HarvestPlus is a joint venture between the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The Boards of Trustees of CIAT and IFPRI have delegated the responsibility for oversight of HarvestPlus to a Program Advisory Committee (PAC), which acts in effect as a Board of Trustees for HarvestPlus. The PAC includes the two Directors-General of CIAT and IFPRI, one Board member each from the Boards of Trustees of CIAT and IFPRI, as well as experts from developing and developed countries, covering a range of disciplines.

Senior Advisor

M.S. Swaminathan

UNESCO Cousteau Chair in Ecotechnology & Chairman
M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation

Program Advisory Committee (PAC)

Peter McPherson

President, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), USA
PAC Chair

McPherson Profile PhotoPeter McPherson, Chair of the HarvestPlus Program Advisory Committee, is the President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) — the oldest higher education association composed of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and state university systems in the United States. He has previously served as: President of Michigan State University, Director of Economic Policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq, Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, and Special Assistant to US President Gerald Ford in the White House.

Mr. McPherson is also Chair Emeritus of the Board of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), and founding co-Chair of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa. He has formerly chaired the boards of Dow Jones & Company, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Mr. McPherson has been honored with the US Presidential Certificate of Outstanding Achievement, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Leadership Award, the Department of Treasury’s Alexander Hamilton Award, the UNICEF award for “outstanding contribution to child survival,” the 1983 Humanitarian of the Year award from the American Lebanese League, and the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award.

He received a B.A. from Michigan State University, an M.B.A. from Western Michigan University, and a J.D. from American University.

Esi Foriwa Amoaful

Director of Nutrition, Ghana Health Service
PAC Member

Esi Foriwa Amoaful is currently the Director of Nutrition at the Ghana Health Service. She is a nutritionist and public health specialist who has spent close to two decades working in program design and management, capacity development, advocacy and policy development, applied research with special focus on childhood and maternal nutrition, and micronutrient malnutrition prevention. She previously worked as the national program manager 1996 to 2013 leading the setting up of the Vitamin A Deficiency Control Program covering fortification; supplementation and promoting diversified diets.

Ms. Amoaful has conducted extensive research in nutrition and health covering vitamin A and related fields as research fellow and Research Technical Advisor.

She has worked in the area of Nutrition, gender and agriculture linkages, chaired the Steering Committee of the Vitamin A for Africa (VITAA), a partnership project for promoting the increased production and utilization of orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP). A member of the SASHA project team and Sweetpotato Support Platform for West Africa that is making OFSP available to reduce micronutrient deficiency; and currently working on the Ghana Jumpstarting Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato through Diversified Markets Project that seeks to achieve nutritional impact through generating demand for OFSP and other vitamin-A rich foods in antenatal counseling program of the Ghana Health Service and in local markets.

She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Biochemistry from the University of Ghana.

Jeroen Bordewijk

Senior Vice President (Retired), Unilever Corporation, Supply Chain Excellence Programme, Netherlands
PAC Member

Jeroen A. Bordewijk PhotoBefore retiring in 2006, Jeroen Bordewijk had a 34-year professional career at Unilever — the Dutch-Anglo multinational company specializing in food, home, and personal care products.

In his last position as Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Excellence,  he was responsible in Unilever’s global foods division for quality assurance, safety, environment, engineering, and the Unilever global sustainable development initiatives for food products. He was one of the founders and the first President of the SAI-Platform, an initiative of international food companies to support sustainable practices in food value chains.

Mr. Bordewijk is active in several organizations supporting sustainable development in agro-food chains, and is a supervisory board member in the private sector. In 2009 and 2013, he was a member of a group of international peers commissioned by the German Federal Chancellery to review progress on sustainable development in Germany.

Ken Noah Davies

Director (Retired), Purchase for Progress, World Food Programme
PAC Member

Ken Noah Davies PhotoKen Noah Davies was Director of the UN World Food Programme's Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative from 2009 until his retirement from WFP in June 2015. P4P leverages WFP's annual food procurement footprint of over US$1 billion, in partnership with other organisations, to build the capacity of smallholder farmers to access formal commercial markets for quality staple crops including cereals and pulses in Africa and Central America.

Previously, he was WFP Representative and Country Director in Mozambique (2006-2009), Uganda (2000-2006), Cambodia (1996-1999), Swaziland (1993-1996) and Adviser in India (1989-1993). In these roles, he has worked extensively with development, emergency response and post-conflict recovery programmes in multiple contexts. Prior to joining the UN, he was Band Aid/Live Aid Representative for Sudan, Eritrea and Tigray based in Khartoum; Agricultural Coordinator for Save the Children in western Sudan; Director of the NYC GreenThumb and Land Reclamation programs; an Agricultural Extension Agent for Cornell Cooperative Extension; and a farmer.

He holds bachelors and masters degrees in agriculture from Cornell University and a mid-career MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. Ken and his wife Margrethe have five children and live in Jinja, Uganda.

Ruben G. Echeverría

Director General, CIAT, Colombia
PAC Member

Ruben G. Echeverria photoDr. Ruben G. Echeverría is the Director General of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). He is also President of the International Board of the Center for Rural Development in Latin America (RIMISP). From 2004 to early 2009, Dr. Echeverría was the Executive Director of the CGIAR Consortium’s Science Council.

