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Objective

New technologies have the promise to transform agricultural productivity and nutrition. However, many governments lack the risk assessment resources and experience needed to assure decision-makers and the public that environmental and food safety concerns posed by products of these technologies have been adequately addressed. The ILSI Research Foundation is developing risk assessment resources, and providing training to scientists, risk assessors and regulators, to promote science-based risk assessments of products of biotechnology.

Collaborators & Partners

US Agency for International Development (USAID), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), UNEP-GEF, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Indian Council of Agricultural Research and governmental ministries and departments in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia

Areas of Focus

In 2016, the ILSI Research Foundation undertook biosafety-related activities in India, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Paraguay. In 2017, the ILSI Research Foundation is continuing its biosafety capacity building through:

e-Learning Courses

Self-paced and interactive courses developed by the ILSI Research Foundation serve as supplemental training resources to in-person workshops.

South Asia Biosafety Program

Managed by the ILSI Research Foundation, SABP assists India and Bangladesh in further strengthening institutional governance of biotechnology.

UNEP-GEF Phase II Project

The ILSI Research Foundation provides technical support on risk assessment and risk management in South Asia.

Resources

Newsletters

Find out about the work being done through the South Asia Biosafety Program by reading our monthly newsletter.

e-Learning

e-Learning courses have been developed by the ILSI Research Foundation that focus on biosafety and biotechnology.

OECD Task Force on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds

Paris, France

The OECD Task Force on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds, for which the ILSI Research Foundation is a recognized observer organization, works on technical issues related to the food safety of novel foods and feeds, including the products of agricultural biotechnology.

Read more

Central Africa Consultative Meeting on Gene Drive Technology

Libreville, Gabon

The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) organized a regional consultation to examine the basic principles of environmental risk assessment and the application of this process to the use of gene drives for either population modification or population suppression in mosquito vectors of malaria. NEPAD requested that the ILSI Research Foundation assist them in setting the agenda for the scientific program.

Read more

Can Biotechnology Save Threatened Trees?

Washington, DC, USA

Andrew Newhouse of the American Chestnut Research & Restoration Project (SUNY-ESF) visited the ILSI Research Foundation to present a seminar on using genetic engineering to allow coexistence of transgenic American chestnut trees with the blight that nearly drove the species extinct.

Read more

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			Overview		
			Agenda		
			Registration		
				Overview
				

ILSI Research Foundation and Food and Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank are very pleased to announce the scientific symposium: Protected Production of Fruits and Vegetables for Nutrition Security in Urban and Peri-Urban Environments. Fruits and vegetables play an essential role in nutritious diets and are key to addressing health and nutritional challenges. Increasing productivity to meet growing demand is challenged by the impacts of climate change and competition for essential natural resources. Ensuring the sustainability of the fruit and vegetable supply cannot be achieved without implementation of climate smart adaptation and mitigation interventions.

Ranging from inexpensive, simple polytunnels to high-cost, high-technology production platforms, protected systems for fruit and vegetable production offer viable alternatives to rainfed, open-field cultivation of these high value, nutritious crops. Protected cultivation, particularly in low and middle income countries, has been proposed as a way to adapt production to climate volatility while also increasing supply. However, protected cultivation techniques are not suitable to all climatic conditions, or all fruit and vegetable crops. Startup costs can be prohibitive, particularly for small-holders, and profitability requires higher quality and yields, access to markets, and/or higher selling prices.

This scientific symposium will explore how protected cultivation of fruits and vegetables can be used to provide a reliable, affordable, and sustainably produced supply of nutrient dense foods, with an emphasis on production opportunities in urban and peri-urban settings.

