Sewit Ahderom is cofounder and chief operating officer at Gro Intelligence. Prior to her work at Gro Intelligence, she was a vice president at Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private investment fund with more than $4 billion in capital under management. Ahderom joined Helios after working with IPS, an investment arm of the Aga Khan Development Network focused on food and agro processing as well as infrastructure development. Prior to that, she was a vice president at Citigroup’s Investment Banking Division in New York where she worked in the leveraged finance and global portfolio management teams. Ahderom holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.
Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer, Gro Intelligence @SoSewit
Allison Aubrey is a correspondent for NPR News, where her stories can be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She's also a contributor to the PBS NewsHour and is one of the hosts of NPR's Life Kit. Along with her NPR science desk colleagues, Aubrey is the winner of a 2019 Gracie Award. She is the recipient of a 2018 James Beard broadcast award for her coverage of 'Food As Medicine.' Aubrey is also a 2016 winner of a James Beard Award in the category of "Best TV Segment" for a PBS/NPR collaboration. The series of stories included an investigation of the link between pesticides and the decline of bees and other pollinators, and a two-part series on food waste. Before coming to NPR, Aubrey was a reporter for the PBS NewsHour and a producer for C-SPAN's Presidential election coverage. Aubrey received her BA from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and an MA from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Doug Bereuter is a distinguished fellow of global food and agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. For four years, he cochaired the Council's Global Food and Agriculture Program. Bereuter is the president emeritus of the Asia Foundation, a nongovernmental development organization, which he led for more than six years following his service as a member of the US House of Representatives for 26 years. During his congressional career, he was a leading member of the House International Relations Committee, where he served as vice chairman for six years, chaired the Asia-Pacific Subcommittee and later the Europe Subcommittee, had long tenures on its subcommittees on Economic Policy & Trade and Human Rights, and was president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He also served on the House Financial Services Committee for 23 years and on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, retiring as its vice chairman. Mr. Bereuter graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Nebraska and has two Masters degrees from Harvard University in both city planning and public administration.
Doug Bereuter, Former Member, United States House of Representatives (R-NE)
Ertharin Cousin is a distinguished fellow of global agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She previously served as executive director of the World Food Programme from 2012 until 2017. In this role, Cousin led the world’s largest humanitarian organization with 14,000 staff serving 80 million vulnerable people across 75 countries. Cousin possesses more than 30 years of national and international nonprofit, government, and corporate leadership experience. She maintains relationships with global government, business, and community leaders. She has published numerous articles regarding agriculture, food security, and nutrition. In 2009, Cousin was nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate as the US ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome. In this role Cousin served as the US representative for all food, agriculture, and nutrition related issues. Cousin regularly represented US interest in global leader discussions, including prime ministers, foreign and agriculture ministers, academics and business executives, regarding humanitarian and development activities. She has been listed numerous times on the Forbes “100 Most Powerful Women” list, as the Fortune “Most Powerful Woman in Food and Drink,” on TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list, and as one of the “500 Most Powerful People on the Planet” by Foreign Policy magazine.
Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council on Global Affairs @Ertharin1
Ivo H. Daalder is president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009-2013. Prior to his appointment as ambassador to NATO, Daalder was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, specializing in American foreign policy, European security and transatlantic relations, and national security affairs. Before joining Brookings in 1998, he was an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and director of research at its Center for International and Security Studies. He also served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff from 1995 to 1997. Ambassador Daalder was educated at the universities of Kent, Oxford, and Georgetown, and received his PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Rikin Gandhi co-founded and is the current executive director of Digital Green, a global development organization that empowers smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of poverty by harnessing the collective power of digital technology and grassroots-level partnerships. Gandhi began his career at Oracle, where he received patents for linguistic search algorithms that he helped develop. Later he joined Microsoft Research's Technology for Emerging Markets team in India, where he researched ways to amplify the effectiveness of agricultural development globally. Digital Green uses peer-to-peer farming videos to increase the efficiency of agricultural extension services and a shared logistics to market service to boost farmer incomes. Digital Green is now building FarmStack as an open platform to enable the 2 million smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that it has already worked with to control and share their own data with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID, Walmart Foundation, and others. Gandhi has a bachelor’s in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from MIT.
Dan Glickman is a distinguished fellow of global food and agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. For nine years, he cochaired the Council's Global Food and Agriculture Program.Glickman is vice president of The Aspen Institute and executive director of The Aspen Institute Congressional Program, which was established in 1983. Glickman also serves as a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center where he is cochair of its Democracy Project. Prior to joining The Aspen Institute, Glickman served as US Secretary of Agriculture in the Clinton Administration. He also represented the 4th Congressional district of Kansas for 18 years in the US House of Representatives, where he was very involved in federal farm policy of the House Agriculture Committee and also served on the House Judiciary Committee as a chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In addition he is the former chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. and former director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Glickman has served as president of the Wichita, Kansas School Board; was a partner in the law firm of Sargent, Klenda, and Glickman; and worked as a trial attorney at the US Securities and Exchange Commission. He received his BA in history from the University of Michigan and his JD from the George Washington University. He is a member of the Kansas and District of Columbia Bars.
Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Elliott Grant is a recognized innovator in the food and agriculture industry. He is a General Manager at X, Alphabet’s secretive “Moonshot Factory,” where he leads a project focused on revolutionizing sustainable agriculture. He was the founding CEO of HarvestMark, the world leader in fresh food traceability; the CEO of ShopWell, a personalized nutrition technology company; and served as the Vice Chair of the Produce Marketing Association, a global produce trade organization, and chaired its Science & Technology Committee. Grant previously worked at McKinsey & Company. He earned his PhD in engineering from Cambridge University and is the author of 24 US patents covering topics ranging from cryptography and food traceability, to crop phenotyping.
Katelyn Jones is the Women, Peace, and Security Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Public Fellow for the American Council of Learned Societies. Her research concerns gender politics in international organizations, and is especially focused on gender mainstreaming in policy formation and implementation. To date, her primary research has centered on the United Nations Security Council’s “Women, Peace, and Security” (WPS) agenda, including completion of the first and only analysis of UNSC debates on WPS issues. She earned a PhD and MA in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an AB in government from Georgetown University. Prior to joining the Council, Jones was visiting faculty in international politics at the University of Richmond and Barnard College. She has also worked at the Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, DC, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in St. Louis. Her research has been selected for presentations at the London School of Economics’ Centre for Women, Peace, and Security, as well as Women In International Security’s Next Generation Symposium on the future of WPS.
Women, Peace, and Security Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Public Fellow for the American Council of Learned Societies
Mark Everett Keenum became Mississippi State University’s 19th president in 2009. His passion for international engagement and transformative research has positioned Mississippi State as a leader in addressing global food security and poverty. In 2018, Keenum was appointed chairman of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. In 2014, he was appointed to the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and elected to chair the FFAR board in 2017. Keenum began his career at as a faculty member with the Extension Service and Department of Agricultural Economics at MSU. He went on to serve as chief of staff to US Senator Thad Cochran, and was appointed Under Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture by President George W. Bush. He holds a BS, MS, and PhD in agricultural economics from MSU.
President, Mississippi State University
Femi Oke is an award winning international journalist, broadcaster, professional moderator and co-founder of the diverse moderators bureau "Moderate The Panel." Oke has traveled the world hosting high-profile events and leading global conversations. She can be found facilitating regularly for the likes of the United Nations, the World Bank and European Commission. Some of her most warmly received appearances include hosting the NBA Africa All Stars event in New Orleans, being Mistress of Ceremonies for Peter Gabriel at the Witness 25th Anniversary Benefit Gala, and launching the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Paul Schickler was president of DuPont Pioneer, the advanced seed genetics business of DuPont, from 2007 to 2017. In this role he continued to expand Pioneer’s global business by remaining focused on innovation that improves local productivity and profitability of farmers in more than 90 countries. Schickler joined Pioneer in 1974 and served in a variety of finance, commercial, and administrative leadership roles, including vice president of international operations from 1999 to 2007. Schickler is a graduate of Drake University where he received bachelor of science and master of arts degrees in business administration. He has served on the board of directors of the Cultivation Corridor, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Iowa Business Council, and Grand View University. He also served on the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress committee. He currently serves on the board of directors of Drake University, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the World Food Prize Foundation. A strong contributor to the community, Schickler was chair of the 2018 United Way of Central Iowa Campaign and provides support for the World Food Prize - Global Youth Institute. His company, III Ag, LLC, provides consulting services to international companies and start-up enterprises in agriculture.
Former President, DuPont Pioneer
Zenia Tata is the chief impact officer at XPRIZE. With over 25 years of experience in business development, program design, and strategic management, Tata oversees XPRIZE’s global impact strategy ensuring that impact is incorporated into all facets of the organization’s work. To that end, Tata leads XPRIZE’s innovative ImpactMaps practice area, which incorporates foresight techniques to generate breakthroughs across multiple domains, oversees new prize design with an eye toward strategic trajectory for impact, and ensures that post-prize initiatives lead to impact at-scale. Additionally, Tata leads XPRIZE’s future foresight work to help partners map the emerging landscape to identify challenges, uncover opportunities, and spot breakthrough innovations for transformative change. Prior to joining XPRIZE, Tata was a serial entrepreneur and has worked across 27 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America leading cutting-edge international organizations in a variety of sectors including: economic development; water and sanitation; food security; land rights; and child welfare.