Forum 2023
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Keynote Speaker (in alphabetical order)

Junfei Bai, Professor at China Agricultural University

Junfei Bai is a Professor and Doctoral Supervisor at the School of Economics and Management, China Agricultural University. He is also the Chief Expert at the Beijing Food Safety Policy and Strategy Research Center and the Founder of the Center for Food and Health Economics Research (C'FHER) at the School of Economics and Management, China Agricultural University, where he serves as the first Executive Director. His main research areas include consumer and health economics, food safety and policy, and resource economics and sustainable development. He has led 5 key projects, general projects, and youth projects funded by the National Natural Science Foundation, as well as over 30 projects at the provincial and ministerial level, and international cooperative research projects.

Prasanna Boddupalli, Maize Program Director at CIMMYT

Dr. Prasanna is the Maize Program Director at CIMMYT. Dr. Prasanna provides technical oversight for an array of multi-institutional projects on the development and deployment of elite, stress-resilient and nutritionally enriched maize varieties in the tropics of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, besides the application of novel tools and technologies for enhancing genetic gains and breeding efficiency. Dr. Prasanna has published over 200 research articles in various international journals and received several awards and recognitions.

Kevin Chen, Professor at Zhejiang University and Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI

Dr. Kevin Chen is Chair Professor of China Academy for Rural Development at Zhejiang University and Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute. He serves as a member of the independent expert group, Global Nutrition Report. He is currently co-editor of China Agricultural Economic Review and managing editor of the journal International Food and Agribusiness Management Review. His research interests focus on agri-food value chain development, public policies on poverty, modeling agricultural markets, and South-South cooperation on agriculture.

Thomas Glauben, Director of IAMO

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Thomas Glauben is a Director of IAMO and Head of the Department Agricultural Markets. He is also a full professor at the Faculty of Natural Science III and a co-opted professor at the Law and Economics Faculty of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. From 2013 to 2015, he has been a member of the Presidium of the Leibniz Association. Currently, he is a member of the boards of various journals and trade publishers. Since 2007 he has been an associate member of the REAP Center of Stanford University, USA.

Zhanli Sun, Research Associate at IAMO

Dr. Sun is a Research Associate in the Department Structural Change. At IAMO, he also coordinates the activities of the China International Research Group. His research focuses on land system change with various analytical and simulating models, including agent-based modeling, system dynamics, and Bayesian networks. He co-developed LEAM land-use simulation model at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Johan Swinnen, the Director General of IFPRI

Johan Swinnen has served as the Director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute since January 2020 and Managing Director, Systems Transformation, CGIAR, since July 2022. He is a member of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, USAID; Commissioner in the Food Systems Economics Commission; Representative in the High-Level Executive Committee of the IPC; Co-chair of the Think20 Task Force on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture; and also a member of the Champions 12.3 Leadership Group to Reduce Food Loss and Waste and of the Africa Europe Strategic Task Force on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. Prior to joining IFPRI, Dr. Swinnen was professor of economics and Director of the LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at KU Leuven (Belgium) and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

Máximo Torero, Chief Economist of FAO

Mr. Maximo Torero Cullen is the Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He joined the Organization in January 2019 as Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department. Prior to joining FAO, he was the World Bank Group Executive Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay since November 2016 and before the Bank Mr. Torero led the Division of the Markets, Trade, and Institutions at the International Food Policy Research Institute. His major research work lies mostly in analyzing poverty, inequality, importance of geography and assets in explaining poverty, and in policies oriented towards poverty alleviation based on the role played by infrastructure, institutions, and on how technological breakthroughs can improve the welfare of households and small farmers.

Hang Xiong, Professor at Huazhong Agricultural University

Hang Xiong is the Secretary-general of Global Food Security Association for Young Scientists. He is a professor of Economics at College of Economics and Management of HZAU and the Depute Dean of Macro Agriculture Research Institute. Prior to joining HZAU, Xiong was a research fellow at Agricultural Economics and Policy Group in ETH Zurich and Department of Geography in King's College London. His research interest focuses on understanding individuals' decision-making behavior and evaluating public policies using a social simulation approach. He published papers on prestigious journals in social simulation and agricultural economics fields. He also serves on editorial boards of three influential journals.

Xuecai Zhang, Maize Molecular Breeder for Latin America at CIMMYT

Dr. Zhang is a scientist and maize molecular breeder based in Mexico with CIMMYT’s Global Maize Program. He implements modern molecular breeding applications to improve the efficiency of the Latin American maize breeding programs by dissecting the genetic architecture of the major maize complex traits including disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, and nutritional quality improvement. He also coordinates the work of mainstreaming genomic selection approaches in CIMMYT’s maize breeding pipeline globally.

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