Agenda
Time Topic Presenter
1:00 pm Welcome and Introductions Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

Morven McLean, Ph.D.
Executive Director, ILSI Research Foundation

1:15 pm Protected Cultivation of Fruits and Vegetables: Opportunities and Challenges Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.
Director, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, University of California, Davis
1:30 pm Projected Impacts of Climate Change on Fruit and Vegetable Production Globally Through to 2050 TBD
1:55 pm Life Cycle Assessment of Fruit and Vegetable Production, Including Protected Systems Greg Thoma, Ph.D.
Professor, Bates Teaching Endowed Professorship in Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas
2:20 pm Break
2:45 pm Controlled Environment Agriculture: The Technological Suite of Opportunities and Constraints Richard Rosen, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, American Ag Energy
3:10 pm Integrated Production Systems for Nutritional Security and More Jobs Per Drop for Smallholder Farmers Under Climate Change in the MENA Region Jacques Wery, Ph.D.
Director General, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

Azaiez Ouled Belgacem, Ph.D.
Regional Coordinator, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

3:35 pm The Importance of Climate-Smart Horticulture in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas of the Global South: Policy Challenges and Interventions Gordon Prain, Ph.D.
Global Coordinator (retired), Urban Harvest, CGIAR Global Program on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture
4:00 pm Panel Discussion with Presenters

Q&A

Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.
Global Lead - Technology, Innovation, and Climate Smart Agriculture, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.
Adviser and Global Lead - Food Loss and Waste, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

4:50 pm Summary Remarks Eija Pehu, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees, ILSI Research Foundation
Registration


The event is open to the public and free of charge. However, space is limited. Reserve your seat today to attend the symposium in person or online through live webcast.
  • We will be sending event information and updates (such as instructions for accessing the building and links to the livestream) via email. By registering below, you are consenting to receiving these electronic communications.
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Speakers

At A Glance Erick Fernandes, Ph.D. Morven McLean, Ph.D. Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D. Eija Pehu, Ph.D. Richard Rosen, Ph.D. Gordon Prain, Ph.D. Geeta Sethi, Ph.D. Greg Thoma, Ph.D. Juergen Voegele, Ph.D. Jacques Wery, Ph.D. At A Glance
Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Morven McLean, Ph.D.
ILSI Research Foundation
Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, UC, Davis
Eija Pehu, Ph.D.
ILSI Research Foundation
Gordon Prain, Ph.D.
Urban Harvest (retired)
CGIAR Global Program on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture
Richard Rosen, Ph.D.
American Ag Energy
Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Greg Thoma, Ph.D.
University of Arkansas
Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Jacques Wery, Ph.D.
International Center for Agricultural Research
in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.

Dr. Erick Fernandes holds a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Aberdeen and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from North Carolina State University. He was appointed as an International Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences at Cornell University (1995-2005) with research and teaching programs on tropical agroecosystems, cropping systems, and agroforestry. At Cornell, he also served on the Program Committee of Cornell’s International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development (CIIFAD), as the Global Coordinator of the GEF-UNDP-CGIAR program on “Alternatives to Slash and Burn Agriculture” (ASB), and as a Principle Investigator in the NASA-supported, Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA-Eco) program in the Brazilian Amazon.

Morven McLean, Ph.D.

Dr. Morven A. McLean is the Executive Director of the non-profit International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Research Foundation, where she works with a dedicated team on multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary scientific and capacity building programs that span agriculture, nutrition and the environment.

Dr. McLean first joined the ILSI Research Foundation in in 2009 as Director of the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, and in 2013 was additionally appointed lead for sustainable agriculture and nutrition security across the ILSI organization internationally. She has held the position of Chief of Canada’s Plant Biotechnology Office, the federal regulatory authority for the assessment and release of genetically modified plants, and was President of AGBIOS, a consultancy that works internationally with governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public and private sectors on issues of policy and regulation pertaining to genetically modified foods, crops, and forest tree species. Dr. McLean has served as a technical expert on biotechnology risk assessment, regulation and policy for many organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the United National Environmental Program and the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as many national governments.

Dr. McLean received her B.Sc. (Agriculture) from McGill University, M.Sc. in environmental biology from the University of Guelph, and Ph.D. in molecular plant virology from the University of British Columbia. She completed her post-doctoral training with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Vancouver Research Station.

Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.

Dr. Elizabeth Mitcham is director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab, a $37 million program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and managed by the University of California, Davis.  As program director, she develops and manages a portfolio of 24 agriculture development projects in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America, with research topics spanning the horticultural value chain. The Horticulture Innovation Lab’s global research network advances fruit and vegetable innovations, empowering smallholder farmers to earn more income while better nourishing their communities.