He has three decades of experience in agricultural and rural development issues, having served at the Uruguayan Land Reform Institute, the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) in the Netherlands, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C.  As Director of Agriculture and Rural Development at the IDB from 2000 to 2004, Dr. Echeverría promoted the development of a regional rural development strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and the creation of the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology (Fontagro) and the Inter-Agency Group for Rural Development in LAC.

Dr. Echeverría holds Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Agriculture and Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota, USA, and a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Uruguay.

Ismahane Elouafi

Director General, ICBA
PAC Member

Ismahane Elouafi photoDr. Ismahane Elouafi joined the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) as Director General in 2012. Prior to that, she had held management positions with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. She also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations, including the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and International Maize and Wheat Center (CIMMYT).

Dr. Elouafi holds a Ph.D. in Genetics (Cordoba University, Spain) and has a passion for science, its management, and its integration with policy. She believes that science has to be the basis of decisions and development plans in order to achieve efficiency and alleviate discrimination and poverty.

She is a recipient of many international awards, including the Excellence in Science award from the Global Thinkers Forum (2014), and the National Reward Medal by His Majesty Mohamed VI, the King of Morocco (2014). In 2014, Muslim Science ranked Dr. Elouafi among the 20 Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World under the Shapers category, and the CEO-Middle East Magazine listed her among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women in the Science category.

Shenggen Fan

Director General, IFPRI
PAC Member

Shenggen Fan photoShenggen Fan (樊胜根) 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 has served as the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food and Nutrition Security since 2012.

In 2014, Dr. Fan received the Hunger Hero Award from the World Food Programme in recognition of his commitment to and leadership in fighting hunger worldwide.
Dr. Fan received a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Nanjing Agricultural University in China.

Richard (Dick) Flavell

Chief Scientific Officer, Ceres Inc., United Kingdom
PAC Member

Richard Flavell photo Dr. Richard Flavell is the Vice Chair of the HarvestPlus Program Advisory Committee (PAC) and also serves as the science expert on the PAC’s Audit Committee. He has published over 200 scientific articles, lectured widely and contributed significantly to the development of modern biotechnology in agriculture. He is an expert in cereal plant genomics, having produced the first molecular maps of plant chromosomes to reveal the constituent sequences. Since 2001, Dr. Flavell has been an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Previously, he directed the John Innes Centre in Norwich, England, a premier plant and microbial research institute.

Dr. Flavell is a member of the Board of Directors of Ceres Inc., an organization that he joined in 1998 and has served in various capacities, including as Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor.

In 1999, Dr. Flavell was named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his contributions to plant and microbial sciences.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia, and is a Fellow of the European Molecular Biology Organization, and of The Royal Society of London.

John Edward Hamer

Managing Partner, Data Collective, United Kingdom
PAC Member

John Edward HamerDr. John Edward Hamer is Managing Partner at Data Collective. Before this he was Investment Director for Monsanto Growth Ventures. Monsanto is a leading global agricultural company providing products to growers worldwide; Monsanto Growth Ventures, through investment and partnership, encourages entrepreneurs and innovative start-up companies to take on the challenge of a more sustainable future for world food production.

Dr. Hamer’s career spans more than three decades of research, senior management and investment experience in the life sciences. Prior to joining Monsanto, he was Entrepreneur-in-Residence and later Managing Director and General Partner at Burrill & Company, a San Francisco-based life sciences merchant bank with activities in venture capital, merchant banking and media. Dr. Hamer led investments in numerous Ag-related start-ups in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Prior to joining Burrill, Dr. Hamer was the CSO and later CEO of Paradigm Genetics/ICORIA, a leading genomics and ag-biotechnology company that completed its IPO on NASDAQ in 2000 and was later acquired by Monsanto. 

Dr. Hamer received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of California at Davis and was a Visiting Scientist in Dupont’s Central Research & Development Group. He later joined Purdue University where he rose to the rank of full Professor and was the recipient of several national awards, including the David Lucille Packard Award and The National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellowship. At Purdue, Dr. Hamer’s research focused on crop diseases. He pioneered molecular approaches to disease management and control and worked with numerous international agencies in China, the Philippines, and South America.

Dr. Hamer lectures widely on innovation, agriculture, and venture capital.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and serves on the Board of Directors for Golden Pine Ventures, a microVC fund in RTP, North Carolina. He is a passionate believer in new growth opportunities that are emerging in the agricultural value chain in food, health, energy, materials and chemicals.

Patrick J. Murphy

Vice-President (Retired), Bank of America, USA
PAC Member

Patrick J. Murphy photoPatrick J. Murphy heads the Audit Committee of the HarvestPlus Advisory Committee. He also sits on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and of the Centro Internacional de La Papa, and on the budget and Africa committees of the IFDC board.

Mr. Murphy has extensive experience in the banking industry. He held several executive positions with Bank of America, including Vice President and Manager of the New York International Private Banking Office, Senior Marketing Officer of the Global Network Initiative, Senior Debt Negotiator of Global Public Debt Management, and Senior Credit Officer in the Bank's Latin America Division.

