AgMIP9 Keynote Speakers

Jessica Fanzo, PhD is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at Johns Hopkins University. She holds appointments in the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She serves as the Director of Hopkins’ Global Food Policy & Ethics Program, and as Director of Food & Nutrition Security at Hopkins’ Alliance for a Healthier World. From 2021 to 2022, Jess was the Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs at SAIS. She leads on the development of the Food Systems Dashboard and the Food Systems Countdown Initiative, in collaboration with the Global Alliance from Improved Nutrition (GAIN). She currently serves on the Food Systems Economic and EAT-Lancet 2.0 Commissions. Before coming to Hopkins, Jess held positions at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and College of Medicine, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN), the UN World Food Programme, Bioversity International, and the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya. From 2017 to 2022, she served on various collective endeavors including the first EAT-Lancet Commission, the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on an International Platform for Food Systems Science, the Cornell Atkinson Center’s Socio-Technical Innovation Bundles for Agri-Food Systems Transformation report, and the Global Panel of Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition Foresight 2.0 report. During that time, she was also the Editor-in-Chief for the Global Food Security Journal, the Associate Editor for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report and Team Leader for the UN High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition.  In 2021, she published her first book, Can Fixing Dinner Fix the Planet?

Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig is a Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the co-located Columbia University Climate School’s Center for Climate Systems Research. Dr. Rosenzweig’s specific area of expertise is climate change and food systems. At NASA GISS, she heads the Climate Impacts Group whose mission is to investigate the interactions of climate (both variability and change) on systems and sectors important to human well-being. Dr. Rosenzweig is the co-founder and member of the Executive Committee of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), a globally integrated transdisciplinary study of climate change and the food system at regional, national and global scales, including the participation of over 1000 leading researchers from developed and developing nations. She has developed new methods of detection and attribution of observed changes in physical and biological systems to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and pioneered research on the impacts of and adaptation to climate change and climate variability. In 2019, Dr. Rosenzweig was Coordinating Lead Author of the Food Security Chapter for the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land. She is the 2022 recipient of the World Food Prize, considered as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.”

Sibiry Traore is a systems scientist specialized in agricultural risk control and value chain orchestration, Sibiry is by training a physical geographer and a remote sensing expert. With Manobi Africa, he developed agCelerant and the concept of phygital agriculture, which captures the emergent opportunity for robust, physically based, digitally driven solutions to secure the sustainability, transparency, and honorable sourcing of tomorrow’s food systems. Sibiry designed and co-led several innovative projects such as SERVIR West Africa, HEURISTICS, NADiRA and STARS, raising R&D grants from USAID, DARPA, ESA, the European Commission, the World Bank, IsDB, BMGF and others. Sibiry published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and developed novel partnerships involving the CGIAR, national agricultural research systems (NARS), NGOs, the private sector and academia. More recently, he developed a vibrant partnership with AIMS-NEI, creating internship and employment opportunities for AI/ML graduates in the agriculture and space sectors. Seconded to the private sector as in-business researcher, Sibiry leads the Digital Agriculture Cluster at ICRISAT.

Kate McKenzie, MS, RD is the Executive Director of New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Food Policy (MOFP). Kate advises the Mayor on all issues related to food policy and the city’s food system. 

She released Food Forward NYC, the city’s first-ever 10-year food policy plan, which lays out a comprehensive policy framework to reach a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy food system by 2030. She leads the City’s Good Food Purchasing commitments, focused on increasing access to healthy, sustainable foods for the over 230 million meals and snacks served daily by City agencies, from public schools to senior centers. Through this work, information about the city’s food procurements is publicly available using a dashboard that uses metrics to track agency level progress, including the City’s commitment to decrease the carbon footprint of its food purchases 33% by 2030. 

She led the city’s interagency COVID-19 food response to ensure that no New Yorker experiences hunger due to the pandemic. She also oversaw the development of Groceries to Go, the City’s first nutrition security program that provides New Yorkers with an online electronic voucher to buy healthy foods from local businesses.

Kate is a recognized leader with over two decades of experience building food security and broader anti-poverty solutions in New York City and nationally. She comes to the Mayor’s Office after nearly two decades in non-profit and academia.

Kate holds a master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University. She is also a registered dietician.

Mario Herrero is a professor of sustainable food systems and global change in the Department of Global Development, a Cornell Atkinson Scholar, and a Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator in the Life Sciences. His research focuses on increasing the sustainability of food systems for the benefit of humans and ecosystems. He works in the areas of sustainable food systems, climate mitigation and adaptation, livestock systems, healthy diets, food systems modelling and environmental metrics. Mario is a regular contributor to important global initiatives at the heart of the sustainability of global food systems, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN Food Systems Summit, the Lancet Commission on Obesity and the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. He has worked extensively in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Dr. Cary Fowler is perhaps best known as the “father” of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon described as an “inspirational symbol of peace and food security for the entire humanity.” This facility provides ultimate security for more than 1 million unique crop varieties, the biological foundation of agriculture and the raw material for all future plant breeding and crop improvement efforts.

Dr. Fowler is the former Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an international organization cosponsored by Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Prior to leading the Crop Trust, he was a Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and a senior staff member of Bioversity International. Earlier, he oversaw the UN’s first global assessment of the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources. He was responsible for drafting and negotiating the first FAO Global Plan of Action on the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources, formally adopted by 150 countries in 1996. Following this, Dr. Fowler twice served as Special Assistant to the Secretary General of the World Food Summit and represented the CGIAR in the multi-year negotiations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources. In 2015, Dr. Fowler was appointed to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development by President Obama. He is a former board member of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, and former chair of the Livestock Conservancy.

Dr. Fowler has been recognized with several honorary doctorates and many awards including the Thomas Jefferson Award for Citizen Leadership, the Heinz Award, the Meyer Medal from the Crop Science Society of America, the Wm. Brown Award from the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Proctor Medal from the Garden Clubs of America. He has been profiled by The New Yorker, on CBS 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning and other media, and is the subject of the documentary film, Seeds of Life.

Born and raised in Tennessee, Cary Fowler served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Rhodes College in Memphis. He earned a B.A. with honors from Simon Fraser University in Canada, and his Ph.D. from Uppsala University in Sweden.