As a scientist, Dr. Mitcham is an internationally renowned expert in postharvest physiology, with an emphasis on reducing food loss and maintaining produce freshness after harvest. She previously served as director of the University of California's Postharvest Technology Center, where she remains an active researcher.  Through her career, Mitcham has shared her expertise with professionals and farmers from more than 50 countries. Mitcham currently serves as the Vice President-Elect for the International Division of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) and was previously honored as the ASHS Outstanding International Horticulturist. Mitcham joined the UC Davis faculty in 1992 as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist, and holds degrees in horticulture from the University of Maryland (Ph.D. and B.S.) and North Carolina State University (M.S.).

Eija Pehu, Ph.D.

Dr. Eija Pehu joined the Agriculture and Rural Development Department (now Food and Agriculture Global Practice) of the World Bank in 2000 as the Science Advisor. Her team works on  agricultural research, extension and innovation, both with external partners such as CGIAR, as well as supporting World Bank operations.  She is also a member of the Gender in Agriculture Team in the World Bank.  Prior to joining the World Bank she served as the Department Chair of Agronomy at the University of Helsinki.

Richard Rosen, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard Rosen spent his early years in the greenhouse and florist business, first as laborer and ultimately as grower and buyer at Harry Quint Greenhouses. Later, he began his professional career at Abt Associates advising federal government agencies, and while at Abt he was instrumental in formulating the Clean Water Act. He founded a series of energy and environmental operating businesses, serving in a variety of roles including CEO, Chief Engineer, Chief Scientific Officer, President, Consultant, Chairman and Director. ERCO Petroleum Services designed and constructed fluidized beds for clients such as Clorox, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tenneco, Combustion Engineering, and others. ERCO was sold to NL Industries and its laboratory affiliate was sold to Corning. Advanced Energy Technology commercialized equipment developed at the University of Texas to measure physical properties of the earth’s subsurface including resistivity for use in oil, gas and geothermal exploration. AET was ultimately merged into its Japanese venture partner, Nishon Iwa. Dr. Rosen has extensive experience building operating facilities including one to remodel landfills using a patented technology and a manufacturing system to recycle rubber for use in a variety of industrial applications.

Dr. Rosen earned a Master’s Degree in Forest Science and a Ph.D. in Engineering from Harvard University.

Gordon Prain, Ph.D.

Dr. Gordon Prain is a consultant who advises CGIAR Centers on issues related to rural and urban food systems and food security, gender and the institutional and social dimensions of agricultural change. Most recently he was Leader of Social, Nutrition and Innovation Sciences at the International Potato Center with a research focus on the contribution of root and tuber crops to food resilience in different types of agri-food systems, including as climate-smart horticultural crops in cereal-based systems in South Asia and contributing to diversification and greater resilience of agri-food systems in hillside and highland communities.

He earlier spent 10 years as the Global Coordinator for the CGIAR Program on urban and peri-urban agriculture known as Urban Harvest, which undertook collaborative R&D in and around cities of the Global South to strengthen vegetable and livestock systems and address environmental and policy challenges. As part of this work, he participated in the Global Horticulture Initiative and was an active contributor to the Global Horticulture Assessment. In all, he has more than 30 years of experience working in participatory, interdisciplinary teams across multiple sectors to support improved livelihoods for rural and urban households. He holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.

Dr. Geeta Sethi is Adviser and Global Lead – Food Loss and Waste for Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank. She has more than 16 years of experience working as an economist on fragile, low-, and middle-income countries. Her work has focused on issues of rural development, service delivery and intergovernmental fiscal policies in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Honduras.

Dr. Sethi has delivered many lending programs to the World Bank Board as well as published books and articles in referenced journals on issues relating to rural labor markets, trade policy and fiscal decentralization. Previously, she worked as the Program Manager for GAFSP and was Lead Economist with the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management unit in the Latin American and Caribbean Vice Presidency of the World Bank. She has an MBA and Ph.D. in Economics.

Greg Thoma, Ph.D.

Dr. Greg Thoma is the Director of Research for the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center and Bates Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He served as inaugural Director for Research of The Sustainability Consortium. He has led numerous food and agriculture life cycle assessment projects: milk, cheese, milk delivery systems, yogurt, swine, poultry, corn, and beef. He serves on the steering committee for the Swiss National Research Program, “Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production.”

