Convened annually by The Chicago Council, the Global Food Security Symposium discusses the US government's and international community’s progress on addressing global food and nutrition security. The Global Food Security Symposium 2015 will address food systems for improved health. The symposium will also be the platform for the release of a new Chicago Council study recommending ways the US can leverage its research institutions, deploy development and trade tools, and engage with business to improve health and nutrition globally. For more information, please contact Tria Raimundo, assistant director, Global Agriculture & Food.

Healthy Food for a Healthy World Campaign

Over the past ten weeks, in the lead-up to our Global Food Security Symposium, The Chicago Council’s blog series, "Healthy Food for a Healthy World," has built awareness about the important role healthy food can play in promoting health and curbing malnutrition. Read the posts

Speaker Bio

Agenda

GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY SYMPOSIUM 2015

Healthy Food for a Healthy World: Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition 
 

7:30 a.m.    REGISTRATION OPENS
 

8:30 a.m.    WELCOME 

Ivo H. Daalder, President, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

8:35 a.m.    REPORT PRESENTATION – Healthy Food for a Healthy World:  Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition

Douglas Bereuter, Cochair, Global Agricultural Development Initiative, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; former Member, US House of Representatives 
Dan Glickman, Cochair, Global Agricultural Development Initiative, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; former Secretary, US Department of Agriculture

9:00 a.m.    SPECIAL REMARKS

The Honorable Jeff Fortenberry, Member, US House of Representatives (R-NE)

9:05 a.m.    DISCUSSION - The Weight of the World:  The Burgeoning Malnutrition Crisis

Food contributes positively and negatively to the state of the world’s nutrition. This discussion will explore the role of food in the rising rates of diet-related non-communicable diseases and sustained rates of undernutrition, and the economic costs and risks this crisis has and will inflict.  

Chair:  Julie Gichuru, TV Host and Entrepreneur, ARIMUS Media Limited

Panelists:
C.D. Glin, Associate Director, Africa Region, The Rockefeller Foundation
Mark Hyman, MD, Chairman, the Institute for Functional Medicine; Director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine; Founder and Medical Director, The UltraWellness Center; Medical Editor, The Huffington Post 
Lindiwe M. Sibanda, CEO, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
Patrick Webb, MD, McFarlane Professor of Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University; Policy and Evidence Adviser, Global Panel on Agriculture, Food Systems and Nutrition; Director, USAID Feed the Future Nutrition Innovation Lab – Asia

10:20 a.m.    SPECIAL REMARKS

The Four "Ought Tos" of Food Security
Gregory R. Page, Executive Chairman, Cargill

10:25 a.m.    BREAK
 

10:45 a.m.    DISCUSSION – Business Models for Advancing Nutrition:  How the Private Sector is Moving the Needle on Health

The business sector at all levels is shaping the world’s food system.  How can agrifood businesses leverage their resources and reach to reduce malnutrition while maximizing profits? 

Chair:  Julianna Goldman, CBS News Correspondent

Panelists:
Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
Paul E. Schickler, President, DuPont Pioneer
Jai R. Shroff, CEO, UPL LTD
Sheila Redzepi, VP, Global Advocacy and Sustainability Strategy, Unilever

12:00 p.m.   SPECIAL REMARKS

Robert H. Miller, Divisional Vice President, Research and Development, Scientific and Medical Affairs, Abbott Nutrition

12:05 p.m.    LUNCHEON

Introduction
The Honorable Dan Coats, Member, US Senate (R-IN)

Keynote Address
Universities at the Foundation of the Fight Against Hunger
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., President, Purdue University

1:15 p.m.    DISCUSSION – A Health Sensitive Food Supply

The global food chain can be leveraged to improve nutrition. The food system can drive economic growth, produce more diverse and affordable diets, and deliver healthier foods to billions of farming households. It also has a key role to play in reducing food waste and enhancing food safety. 

