Committee on Transforming Agricultural Ecosystems and the Agriculture-Food Value Chain
Responsive Agriculture Study
The Committee on Transforming Agricultural Ecosystems and the Agriculture-Food Value Chain will present key concepts, findings, and conclusions needed to realize an agriculture and food system that addresses both hunger and human health, while ensuring environmental sustainability and economic robustness for producers, with capacity and resiliency for food production and distribution now and into the future.
Jessica Fanzo is a Professor of Climate and the Director of the Food for Humanity Initiative at Columbia University’s Climate School in New York City. She also serves as the Interim Director for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, also known as IRI. Before coming to Columbia in 2023, Professor Fanzo was the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at Johns Hopkins University. She has also held positions at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN), the UN World Food Programme, Bioversity International, the Earth Institute, the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She has participated in various collective endeavors, including the Food Systems Economic Commission, the Global Panel of Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition Foresight 2.0 report, the Lancet Commission on Anaemia, and the EAT-Lancet Commissions 1 and now 2. She was also the Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report and Team Leader for the UN High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition. She currently leads the development of the Food Systems Dashboard and the Food Systems Countdown to 2030 Initiative in collaboration with the Global Alliance of Improved Nutrition. Dr. Fanzo has a PhD in Nutrition from the University of Arizona and completed a Stephen I. Morse postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Patrick J. Stover
Patrick J. Stover – Task Force Chair
Patrick Stover, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture (IHA). The IHA is the world’s first research institute to bring together precision nutrition, responsive agriculture, and behavioral research to reduce diet-related chronic disease in a way that considers environmental and economic effects. Supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS) and the state of Texas, the institute includes an embedded USDA-ARS unit. Dr. Stover has over 23 years of academic leadership experience, serving as Vice Chancellor and Dean for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M AgriLife, director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. As an international leader in biochemistry, agriculture and nutrition, Stover’s research focuses on the biochemical, genetic, and epigenetic mechanisms that underlie the relationships among nutrition, food fortification, and human pathologies such as developmental anomalies, neuropathies, and cancer. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is former President of the American Society for Nutrition and has served two terms on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Clinton, the government’s highest honor bestowed on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. Dr. Stover received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Saint Joseph’s University, his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from the Medical College of Virginia and completed his postdoctoral studies in nutritional sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.
Improving community health for underserved and underrepresented populations has been at the core of her work for more than two decades. She has led widely disseminated dietary and physical activity interventions, innovative food systems intervention projects, and a variety of adapted evidence-based programs for at-risk populations. Her current research focuses on understanding how people’s social, food and physical activity environments influence behavior change and maintenance—particularly in at-risk populations and settings, such as low-income families and rural communities.
Her programs have reached nearly every state in the U.S., as well as several other countries, helping hundreds of thousands of individuals improve their health and providing critical skill-building and support to a vast range of health educators working to serve their local communities.
She has secured more than $15 million in competitive funding to support her research with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has received numerous awards throughout her career including the Mead Johnson Award from the American Society for Nutrition, an Excellence Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions, and a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She has published more than 115 peer-reviewed articles and is frequently asked to speak to national and international audiences about her scientific findings as well as her community-engagement research and multisector partnerships.
A registered dietician, she received her bachelor’s degree in clinical exercise physiology from Boston University and a master’s degree in nutrition communication and a doctorate in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts University in Boston.
Alvar Carlson is the Associate Director at the Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His experiences and expertise range from DNA vectoring; plant tissue culture, transformation, and analysis; and field trials for product development. Previously he was the President of Lone Oak Ranch Ltd. He was also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Western Michigan University. He has authored 9 publications in plant science and has contributed to multiple projects, including the USDA Commercialization Assistance Program. He received his PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds an MSc in Plant Genetics from the University of Guelph as well as a BSc in Cell Biology and Genetics from the University of British Columbia.
Larry Chandler is the Director of the Plains Area of the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Ft. Collins, CO (2014-present). He joined the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in 1982 and has served in several positions including Research Entomologist in Weslaco, TX (1982-1989), Research Entomologist in Tifton, GA (1989-1994), Research Leader of the Northern Grain Insects Research Laboratory in Brookings, SD (1994-1999), Director of the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, ND (1999-2004), Associate Director of the Northern Plains Area in Fort Collins, CO (2004-2008), Director of the Midwest Area in Peoria, IL (2008-2012), Acting Associate Administrator for ARS Operations (2014), and Director of the Northern Plains Area (2012-14). During his active research career, he conducted research on IPM of horticultural and field crop insect pests. He has previously served as the ARS Technical Coordinator for the Corn Rootworm Areawide Pest Management Program, the ARS Coordinator for the National Sclerotinia Initiative, and the chair/co-chair of the ARS Information Technology Steering Committee. He received an ARS Technology Transfer Award in 1999 and the USDA Secretary’s Award for Individual/Team Superior Service in 2002, 2012, and 2014. Dr. Chandler received his PhD in Entomology from Texas A&M University.