He is the North American subject editor for Agriculture for the International Journal of Lifecycle Assessment, and has served on the scientific/technical/organizational committee for numerous international LCA conferences. He has been active with the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership since its inception acting as the Technical Advisory Group Lead/Co-lead for development of the poultry, swine, and large ruminants’ guidelines. He is currently serving on the nutrient cycling and biodiversity technical advisory groups.

Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.

Dr. Juergen Voegele was appointed Senior Director of the World Bank's Food and Agriculture Global Practice on July 1, 2014.  In this role, he provides leadership on the Bank’s lending and knowledge activities spanning issues such as climate-smart agriculture, agriculture policy reform, food and nutrition security, and agriculture value chain development.

Dr. Voegele is chair of the CGIAR System Council Board, which oversees agricultural research programs tackling poverty, food and nutrition security, and improved natural resource management around the world. Since 2016, Dr. Voegele has served as co-chair of the Global Future Council of the World Economic Forum. He is also a member of the EAT Foundation Advisory Board since May 2017.

Since joining the World Bank in 1991, Dr. Voegele has held a number of assignments, chairing the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector Board as well as the Environment Sector Board, leading the Agriculture Unit in China, the Agriculture and Rural Development Unit of the Europe and Central Asia Region, and the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of the World Bank (later recast as the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department).

Dr. Voegele holds a Ph.D. in Agriculture Engineering and a Masters in Agriculture Economics from the University of Hohenheim, in Germany.

Jacques Wery, Ph.D.

Dr. Jacques Wery is Deputy Director of General Research at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), having assumed this role in May 2018.

He was formerly Professor of Agronomy and Agricultural Systems in Montpellier SupAgro, one of the components of Montpellier University. He graduated as Ingenieur Agronome (M.Sc.) in Agronomy and Mediterranean Agriculture in 1980, after which he obtained his Ph.D. in Crop Physiology in 1983 and his Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches at the University of Montpellier in 1996. He has supervised 26 Ph.D. students and published 109 papers in international journals, as well as books on crop physiology, cropping systems design, and agricultural systems modelling. He created in 2001 and chaired until 2010 a research unit (UMR System with INRA and CIRAD) on functional analysis and design of Cropping Systems, with an emphasis on perennial and multispecies systems (intercropping, relay cropping, and agroforestry). Between 2005 and 2009, he was a board member of the Seamless project on integrated modelling of agricultural systems. Between 2009 and 2018, he was the Executive Secretary of the European Society for Agronomy and is, since 2015, the chair of the Farming Systems Design network on methodologies for analysis and design of agricultural systems. He created in 2012 and chaired until 2018 AgroSYS, a joint venture between SupAgro and five private companies to support the design of sustainable agricultural systems through capacity building of students and professionals.

[post_title] => Scientific Symposium: Protected Production of Fruits and Vegetables for Nutrition Security in
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ILSI Research Foundation and Food and Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank are very pleased to announce the scientific symposium: Protected Production of Fruits and Vegetables for Nutrition Security in Urban and Peri-Urban Environments. Fruits and vegetables play an essential role in nutritious diets and are key to addressing health and nutritional challenges. Increasing productivity to meet growing demand is challenged by the impacts of climate change and competition for essential natural resources. Ensuring the sustainability of the fruit and vegetable supply cannot be achieved without implementation of climate smart adaptation and mitigation interventions.

Ranging from inexpensive, simple polytunnels to high-cost, high-technology production platforms, protected systems for fruit and vegetable production offer viable alternatives to rainfed, open-field cultivation of these high value, nutritious crops. Protected cultivation, particularly in low and middle income countries, has been proposed as a way to adapt production to climate volatility while also increasing supply. However, protected cultivation techniques are not suitable to all climatic conditions, or all fruit and vegetable crops. Startup costs can be prohibitive, particularly for small-holders, and profitability requires higher quality and yields, access to markets, and/or higher selling prices.

This scientific symposium will explore how protected cultivation of fruits and vegetables can be used to provide a reliable, affordable, and sustainably produced supply of nutrient dense foods, with an emphasis on production opportunities in urban and peri-urban settings.