Chair:  Monica Eng, Food Reporter and Producer, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Panelists:
Shawn Baker, Director, Nutrition, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  
Sunny George Verghese, Cofounder, Group Managing Director and CEO, Olam International
Richard S. Greene, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Food Security, US Agency for International Development
Stefan Schmitz, Deputy Director-General and Commissioner, the “One World - No Hunger” Initiative

2:50 p.m.    LIGHTNING PRESENTATIONS

Chair:  Allison Aubrey, Food & Health Correspondent, NPR News 

Presenters:

A Recipe for Innovation in Nutrition 
David Fleming, MD, Vice President, Public Health Impact, PATH

Fortifying Rice in Mali: Food Entrepeneurship in the Face of Uncertaintly 
Salif Romano Niang, Cofounder and Chief Impact Officer, Malô  

Healthy Soils, Healthy Foods
Jennie Schmidt, Owner and Operator, Schmidt Farms, Inc. 

1,000 Days to Shape the Future
Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Author, The Last Hunger Season

Scaling Business Innovation Globally to Leverage Nature
Shen Tong, Founder, Managing Director, FOOD-X

4:20 p.m.    KEYNOTE 

Investing in Smart, Collaborative Science to Address 21st Century Challenges 
The Honorable Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture

4:50 p.m.    WRAP-UP & ADJOURN

Catherine Bertini, Distinguished Fellow, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School, Syracuse University

Next Generation

The Chicago Council is pleased to host a delegation of students from land-grant and research universities that plan to enter the agriculture, development, or food sectors. Students are senior undergraduates or post-graduate-levels. Biographies for all students participating in the delegation are provided here for more information.

Next Generation Delegates

Dana Boyer, University of Minnesota, science, technology and public policy, PhD candidate
Diana Caley, New York University, food studies and public health, PhD candidate
Tony William Carr, University Duisburg-Essen and Radboud University in Nijmegen, transnational-ecosystem based water management, MSc candidate
Kate Collins, Harvard Kennedy School and MIT Sloan School of Management, public administration and business, MPA-MBA candidate
Elise Julia Ellinger, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, human nutrition and international development economics, BS candidate
Martin Joel Erzinger, Jr., University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, international agribusiness, MBA candidate
Megan E. Fenton, Purdue University, agronomy, MS-PhD candidate
Matthew M. Graziose, Columbia University, behavioral nutrition, PhD candidate
Soumya Gupta, Cornell University, applied economics and management, PhD candidate
Afton Marina Szasz Halloran, University of Copenhagen, sustainable food systems, PhD Fellow
Kelly J. Hodgins, University of Guelph, food systems and food security, MA candidate
Bettie Sindi Kawonga, University of Kentucky, dairy systems management, PhD candidate
Erin Lenhardt, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, agribusiness, MBA candidate
Nampeera Esther Lugwana, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, plant health sciences and management, PhD candidate
Andrew Margenot, University of California, Davis, biochemistry, PhD candidate
Tara Mittelberg, Northwestern University, biological anthropology, BS candidate
Rosalino Molina, Harvard Kennedy School/Harvard Business School, food distribution, MPP/MBA candidate
Ronald Leo Sullivan Jr., Kansas State University, international agribusiness, BS candidate

Social Media Ambassadors

Keron Bascombe, University of the West Indies, agribusiness and marketing , MSc candidate
Brennan Costello, University of Nebraska, agribusiness, BA candidate
Susannah Faulkner, London School of Economics and Political Science, public administration & public and social policy, MPA candidate
Kelly M. Nuckolls, Drake University Law School, food and agricultural Law, JD candidate
Juan Diego Santillana-Ortiz, University of Dusseldorf, plant science, PhD candidate
Olivia Murphy-Sweet, Penn State University, agriculture, BA candidate
 