He has also served as Senior Bank Advisor for the Economic Policy Group in the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq.

He holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs (concentrating in Development Economics and Latin American studies) from Columbia University in New York.

Andrew M. Prentice

Head, MRC International Nutrition Group, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK; Head, MRC Keneba, The Gambia; Theme Leader for Nutrition, The Gambia
PAC Member

Andrew M. Prentice photoBorn and bred in East Africa, Andrew Prentice has subsequently spent his entire career working on the challenges of improving maternal and child nutrition in low-income countries. He leads a large team working out of a remarkable rural fieldstation at MRC Keneba, in The Gambia. He also has major collaborations with studies in Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, and India. His group’s mission is "to gain novel insights into the basic mechanisms linking diet and disease in order to develop more effective community and clinical interventions."

Prentice has special interests in iron, infection, and anemia and in the effects of maternal micronutrient status at the time of conception on the baby’s epigenome and how this impacts upon its development and future health.

His work has been recognized by a number of national and international awards including the Peter-Debye International Science Prize, the FENS Medal, the BNF Science Prize, the Gunnar-Levin Medal and Edna & Robert Langholtz International Nutrition Award, the Kellogg’s Science Prize, the EV McCollum International Lectureship and the IACON/SENC Award. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2013.

Prentice has been a member of numerous national and international advisory boards for nutrition policy as well as playing leading roles in academic societies in the UK and US. He is a Council Member for the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS).

He trained in biochemistry at the University of Leeds and obtained his Ph.D. in Nutrition at the University of Cambridge.

Andrew Natsios

Director of the Scowcraft Institute of International Affairs and Executive Professor, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University
PAC Member

Andew Natsios photoAndrew S. Natsios is an executive professor at the Bush School and director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs. Natsios was most recently a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and former administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). As USAID administrator from 2001-2006, Natsios managed reconstruction programs in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sudan. He also served as US special envoy to Sudan in 2006-2007.

Retired from the US Army Reserves at the rank of lieutenant colonel after twenty-three years, Natsios is a veteran of the Gulf War. From 1993 to 1998, he was vice president of World Vision US, the largest faith-based nongovernmental organization in the world, with programs in 103 countries. Earlier in his career, Natsios served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for twelve years and as the chief financial and administrative officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He also served as the CEO of Boston's Big Dig, the largest construction project in American history.

He is the author of three books: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1997); The Great North Korean Famine(2001); and his latest book, Sudan, South Sudan and Darfur: What Everyone Needs to Know, published in 2012 by Oxford University Press. He has contributed to thirteen other books. He has published numerous articles in Foreign Affairs, the New York TimesWashington PostWashington QuarterlyForeign Service Journal, and Wall Street Journal.

Margret Thalwitz

Board Chairwoman, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
PAC Member

Margaret Thalwitz photoMargaret Thalwitz holds an MA in Economics and a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Economics from the German Development Institute. She has extensive experience gained in positions as country economist, and project and sector manager, at the World Bank with a regional concentration in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, and South Asia. Ms. Thalwitz was the first Director of the World Bank's Global Programs and Partnerships Department.

After leaving the Bank she became a visiting fellow at Oxford University and the German Development Institute and is currently a Senior Expert Fellow with the Centre for Global Cooperation Research at the University of Essen-Duisburg. She has been a consultant to the World Bank, UNICEF, and the German government. She joined the Board of ICARDA in October 2012.    


Dr. Barbara Wells

Director-General, International Potato Center
PAC Member

Dr. Barbara Wells photoDr. Barbara H. Wells is an accomplished senior executive with extensive scientific and business experience in research, general management, strategic planning, regulatory processes, and the technical development and commercialization of products in agricultural and forestry markets throughout the world. She became Director General of the International Potato Center (CIP) in early 2014, an appointment in keeping with her ambition to improve the livelihoods of the world’s poor farmers.

Prior to coming to CIP, Barbara was Vice President of Global Strategy at Agrivida, Inc., a firm that develops enzyme solutions for animal nutrition and feed-stocks for the production of biofuels and bio-products. She was responsible for planning and implementing the company’s global commercial development strategy and scientific collaboration activities with an initial focus on Latin America.

From 2002 to 2012 Barbara was President and Chief Executive Officer of ArborGen, Inc., a global forestry tree seedling, and tree breeding business. In this post she led the transformation of the organization from a start-up biotechnology company to a fully operational business with commercial sales of more than 250 million tree seedlings in the US, New Zealand and Australia. Prior to joining ArborGen, she was Vice President responsible for growth initiatives and investments in Latin America for Emergent Genetics, an agricultural investment firm.

She previously spent 18 years at Monsanto as Co-Managing Director of Brazilian operations and in several leadership roles in field product development across the world for crops including cotton, corn, soybeans, tree crops and other products.

Barbara received her Ph.D. in Agronomy from Oregon State University, her M.S. in Plant Pathology and her B.S. with Honors in Horticulture from the University of Arizona.

Stay up to date with us
Stay Up to Date