Agenda
Time Topic Presenter
1:00 pm Welcome and Introductions Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

Morven McLean, Ph.D.
Executive Director, ILSI Research Foundation

1:15 pm Protected Cultivation of Fruits and Vegetables: Opportunities and Challenges Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.
Director, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, University of California, Davis
1:30 pm Projected Impacts of Climate Change on Fruit and Vegetable Production Globally Through to 2050 TBD
1:55 pm Life Cycle Assessment of Fruit and Vegetable Production, Including Protected Systems Greg Thoma, Ph.D.
Professor, Bates Teaching Endowed Professorship in Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas
2:20 pm Break
2:45 pm Controlled Environment Agriculture: The Technological Suite of Opportunities and Constraints Richard Rosen, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, American Ag Energy
3:10 pm Integrated Production Systems for Nutritional Security and More Jobs Per Drop for Smallholder Farmers Under Climate Change in the MENA Region Jacques Wery, Ph.D.
Director General, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

Azaiez Ouled Belgacem, Ph.D.
Regional Coordinator, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

3:35 pm The Importance of Climate-Smart Horticulture in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas of the Global South: Policy Challenges and Interventions Gordon Prain, Ph.D.
Global Coordinator (retired), Urban Harvest, CGIAR Global Program on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture
4:00 pm Panel Discussion with Presenters

Q&A

Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.
Global Lead - Technology, Innovation, and Climate Smart Agriculture, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.
Adviser and Global Lead - Food Loss and Waste, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank Group

4:50 pm Summary Remarks Eija Pehu, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees, ILSI Research Foundation
Registration


The event is open to the public and free of charge. However, space is limited. Reserve your seat today to attend the symposium in person or online through live webcast.
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Speakers

At A Glance Erick Fernandes, Ph.D. Morven McLean, Ph.D. Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D. Eija Pehu, Ph.D. Richard Rosen, Ph.D. Gordon Prain, Ph.D. Geeta Sethi, Ph.D. Greg Thoma, Ph.D. Juergen Voegele, Ph.D. Jacques Wery, Ph.D. At A Glance
Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Morven McLean, Ph.D.
ILSI Research Foundation
Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, UC, Davis
Eija Pehu, Ph.D.
ILSI Research Foundation
Gordon Prain, Ph.D.
Urban Harvest (retired)
CGIAR Global Program on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture
Richard Rosen, Ph.D.
American Ag Energy
Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Greg Thoma, Ph.D.
University of Arkansas
Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.
Agriculture Global Practice,
The World Bank Group
Jacques Wery, Ph.D.
International Center for Agricultural Research
in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Erick Fernandes, Ph.D.

Dr. Erick Fernandes holds a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Aberdeen and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from North Carolina State University. He was appointed as an International Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences at Cornell University (1995-2005) with research and teaching programs on tropical agroecosystems, cropping systems, and agroforestry. At Cornell, he also served on the Program Committee of Cornell’s International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development (CIIFAD), as the Global Coordinator of the GEF-UNDP-CGIAR program on “Alternatives to Slash and Burn Agriculture” (ASB), and as a Principle Investigator in the NASA-supported, Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA-Eco) program in the Brazilian Amazon.

Morven McLean, Ph.D.

Dr. Morven A. McLean is the Executive Director of the non-profit International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Research Foundation, where she works with a dedicated team on multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary scientific and capacity building programs that span agriculture, nutrition and the environment.

Dr. McLean first joined the ILSI Research Foundation in in 2009 as Director of the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, and in 2013 was additionally appointed lead for sustainable agriculture and nutrition security across the ILSI organization internationally. She has held the position of Chief of Canada’s Plant Biotechnology Office, the federal regulatory authority for the assessment and release of genetically modified plants, and was President of AGBIOS, a consultancy that works internationally with governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public and private sectors on issues of policy and regulation pertaining to genetically modified foods, crops, and forest tree species. Dr. McLean has served as a technical expert on biotechnology risk assessment, regulation and policy for many organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the United National Environmental Program and the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as many national governments.

Dr. McLean received her B.Sc. (Agriculture) from McGill University, M.Sc. in environmental biology from the University of Guelph, and Ph.D. in molecular plant virology from the University of British Columbia. She completed her post-doctoral training with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Vancouver Research Station.

Elizabeth Mitcham, Ph.D.