Next Generation Delegates
 

Dana Boyer
Dana is currently a PhD student in the discipline of science, technology, and public policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Dana earned a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Cambridge with a focus on international development and low carbon infrastructure and bachelor’s degrees in environmental engineering and German studies with a minor in landscape design from the University of Connecticut. She works as part of the Sustainable Cities Initiative researching low-carbon urban development in India, China, and the US with a focus on food infrastructure. Her research analyzes urban food flows to help cities ensure a sufficient supply of food that meets the dietary requirements of their residents. The main emphasis of her research is to explore how new food production technologies and policies within and outside the urban space can mitigate environmental impact and risk to supply. Prior to Minnesota, she worked in Bangalore, India with the NGO, Ashoka – Innovators for the Public, helping to identify local social entrepreneurs in the fields of environment, health, and agriculture. She has also spent time working on various development projects related to human health and the environment in Nicaragua and Guatemala.
 
Diana Caley
Diana is a scholar and practitioner in the field of international development and poverty alleviation who aspires to be a champion of the urban poor. Currently a food studies PhD candidate at New York University's Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Diana’s mixed methods research explores the nature and measurement of hunger and food insecurity among slum-dwellers in Kampala, Uganda. Her work examines the extent to which dominant theoretical frameworks—and food security indicators derived from them—adequately reflect the perceptions, normative preferences, and coping behaviors that define the experience of hunger and food-related deprivation in the urban environment. Diana has received the following awards in support of her graduate research: US Borlaug Global Food Security Fellowship; New York Universty’s Global Institute for Public Health Research Challenge Grant; Les Dames d’Escoffier New York Founders Award; Alpert Family Food Studies Scholarship; Community Scholarship Foundation of La Canada Flintridge Graduate Scholarships; and New York University Global Research Imitative Fellowships.  Diana holds a BA in international development and economics from George Washington University. In addition to her Peace Corps service in Morocco, Diana has worked and conducted fieldwork related to food security, agricultural development, and community development in Egypt, Iraq, Mexico, Peru, Uganda, Tanzania, and Yemen.
 
Tony William Carr
Tony grew up in a small village near Nuremberg in Germany. After finishing secondary school he moved to Bonn to begin his bachelor’s study program in geography. In the course of his studies, he continuously focused on hydrology, which led to the choice of his current MSc program, transnational-ecosystem based water management at the University Duisburg-Essen and the Radboud University in Nijmegen. The double degree study program gave him the opportunity to study in both Germany and the Netherlands, whereby he received insights into the differences and collaborations in water resource management between both countries. In order to extend his knowledge of water resource management in agriculture, he decided to visit the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska in the city of Lincoln, where he is currently living. At DWFI he is working on a research project about water productivity in corn production in Nebraska, which also serves as a master’s thesis for his study program. In the future, he hopes to continue his work in the field of water resource and food system management at a research institution or as part of a globally focused organization.
 
Kate Collins
Kate is a dual-degree student at the Harvard Kennedy School and MIT Sloan School of Management, studying public administration and business. Before graduate school, Kate worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, first as a research associate in the US foreign policy and Africa programs, and later as chief of staff to the director of the think tank. Kate also worked for a year in southern Malawi as an agribusiness consultant, working for aid groups and multi-national corporations that source commodities from Malawi. 

Elise Julia Ellinger
Elise is a fourth-year BS candidate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studying human nutrition and international development economics. Elise began her research career as a high school student to explore point of consumption fortification technologies in school lunch programs in Central America. As a university student, Elise assisted in two field studies in rural Honduras conducting survey research to evaluate food security and dietary diversity in low income populations. Elise plans to combine her knowledge in nutritional science to a master’s in public policy in the upcoming years. Elise is particularly interested in evaluating community development using a multivariable approach to assess quality of life, and particularly, food security. Elise’s professional experience includes an internship with The Chicago Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative assisting in the weekly publication of the Global Food for Thought newsletter. Elise is also a Program Advisor for the University of Illinois Study Abroad Office and works with partnering universities to articulate coursework for exchange students. She spent one semester in France studying Mediterranean diet and health benefits as well as French gastronomy and wine pairings.
 
