2011–12 Lecture Series

Science and Food Policy for Food Security: USAID's Feed the Future Research Programs and Partnerships

Dr. Robert Bertram is the Director of the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Food Security. The office is home to the Agency’s agricultural research programs, engaging U.S. university-led Collaborative Agricultural Research Support Programs (CRSPs), the CGIAR system of international agricultural research centers, and a range of public and private partnerships in biotechnology, policy, extension, and capacity building. Dr. Bertram comes from a plant breeding and genetics background, and has managed agricultural research for development programs with USAID for more than 25 years. His professional involvements have concentrated in the areas of genetic resources conservation and policy, agriculture-nutrition linkages, and the broader role of science in development. Dr. Bertram has degrees from the University of California - Davis, the University of Minnesota, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland.

Feeding the World in 2050

Dr. Shenggen Fan serves as director of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington D.C. Growing up in rural China in the 1960s and 1970s, Dr. Fan became deeply committed to reducing poverty and hunger. He has long been convinced that innovative, country-owned, country-led approaches are required to achieve ambitious development goals. Dr. Fan has a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Nanjing Agricultural University in China.

New Paradigms for Addressing Postharvest Losses in the Rice Value Chain

Alfred Schmidley is a business model and value chain development scientist with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Phillipines. He has special interests in innovation, entrepreneurship, and, more recently, in the use of "open business models" in international development and delivery of technologies through multi-stakeholder platforms.

The Role of Women in Nation Building

Minister Aloisea is Rwanda's Minister in charge of Gender and Family Promotion in the Prime Minister's Office. She is a graduate of Makerere University in Uganda where she was a refugee. She was among the very first females to join the Rwandese Patriotic Front movement for national liberation in the late 1980s. She has served as a Senator, the Governor of Kigali Rural Province, and the very first Executive Secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission.

Conventional and Molecular Plant Breeding: Some Observations

Dr. Bir Bahadur Singh, the 2011 Sheth Alumni Award Winner, has made major contributions through breeding for early maturity and pyramiding genes for resistance and tolerance. His pigeon pea variety matures 60 to 130 days earlier than other varieties. He has developed six soybean varieties which are resistant to rust and yellow mosaic with good seed viability. He has developed over 40 cowpea varieties that have been released in over 60 countries.

Feeding the World: The Role of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Prabhu Pingali has over 25 years of experience in assessing the extent and impact of technical change in developing countries' agriculture in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He is currently the Deputy Director of the Agriculture Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Why Not Hunger?: Raising Clamor on Hunger through Agricultural Development

Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow, Global Agriculture and Food Policy, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, is the author of ENOUGH. Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty. His coverage of global affairs spanned the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of apartheid, the wars in former Yugoslavia, and the humanitarian crises of the first decade of this century.

Njala University

Partnership for Quality Higher Education

Sesay is the Vice Chancellor and Principal of Njala University in Sierra Leone.

Post Conflict Reconstruction

Through Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation for Poverty Alleviation and Long Term Economic Growth

Dr. Murenzi is a Visiting Professor at University of Maryland Institute of Advanced Computer Sciences, Senior Scholar at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Visiting Professor in the Physics Department at Howard University. He discusses the importance of leadership in visioning the future for post-conflict countries and the role of science and technology in alleviating poverty and rebuilding post-conflict countries.

Climate Change and its Impact on Agriculture in Brazil

Luis Claudio Costa is the President of the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil. Climate change's impact on agriculture is one of the hottest topics in the U.S. and the world. Hear from a leading Brazilian institution on how the effects of this issue are impacting their work in South America.

Unleashing the Potential of Smallholder Farmers:

Agriculture and Livestock Development in Africa

Dr. BeVier is the Senior Program Officer, Livestock for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has managed an international genetics business, an integrated livestock operation, and a division of a global animal health business, assisting entrepreneurs in crop biopesticides, livestock vaccines, genetically modified rice and livestock imaging technology. BeVier received four degrees from University of Illinois in Agriculture Science, Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, and Business.