Dr. Elizabeth Mitcham is director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab, a $37 million program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and managed by the University of California, Davis.  As program director, she develops and manages a portfolio of 24 agriculture development projects in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America, with research topics spanning the horticultural value chain. The Horticulture Innovation Lab’s global research network advances fruit and vegetable innovations, empowering smallholder farmers to earn more income while better nourishing their communities.

As a scientist, Dr. Mitcham is an internationally renowned expert in postharvest physiology, with an emphasis on reducing food loss and maintaining produce freshness after harvest. She previously served as director of the University of California's Postharvest Technology Center, where she remains an active researcher.  Through her career, Mitcham has shared her expertise with professionals and farmers from more than 50 countries. Mitcham currently serves as the Vice President-Elect for the International Division of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) and was previously honored as the ASHS Outstanding International Horticulturist. Mitcham joined the UC Davis faculty in 1992 as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist, and holds degrees in horticulture from the University of Maryland (Ph.D. and B.S.) and North Carolina State University (M.S.).

Eija Pehu, Ph.D.

Dr. Eija Pehu joined the Agriculture and Rural Development Department (now Food and Agriculture Global Practice) of the World Bank in 2000 as the Science Advisor. Her team works on  agricultural research, extension and innovation, both with external partners such as CGIAR, as well as supporting World Bank operations.  She is also a member of the Gender in Agriculture Team in the World Bank.  Prior to joining the World Bank she served as the Department Chair of Agronomy at the University of Helsinki.

Richard Rosen, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard Rosen spent his early years in the greenhouse and florist business, first as laborer and ultimately as grower and buyer at Harry Quint Greenhouses. Later, he began his professional career at Abt Associates advising federal government agencies, and while at Abt he was instrumental in formulating the Clean Water Act. He founded a series of energy and environmental operating businesses, serving in a variety of roles including CEO, Chief Engineer, Chief Scientific Officer, President, Consultant, Chairman and Director. ERCO Petroleum Services designed and constructed fluidized beds for clients such as Clorox, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tenneco, Combustion Engineering, and others. ERCO was sold to NL Industries and its laboratory affiliate was sold to Corning. Advanced Energy Technology commercialized equipment developed at the University of Texas to measure physical properties of the earth’s subsurface including resistivity for use in oil, gas and geothermal exploration. AET was ultimately merged into its Japanese venture partner, Nishon Iwa. Dr. Rosen has extensive experience building operating facilities including one to remodel landfills using a patented technology and a manufacturing system to recycle rubber for use in a variety of industrial applications.

Dr. Rosen earned a Master’s Degree in Forest Science and a Ph.D. in Engineering from Harvard University.

Gordon Prain, Ph.D.

Dr. Gordon Prain is a consultant who advises CGIAR Centers on issues related to rural and urban food systems and food security, gender and the institutional and social dimensions of agricultural change. Most recently he was Leader of Social, Nutrition and Innovation Sciences at the International Potato Center with a research focus on the contribution of root and tuber crops to food resilience in different types of agri-food systems, including as climate-smart horticultural crops in cereal-based systems in South Asia and contributing to diversification and greater resilience of agri-food systems in hillside and highland communities.

He earlier spent 10 years as the Global Coordinator for the CGIAR Program on urban and peri-urban agriculture known as Urban Harvest, which undertook collaborative R&D in and around cities of the Global South to strengthen vegetable and livestock systems and address environmental and policy challenges. As part of this work, he participated in the Global Horticulture Initiative and was an active contributor to the Global Horticulture Assessment. In all, he has more than 30 years of experience working in participatory, interdisciplinary teams across multiple sectors to support improved livelihoods for rural and urban households. He holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Geeta Sethi, Ph.D.

Dr. Geeta Sethi is Adviser and Global Lead – Food Loss and Waste for Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank. She has more than 16 years of experience working as an economist on fragile, low-, and middle-income countries. Her work has focused on issues of rural development, service delivery and intergovernmental fiscal policies in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Honduras.

Dr. Sethi has delivered many lending programs to the World Bank Board as well as published books and articles in referenced journals on issues relating to rural labor markets, trade policy and fiscal decentralization. Previously, she worked as the Program Manager for GAFSP and was Lead Economist with the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management unit in the Latin American and Caribbean Vice Presidency of the World Bank. She has an MBA and Ph.D. in Economics.