Martin Joel Erzinger, Jr. 
In preparation for a B2B marketing career in international agribusiness, Martin enrolled at UVA’s Darden School of Business and recently received the Hyde Fellowship, the school’s highest honor for performance in the first year MBA program. He continued his passion for global agriculture during his MBA summer internship and joined DuPont Pioneer as a summer marketing consultant. Martin has developed a broad range of experience across the global agricultural value chain. As a Russian studies major at Yale, Martin explored his interest in the global food system through a summer internship at a John Deere dealer in southern Russia. He interviewed over 55 farmers and diesel mechanics in Russian for his senior essay, “Power, Peasants, and Grain.” Following graduation, Martin developed his industry knowledge through his work in physical commodities trading on the US Wheat Desk of Louis Dreyfus Commodities. Martin then transitioned to Russia to work for an agribusiness sales agency in Moscow.   After graduation, Martin will be moving to Des Moines, IA to return full-time to DuPont Pioneer.
 
Megan E. Fenton
Megan will graduate from Purdue University in May of 2015 with her MS in agronomy – plant breeding and genetics. Megan is currently pursuing her PhD in agronomy – plant breeding and genetics at Purdue University with Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, studying the genetic control of Striga hermonthica resistance in Sorghum bicolor. She completed her BS in agricultural science at Cornell University. To further her understanding of international agriculture Megan pursued graduate level coursework at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu India. While in India, Megan also participated in an internship as a research scholar at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), studying soil health.  Megan conducted her thesis research on the genetic control of vitamin E content in maize (Zea mays L.).
 
Matthew M. Graziose
Matthew is a doctoral degree candidate in behavioral nutrition at Columbia University and a research assistant at the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, where he is helping to evaluate the impact of farm-to-school programming on elementary students’ consumption of fruits and vegetables. His research experience also includes work to: understand adolescents’ adoption of culinary skills, compare methods to measure body composition, lead nutrition education sessions for urban elementary youth, determine the cost-effectiveness of a nutrition education intervention, develop a nutrition education intervention in Senegal, and assess the impact of the built environment surrounding schools on children’s diet and physical activity and patterns. Matthew holds a BS in nutritional sciences from the University of Delaware and an MS in nutritional sciences from The Pennsylvania State University. He has previously worked as a nutrition educator at farmer’s markets, churches and day-care settings within government-funded programs. Matthew has had several opportunities to serve in professional societies, such as the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior and the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Soumya Gupta
Soumya is a PhD candidate at Cornell University’s Dyson school of applied economics and management. She is interested in understanding how agricultural systems can influence nutritional outcomes and food security in different contexts. Her dissertation research focuses on how farming systems can influence women’s iron status and their empowerment in agriculture. Her motivation for this work stems from two facts: First, women’s empowerment is the least studied of all the agriculture-nutrition pathways thus far, especially in India. Second, while anemia in women is a public health concern in India, Soumya’s study collects multiple biochemical assays to go beyond the use of anemia as a proxy to identify the prevalence of iron deficiency.  Soumya spent 15 months in Chandrapur (Maharashtra), India as a research scholar with the Tata-Cornell agriculture nutrition initiative, where she was involved in the design and implementation of a household survey and blood study for iron assays. She holds a master’s degree in economics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, and before coming to Cornell she taught undergraduate economics at the University of Delhi. After graduation, Soumya hopes to return to teaching while also being able to contribute to public policy in a meaningful way.
 
