books. Oxford University Press recently published his book Inclusive Growth in India: Agriculture, Poverty, and Human Development. His book Perspectives on Equitable Development was recently released by the Prime Minister of India.
He has been a consultant and adviser to many international organizations, such as the United Development Programme, the World Bank, the International Labor Organisation, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He has also conducted collaborative projects with IFPRI on food security and poverty.
He has been a member of several government committees, including the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Employment and the Committee on Financial Inclusion. He is the Chairman of the Committee on Terms of Trade on Agriculture constituted by the Indian Ministry of Agriculture. He is also member of the government’s newly constituted Expert Panel on poverty estimates. He was a member of working groups for India’s 9th, 10th, and 11th Five-Year Plans.
He has received honors for eminence in public service and awards for teaching economics and making outstanding contributions to education.
Ismahane Elouafi has been Director General of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) since 2012. Before joining ICBA, she led the Research and Partnerships Division at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and held a management position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). She has also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations such as the International Center for Agricultural Research and Dry Areas (ICARDA), the International Maize and Wheat Center (CIMMYT), and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS). She holds a PhD in genetics from Cordoba University, Spain.
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.
Marcos S. Jank is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Asia-Brazil Agro Alliance, a partnership that brings together select agri-food trade associations and the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex Brasil). The objective of the organization is to enhance the profile of Brazilian agribusiness in Asian economies by expanding relations with governments and stakeholders in the region.
From 2013-2017, Dr. Jank was Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Business evelopment of BRF Asia Pacific. From 2007-2012, he was CEO of the Brazxilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), the main suger-energy trade association with 136 member companies. He was also the Founding President of the Brazilian Institute for International Trade Negotiations (ICONE), one of the country's leading agribusiness think tanks. From 2001-2002, he served as Special Expert in Integration and Trade at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, DC.
Dr. Jank has had an 18-year career as an Associate Professor at the University of São Paulo's (USP) Faculties of Economics (FEA) and Agricultural Sciences (ESALQ), with sabbatical periods in the United States and European universities.
Jank earned a PhD from USP School of Economics and Business (FEA), a master of science degree in agri-food policies from the Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier (IAMM) in Montpellier, France, and a bachelor of science degree in Agronomy from ESALQ.
Mr. Jank is fluent in Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish.
Simon Maxwell is an economist with more than 40 years’ experience in international development, as field worker, researcher, teacher, and policy adviser. He has degrees from the Universities of Oxford and Sussex. For the first 10 years of his career, he worked and lived in developing countries, first in Kenya and India with the United Nations Development Programme, then as a farming systems economist with the UK aid program in Bolivia. He then spent 15 years as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, working mainly on poverty, rural development, and food security. He was a member of the UN Advisory Group on Nutrition and established the Food Security Unit at IDS, working mainly on food issues in Africa south of the Sahara.
In 1997, he became Director of the Overseas Development Institute, the UK’s leading independent think tank on international development. He maintained an interest in food policy during this period, but also wrote widely on development and aid issues. Since 1999, he has been a Senior Research Associate of ODI. His principal engagements include acting as Executive Chair of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (www.cdkn.org) and specialist adviser to the UK House of Commons International Development Select Committee.
In addition to IFPRI, he is a trustee of the UK Fair Trade Foundation and of the Spanish think tank FRIDE. He is on the advisory group of the Institute of Public Policy Research. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Poverty and Sustainable Development and of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Union’s Commissioner for Development. He is a former President of the Development Studies Association of the UK and Ireland. In 2007, he was awarded a CBE for service to international development. A full list of publications and other activities can be found at www.simonmaxwell.eu.
Brave Rona Ndisale is the Deputy Director of the Social Protection Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) based in Rome. Prior to this post, she was Ambassador to Belgium, France, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, The Principality of Monaco, and the European Union. She previously held senior positions in government and international organizations, including the African Union Commission, in a variety of areas including policy and planning. She has done short-term consultancies with FAO, AFRICARE, and the African Development Bank.
She is well versed in the areas of trade, input and product market systems, and land tenure and is familiar with a broad range of issues related to biotechnology, biosafety, and sanitary and phytosanitary regulations. She holds a PhD in agriculture and applied economics from the University of Minnesota and was awarded the African Graduate Fellowship (AFGRAD) for her PhD program.
Dr. Udomkesmalee (Wasantwisut) is a Senior Advisor to and a former Director of the Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand. She holds the position of Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests include micronutrient assessment, bioavailability and metabolism, micronutrient interaction especially of vitamin A and zinc or iron and zinc, and micronutrient and immune function.
She is a member of the Independent Expert Group of the Global Nutrition Report; the WHO Nutrition Topic Advisory Group on ICD Revision Project; the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group; the Steering Committee of the Micronutrient Forum; the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Partnership Council; and the Scientific and Public Health Advisory Committee of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Southeast Asia Region, as well as its Scientific Director. She is a founding member of the International Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition (ISISN) and the Country Network Facilitator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement.
She received her PhD in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1985. Her postdoctoral training was at the Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Beltsville, Maryland, USA, in 1987.