Greg Thoma, Ph.D.

Dr. Greg Thoma is the Director of Research for the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center and Bates Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He served as inaugural Director for Research of The Sustainability Consortium. He has led numerous food and agriculture life cycle assessment projects: milk, cheese, milk delivery systems, yogurt, swine, poultry, corn, and beef. He serves on the steering committee for the Swiss National Research Program, “Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production.”

He is the North American subject editor for Agriculture for the International Journal of Lifecycle Assessment, and has served on the scientific/technical/organizational committee for numerous international LCA conferences. He has been active with the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership since its inception acting as the Technical Advisory Group Lead/Co-lead for development of the poultry, swine, and large ruminants’ guidelines. He is currently serving on the nutrient cycling and biodiversity technical advisory groups.

Juergen Voegele, Ph.D.

Dr. Juergen Voegele was appointed Senior Director of the World Bank's Food and Agriculture Global Practice on July 1, 2014.  In this role, he provides leadership on the Bank’s lending and knowledge activities spanning issues such as climate-smart agriculture, agriculture policy reform, food and nutrition security, and agriculture value chain development.

Dr. Voegele is chair of the CGIAR System Council Board, which oversees agricultural research programs tackling poverty, food and nutrition security, and improved natural resource management around the world. Since 2016, Dr. Voegele has served as co-chair of the Global Future Council of the World Economic Forum. He is also a member of the EAT Foundation Advisory Board since May 2017.

Since joining the World Bank in 1991, Dr. Voegele has held a number of assignments, chairing the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector Board as well as the Environment Sector Board, leading the Agriculture Unit in China, the Agriculture and Rural Development Unit of the Europe and Central Asia Region, and the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of the World Bank (later recast as the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department).

Dr. Voegele holds a Ph.D. in Agriculture Engineering and a Masters in Agriculture Economics from the University of Hohenheim, in Germany.

Jacques Wery, Ph.D.

Dr. Jacques Wery is Deputy Director of General Research at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), having assumed this role in May 2018.

He was formerly Professor of Agronomy and Agricultural Systems in Montpellier SupAgro, one of the components of Montpellier University. He graduated as Ingenieur Agronome (M.Sc.) in Agronomy and Mediterranean Agriculture in 1980, after which he obtained his Ph.D. in Crop Physiology in 1983 and his Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches at the University of Montpellier in 1996. He has supervised 26 Ph.D. students and published 109 papers in international journals, as well as books on crop physiology, cropping systems design, and agricultural systems modelling. He created in 2001 and chaired until 2010 a research unit (UMR System with INRA and CIRAD) on functional analysis and design of Cropping Systems, with an emphasis on perennial and multispecies systems (intercropping, relay cropping, and agroforestry). Between 2005 and 2009, he was a board member of the Seamless project on integrated modelling of agricultural systems. Between 2009 and 2018, he was the Executive Secretary of the European Society for Agronomy and is, since 2015, the chair of the Farming Systems Design network on methodologies for analysis and design of agricultural systems. He created in 2012 and chaired until 2018 AgroSYS, a joint venture between SupAgro and five private companies to support the design of sustainable agricultural systems through capacity building of students and professionals.

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Legacy Work

Strengthening the Capacity of Developing Countries in Biosafety Risk Assessment and Regulation

The Partnership for Biosafety Risk Assessment and Regulation (PBRAR) was active from 2011-2014, and was supported by a US $1.2 million grant from the Development Grant Facility of the World Bank. The Partnership was comprised of the ILSI Research Foundation, the Environment Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, and eight developing countries that have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, agricultural biotechnology.

In each of the partner countries, the PBRAR sought to strengthen the technical capacity of stakeholders engaged in biosafety risk assessment and regulation so as to facilitate evidence-based decision making.

Pakistan Grants Program: Scientific Support for Regulatory Decision Making

The Biosafety Research in Pakistan Grants Program, managed by the ILSI Research Foundation, supported research projects designed to improve understanding about environmental impacts of genetically engineered crops relevant to agricultural production in Pakistan.

Active from 2012-2014, 16 grantees from academic institutions worked to investigate the potential effects of genetically engineered crops on the agro-ecosystem, and build a knowledgeable community of practice to facilitate regulatory decision-making in Pakistan.