Afton Marina Szasz Halloran
Afton is as PhD fellow within the GREEiNSECT research consortium, a group of public and private institutions investigating how insects can be utilized as novel and supplementary sources of protein in small to large-scale industries in Kenya. Her research focuses on the socio-economic, nutritional, and environmental impacts of cricket farming in Thailand and Kenya. She formally worked as a consultant with the Insects for Food and Feed Programme at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She is a co-author on the FAO’s most popular publication “Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security.” At the FAO, she also developed a discussion paper on the regulatory frameworks governing insects as food and feed. Prior to GREENiNSECT, Afton received a BSc (honors) in global resource systems from the University of British Columbia, and a MSc in agricultural development from the University of Copenhagen where she wrote her thesis on the legitimization and institutionalization of urban agriculture systems in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Copenhagen, Denmark. Her research interests include sustainable food systems, food policy, rural-urban interactions, undervalued foods, farmers’ organizations, and sustainable diets. Afton proudly comes from Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada.
 
Kelly J. Hodgins
Kelly is a farm-grown, small-town raised food-justice and agriculture advocate. This upbringing has afforded her a certain privilege to intimately understand how food is cultivated, marketed, processed, distributed, and ultimately consumed or wasted. Notwithstanding the enormous respect she holds for the actors across the entire food chain, this perspective has also allowed her to identify the flaws in today’s food system. Thus, in order to understand the macro-level issues afflicting agriculture and food systems at the ground level, she took a step back from the farm to pursue graduate studies.  The two largest issues to which she devotes her work are food waste and food justice. Her masters’ thesis (April 2015) investigates the lack of inclusion in alternative, sustainable food networks. She is also working with a major grocery chain to create landfill diversion plans for organic wastes in collaboration with local farmers. Previously, she has conducted independent research with migrant agriculture workers, and has researched in the field in Mexico and Cuba. She now works to help undergraduate students develop social enterprise solutions to food security problems in her role as Program Coordinator at Feeding Nine Billion.
 
Bettie Sindi Kawonga
Bettie is a lecturer at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) in Malawi.  She served as Deputy Head of Department at LUANAR, and Assistant District Agricultural Development Officer, and Principal Agricultural Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture. Prior to the University of Kentucky, she obtained her BSc in agriculture in 2001 and MSc in animal science in 2012 from the University of Malawi. Her MSc work was on development of a performance monitoring tool for dairy cow management in smallholder dairy farms. Her research interests include animal welfare, compost bedded pack housing system, mastitis, and manure management. She is a BHEARD Fellow, Chances 40 Fellow, and African Women in Agricultural Research and Development Fellow. She received a MSc Scholarship in 2009 from Scottish Government International Development Fund. She is a member of the American Dairy Science Association and South African Society of Animal Science. She has published two peer reviewed journal papers on smallholder dairy and contributed to three symposium papers. She received a research grant in 2014 from Norwegian Government to develop dairy technologies to improve productivity and reduce methane gas emissions.
 
Erin Lenhardt
Erin serves as co-chair for the Food, Environment, Agribusiness, and Development (FEAD) student group. She is also co-chair for the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital (EVC) club and serves as a Career Advisor for students who are interested in pursuing careers in these fields. Erin will graduate in June of 2015 with concentrations in finance, entrepreneurship, and strategic management. Erin is a 2014-2015 Kirchner Food Fellow, where she is working alongside two other students to invest capital in for-profit start-ups addressing food security issues. She is also the co-founder of Norm’s Farms, a superfruit start-up dedicated to commercializing the American elderberry, and has taken Norm’s Farms through a start-up competition and summer accelerator program.  In addition to working on the entrepreneurship side of business, Erin has interned with two food-focused investment firms: SLoFIG, or the Sustainable Local Food Investment Group, and Bluestein & Associates.  Erin earned her bachelor’s degree from Reed College in 2008. 
 
Nampeera Esther Lugwana
Nampeera is currently pursuing her PhD at JKUAT, Nairobi, Kenya. She was born in Kitemu town in central Uganda. Nampeera works as a Senior Research Assistant with NaCRRI of NARO in Uganda. She is a dedicated progressive worker, always seeking additional training to improve her research skills and abilities.
 