Amit Dhingra is Professor and Department Head of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University and an adjunct Professor of Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Horticulture at Washington State University. He also serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee at Texas A&M AgriLife Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture and is also a Senior Scientist at the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. He has over 20 years of experience in horticulture and plant science research, teaching, and entrepreneurship. His research focus areas include plastid biology, pre- and post-harvest fruit development, plant-pathogen interactions, and plant-soil-microbiome interactions. He has published more than 78 high-impact peer-reviewed journal articles, serves on the editorial board of four internationally reputed plant science journals, and has been awarded three US and five international patents on regulating ripening in fruits to reduce post-harvest wastage. Dr. Dhingra completed his PhD in Plant Molecular Biology at the University of Delhi, India and Rutgers University, New Jersey, and completed his post-doctoral training at Rutgers University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida. He also holds a BSc in Botany from Hindu College, New Delhi, India, and an MSc in Botany with specialization in Cytogenetics and Plant Breeding from Raja Balwant Singh College, Agra, India.
Constance Gewa joined the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) in January 2023 as a Senior Program Director for the Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area. Prior to joining FFAR, Dr. Gewa served as an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University. She brings over 20 years of experience in human nutrition and public health research with expertise in conducting research among mothers and children in low-income communities. She has co-authored multiple publications on dietary practices and nutritional status of mothers and children, validity of dietary assessment methodologies, the role of nutrition in improving health and development outcomes among children, nutrition transition and non-communicable diseases in low-income countries and household food security. Dr. Gewa has served in multiple committees and initiatives including a USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab Technical Management and Advisory Committees, the Institute of Sustainable Earth at George Mason University and the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Her teaching, research and service actively engages partners across multiple disciplines. Dr. Gewa received her MPH and PhD in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles and earned her MS in Applied Human Nutrition from the University of Nairobi.
Justin Gleghorn is Director of Cattle Risk Management and Customer Service at Cactus Feeders, which represents a one-time capacity of more than 500,000 head. He is a member of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association’s board of directors and past president of Plains Nutrition Council. As a professional in commercial production agriculture, he has extensive expertise that encompasses cow calf production systems through carcass-merit-based marketing channels. Furthermore, he has been involved in decision making processes that ensure economic and budgetary sustainability while incorporating environmental considerations at various levels of the beef production chain. Dr. Gleghorn previously worked as Risk Management Broker for Brock Thompson Trading, Technical Service Manager for VetLife, and Consulting Nutritionist for Nutrition Service Associates. Dr. Gleghorn grew up in Dimmit, TX and received a BS degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, a MS in Animal Science from Kansas State University, a MS in Finance and Economics from West Texas A&M, and a PhD in Ruminant Nutrition from Texas Tech University.
Mark Haugland is a retired sales leader from Bayer Crop Science and currently serves on the Board of Directors at the National Wheat Foundation. He spent his entire career working in agriculture in the Northern Plains. Prior to retiring, for nearly 25 years he managed the sales force for Bayer and legacy organizations in North Dakota, and at times Northern Minnesota and Montana. While the market in this geography is very diversified, over his career the largest market for the Bayer organization in this key geography was small grains. He had an active involvement in industry organizations including the North Dakota Agricultural Association, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, and the International Sugarbeet Institute. He holds a BS in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Education from North Dakota State University.
David Just is the Susan Eckert Lynch Professor of Science and Business and Director of Graduate Studies in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. Dr. Just uses the tools of psychology and economics to examine important ways in which misperception and emotion can drive economic decisions. He has conducted dozens of field and laboratory experiments identifying the subtle factors that can influence food choice, food security and health. His work on behavioral economics and food assistance programs has shown how low-cost solutions can lead to healthier choices without reducing overall availability of choices or breaking the budget. Further work has examined judgment biases when facing risky choices in contexts ranging from agricultural production to the decision to purchase lottery tickets. His award-winning research has been published in scores of research articles, winning wide recognition both among academics and within the popular press. Dr. Just is a fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. He received his PhD and MS degrees in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in Economics from Brigham Young University.