Andrew Margenot
Andrew is a PhD candidate in soil science and biogeochemistry at the University of California, Davis and is interested in all things phosphorus (P), soil organic matter, and their intersection. Specifically, Andrew’s research concerns enzymatic drivers of biogeochemical cycling of P and the enhancement of P availability in weathered soils. As a US Borlaug Fellow in global food security, Andrew is investigating soil fertility management strategies in East Africa in collaboration with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).  On the strongly weathered soils in western Kenya, this work examines management effects on P availability in three long-term field trials, including regionally available but underutilized amendments like rock phosphates and lime. In northern Tanzania, current research focuses on the effect of smallholder management strategies on soil fertility. In this landscape, he is additionally examining smallholder perception of plot productivity in relation to nutrient pools like labile P in order to standardize local indicators of soil fertility to offer an improved, low-cost metric for guiding management.
 
Tara Mittelberg
Tara is a sophomore at Northwestern University, studying biological anthropology and international studies. She grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she became interested in food security after learning about Dr. Norman Borlaug in her high school biology class. As a senior, she attended the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, and participated in several internships through this organization. In the summer of 2013 Tara conducted research on the genetic variability of Asian Soybean Rust in Brazil, and in the summer of 2014 Tara researched the endophyte bacterial communities of corn roots at the USDA-ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory. On campus, Tara is part of the Northwestern University Community for Human Rights, which organizes the largest student-run conference on human rights in the country. Currently, Tara is a Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leader for Food Security. Through this yearlong program with Land O’Lakes, Inc., she is developing a plan to promote dialogue about agriculture and food security on college campuses. Specifically, she is interested in holding conversations about the extent to which biotechnology is a viable and culturally appropriate solution for food insecurity in developing countries.
               
Rosalino Molina
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Rosalino is currently pursuing a joint MPP/MBA program at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School. While there, his area of focus is the distribution of healthy food to low-income communities, particularly those in urban areas. Prior to graduate school, Rosalino spent three years in investment banking, advising companies in Latin America on capital raising and strategic growth initiatives. His interest in agriculture and food distribution stemmed from his most recent experience working for the World Bank, where he was exposed to projects that address food security in low-income communities. Through a joint MPP/MBA program, Rosalino hopes to learn how to bridge private, public, and non-profit initiatives in addressing food challenges.
 
Ronald Leo Sullivan Jr.
Ronald plans to pursue a career in international economic development in order to increase the standard of living and number of opportunities in developing countries. He enjoys learning about other cultures and being pushed outside of his comfort zone. Ronald has lived with a host family in Japan, taught English in Mexico, learned about agriculture in Taiwan, and most recently studied abroad for a semester in Spain. He now speaks, reads and writes in Spanish at the high-advanced level. At K-State he served in leadership positions of numerous organizations – the most enjoyable of which has been serving as President of International Buddies. This organization pairs international students with domestic students in order to build a globally inclusive and welcoming community. In addition, he served on the board of directors of the States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs non-profit organization. This experience helped him learn a great deal about non-profits and global collaboration.  Ronald was elected as 1 of the 60 Cargill Global Scholars from the US, India, China, Brazil and Russia for the program’s inaugural class. He looks forward to utilizing what he learns from the symposium in order to serve developing countries in the future.

Social Media Ambassadors
 

Keron Bascombe
@wiscobasco
Keron is an active young professional in agriculture seeking a career in agricultural journalism and communications. Keron has three years of blogging experience with several actions in the agricultural field. As a blogger and freelance writer, he is currently transforming his blog “technology4agri” into a social enterprise featuring journalistic pieces in support of the agricultural sector. The aim of his blog is to assist in the development of youth in agriculture and agri-preneurs through the provision of an interesting and up to date agri-information service for readers of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. Keron is an avid volunteer and determined youth advocate, participating in several groups, civil society, and development clusters. He is an MSc candidate in agribusiness and marketing at the University of the West Indies. 
 