Ajay “AJ” P. Malshe is R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Agriculture and Biological Engineering (by Courtesy) at Purdue University. He is the Inaugural Director of the Materials and Manufacturing Research Laboratories (MMRL) and a Co-Director of Purdue’s Engineering Initiative (PEI) for eXcellence in Manufacturing and Operations (XMO). Over his collective professional experience of 40 years, he has gained a national and international reputation in advanced manufacturing, multifunctional-resilient-sustainable bio-inspired designing, functional multi-materials, and system integration and productization. Over the decades, application areas of his interest and contributions are biomanufacturing for future protein foods and farms at the point of need, heterogeneous microelectronics for high-density systems, nanomanufacturing for extreme machines, in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing (ISAM). Dr. Malshe has published over 225 peer-reviewed manuscripts, delivered over 100 keynote invited talks around the world, and received over 28 patents with a patent/product conversion rate of over 70% resulting in more than 20 award-winning engineered products applied by leading corporations in agriculture and food, energy, defense and aerospace, transportation, EV, die-casting, high-performance racing, and other key industrial sectors. Malshe has received more than 45 prestigious international honors for scientific discoveries, engineering innovations, and breakthrough products, including being elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018, “for innovations in nanomanufacturing with impact in multiple industry sectors”, the highest award an engineer can receive. He received his PhD from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in 1992.
Hikaru Peterson is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Minnesota and the Program Coordinator for the Undergraduate Agricultural and Food Business Major. Her research area is food and agricultural marketing with emphasis on consumer issues. Her recent and current projects include positioning regional food supply chains for future disruptions, examining the role of farmers’ markets in a regional food system, building a market data structure for small and medium-scale agrifood sector, and evaluating behavioral nudges and in-store intervention for improved food access in rural areas. She is also a Co-Creator of the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement. At the Center, she contributes her expertise in research methods in marketing to generate science-based solutions to questions and challenges related to new media marketing for rural businesses. Dr. Peterson holds an MS and PhD in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University.
Mollie Van Lieu
Mollie Van Lieu
Mollie Van Lieu currently serves as Vice President of Nutrition and Health for the International Fresh Produce Association – established in 2021 from legacy organizations the Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association. IFPA is the largest and most diverse trade association representing the full global fresh produce supply chain. Her work centers on increasing access and consumption of fruits and vegetables and improving overall dietary quality through federal policy including school meals, SNAP, WIC, USDA purchasing programs, Produce Prescriptions, and FDA nutrition policy. Prior to her work in the fresh produce industry, she worked on nutrition, health and education policy at the Pew Charitable Trusts, the National PTA, and on Capitol Hill. She holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations from McDaniel College.
Frank Yiannas is a former Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, where he was the principal advisor to the FDA Commissioner in the development and execution of policies related to food safety, including implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). His leadership role within the Agency covered a broad spectrum of food safety priorities, such as outbreak response, traceback investigations, product recall activities, and supply chain innovation across the full spectrum of FDA-regulated products. Prior to his time at FDA, Yiannas served as the Vice President for Food Safety at Walmart, where he led the effort to make Walmart the first U.S. retailer to require suppliers to achieve certification against one of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked food safety schemes. He was also the Director of Safety and Health at Disney, which received the prestigious Black Pearl Award for corporate excellence in food safety from the International Association for Food Protection during his tenure. He has received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation’s International Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Food Safety in 2007 and the Collaboration Award by FDA in 2008, and was also named the 2015 Industry Professional Food Safety Hero Award by the consumer advocacy group STOP Foodborne Illness. A microbiologist, Yiannas received a BS in Microbiology from the University of Central Florida and a MPH from the University of South Florida.
David Zilberman has been a Professor in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at the University of California, Berkeley since 1979 where he holds the Robinson Chair. He is the cofounder and co-director of the BEAHRS Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), and is the director of the Master of Development Practice (MDP). Dr. Zilberman writes both for professional journals and the general public, and aims to integrate economic theory to real world problems in both developed and developing countries. He is also an extension specialist, and co-editor of ARE Update. He is a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. He has published in various fields on the Economics of agriculture, environment, technology and risk, and is most proud of his students and collaborators. Dr. Zilberman completed his BA in Economics and Statistics from Tel Aviv University in Israel and his PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.