Brennan Costello
@CostelloBrennan
Growing up north of the small ag-based town of Gothenburg, Nebraska, Brennan was quickly introduced to an agriculture lifestyle. When he was 13, he started his first job working for a local farmer, where he learned how to service a tractor and care for cattle. The first business he owned was buying and selling show lambs for 4-H. In high school and college, he had the opportunity to serve as a State and National FFA Officer, meeting with agribusiness leaders around the nation. In 2013, Brennan served as an agriculture leadership consultant for Agri Corps in rural Liberia. He is currently an Agribusiness student at the University of Nebraska, doing his part to tell the story of agriculture with plans for a career in the agribusiness industry.
 
Susannah Faulkner
@ohsusannah13
Susannah is completing her MPA in public and social policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. From a very young age, she was compelled to make a difference, especially in terms of healthy food access and public health, as a result of her experience with food allergies and celiac disease. This interest turned into action while studying at Ithaca College, during which she served as Vice President of her Student Government Association and founded the Food Allergy Awareness Club to help students advocate for improved nutrition policies on campus. Susannah served as the outreach manager for Udi's Gluten Free Foods, where she mentored over 200 universities and schools to accommodate for food allergies and intolerances. During this time, she served on the Board of Directors for the Denver Celiac Association and volunteered to help alleviate local food insecurity. At LSE, Susannah has studied a range of subjects, including econometrics, behavioural science, and health policy, and plans to apply these lessons to the food policy debate. Currently she is completing her thesis on how to implement a national food policy in the US, and hopes to return after graduation to further this agenda.
 
Kelly M. Nuckolls
@KellyNuckolls
Kelly is currently pursuing her juris doctorate degree at Drake University Law School with a certificate in food and agricultural law. While at Drake, Kelly has interned with the Des Moines Area Religious Council and Drake Agricultural Law Center. Through this work, Kelly has authored a policy report on food insecurity and food deserts, created reference and outreach materials on Iowa tax legislation to encourage farmers to donate to food banks, and navigated regulatory rules and legislation to develop a program to bring affordable, fresh produce to food deserts in Des Moines. Next year, Kelly will serve as Executive Editor of the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, and she will be interning at the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic this summer. Kelly was also a co-founder of the Fort Hays State University campus food pantry, served as a member of the 2013 Universities Fighting World Hunger 8th Annual Food Summit Steering Committee, and worked as a George Washington Carver intern at the World Food Prize Foundation prior to attending law school. Upon graduating from law school, Kelly hopes to work for an organization that advocates for food policies that can increase food security throughout the world.

Juan Diego Santillana-Ortiz
@yjdso
Born in Ecuador, Juan-Diego (JD) is pursuing a PhD on plant gene networks evolution –research whose outcome can have an impact in crop breeding initiatives. His varied interests have taken him myriad places including the Galápagos Islands and the German Cancer Research Centre. A lover of arts and sciences, he believes in solutions where facts back-up passion and passion drives the search of facts. His doctoral plant science and bioinformatics project is being undertaken at the Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf, Germany. He received his BSc in biological sciences from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (2009), and obtained his MSc/Diploma equivalent from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany after experimental work carried out at the nearby Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology (2011). When not doing research, JD feels most exhilarated pursuing music and arts activities; and acts as Ambassador with Thought for Food, a global initiative that encourages student entrepreneurship to take on the challenge of food insecurity. Through this volunteer work he mentors students on scientific research, presentation skills and innovation-lead projects.
 
Olivia Murphy-Sweet
@OSweetMurph
Olivia is a junior at Penn State University majoring in agricultural and extension education and minoring in international agriculture. Being involved in this major has opened up several doors and opportunities for her to expand her knowledge not only in agriculture issues, but agriculture on an international level. Currently, she is a National Teach Ag Ambassador for the Teach Ag Campaign and also a Teach Ag! Avenger at Penn State. These positions allowed her to travel throughout her state and the nation, educating people in joining the agriculture industry. Olivia’s goal after she graduates is to volunteer for AgriCorps in Ghana and then transition from that experience to work for USAID, to help develop sustainable agriculture projects for developing counties.
 

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