Updating the Global Food Security Research Strategy: New Evidence and Opportunities
A robust evidence base indicates that agriculture, nutrition, and food security research investments enable the productivity gains that drive global improvements in food security and protect against future food security risks. U.S. Government agencies that are part of the Feed the Future initiative will develop an updated U.S. Government’s Global Food Security Research Strategy to help achieve sustainable reductions in hunger, poverty and malnutrition through science, technology and innovation. USAID is convening public consultations and co-drafting the Research Strategy in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in advance of a January 2022 launch by the interagency. USAID and USDA are seeking input, feedback, and ideas from the U.S and international research community and stakeholders which will inform the drafting of the updated Global Food Security Research Strategy.
This webinar will introduce plans for updating the Research Strategy. The agenda will include opening remarks by USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS) Deputy Assistant Administrator Mike Michener and framing comments by RFS Chief Scientist Dr. Rob Bertram and Senior Advisor in the USDA Office of the Chief Scientist Jaime Adams. USDA Economist Dr. Keith Fuglie will review evidence and provide key insights relevant to research investment priority setting. Dr. Renee Lafitte, Deputy Director for Crops Research and Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will discuss new research approaches in a changing climate, and Tufts University Research Associate Professor Dr. Shibani Ghosh will speak about diet quality, nutrition, and inclusion. The session will end with an overview of the timeline for the Research Strategy update and a call for stakeholder feedback.
USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security
Rob Bertram is the Chief Scientist in USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, where he serves as a key adviser on a range of technical and program issues to advance global food security and nutrition. In this role, he leads USAID’s evidence-based efforts to advance research, technology and implementation in support of the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. He previously served as Director of the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, which leads implementation of the Feed the Future research strategy and related efforts to scale innovations in global food security efforts, working with a range of partners. Prior to that, he guided USAID investments in agriculture and natural resources research for many years. Dr. Bertram’s academic background in plant breeding and genetics includes degrees from University of California, Davis, the University of Minnesota and the University of Maryland. He also studied international affairs at Georgetown University and was a visiting scientist at Washington University in St. Louis. He has been especially active in plant genetic resources policy as it relates to research for development, including applications of biotechnology in food security-related research. Before coming to USAID, he served with USDA's international programs as well as overseas with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) system. less
Deputy Director for Crops R&D
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Renee Lafitte is Deputy Director for Crops R&D in the Agricultural Development group at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has a background in crop physiology, agronomy, and agro-ecology, with experience in technology discovery and product development for both intensive agriculture and resource-limited cropping systems. Prior to her current appointment, Renee was a Research Fellow at DuPont Pioneer and then at DowDuPont, where she focused on application of new phenotyping and remote sensing technologies for crop improvement, gene discovery, and the evaluation of new microbial and crop protection products. Previously, Renee worked for 20 years in the CGIAR system, based at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, and at the Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico.
Research Associate Professor
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Shibani Ghosh is a public health nutritionist and Research Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy within the Food and Nutrition Policy and Programs Division. She is also the Associate Director for the USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition with 20 years of experience working in the Middle East, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and over 80 peer-reviewed publications, professional articles and reports.
Her research interests include examining malnutrition in all its forms, formulating and implementing evidence-based interventions focused on achieving optimal growth and development of infants and young children as well as assessing the determinants of nutrition, health and well-being of pregnant and lactating women. She has experience in designing and implementing rigorous research with study designs ranging from ecological studies to randomized controlled trials, community-based cluster-randomized clinical trials and longitudinal birth cohort studies examining the maternal-infant life cycle to support the identification of appropriate actions for policy recommendation.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Keith Fuglie is an economist with the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he conducts research on the economics of technological change and science policy for agriculture. While with the Federal Government, Keith has also worked with USAID‘s Bureau of Food Security and as senior staff economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisors. He was lead author of the 2019 World Bank Report, Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture, and of the 2012 volume, International Agricultural Productivity: An International Perspective. Keith has been a recipient of the USDA Secretary’s Honor Award for Professional Service and the Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. In 2021, Keith was named an Honorary Life Member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists. Earlier in his career, Keith spent ten years with the International Potato Center (CIP) stationed in Indonesia and Tunisia, where he headed CIP’s social science research program and was regional representative for CIP in Asia. Keith received a PhD and MS in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota and a BA from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota.
USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security
Angela Records is a Science Advisor in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, where she manages crop improvement, plant disease, and postharvest handling research programs. In addition to her program management duties, Angela is the Deputy Lead for the RFS Research Community of Practice, and she leads the Innovation Team for the Bureau’s Center for Agriculture-Led Growth. In the past few years, Angela has also played leading roles in the US Government interagency, including as the Executive Secretary of the National Science and Technology Council-led Microbiome Interagency Working Group (IWG) and Founder and Chair of the Food Safety IWG. Angela holds a B.S. in Biology from Baylor University, an M.S. in Biology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and she earned her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Texas A&M University, where she studied molecular plant-microbe interactions.
Senior Advisor, International Affairs
Jaime Adams joined the Office of the Chief Scientist, Office of the Secretary, in 2011 as the Senior Advisor for International Affairs to the USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics. In this capacity, Ms. Adams engages in cross-functional international agricultural science and technology collaboration with all levels of staff and leadership from government and non-governmental organizations. Ms. Adams' leads numerous international agricultural science and technology activities on behalf of the USDA Chief Scientist. Ms. Adams has worked on international agricultural issues for nearly 20 years, having traveled extensively including serving at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan for over a year, and has supported high-level USG leadership including members of Congress, U.S. Ambassadors, and U.S. Cabinet officials. Ms. Adams joined USDA in 2004 and has held various positions in regulatory, trade, and research mission areas. Ms. Adams has received numerous honors and awards during her career, including Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the U.S. Department of State. Ms. Adams earned a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and Bachelor of Science degree in International, Resource, and Consumer Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Research Community of Practice Lead
USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security
Dr. Nora Lapitan is the Lead for the Research Community of Practice in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security at USAID. In this role, she oversees the bureau’s Feed the Future research portfolio. She also leads the Input Systems Division within the Center of Agriculture Led Growth, which supports the development of innovations and technologies from agriculture research and the creation of delivery pathways for those innovations.
Nora Lapitan was a Professor at Colorado State University, where she led a research program to understand the genetics of economically important traits in cereal crops. Prior to joining USAID, she served as Program Director at the National Science Foundation.
Nora Lapitan has received many awards for her contributions in research, including the 2020 USAID award for Science and Technology, Distinguished Scholar Award from the Agronomic Science Foundation, Plenary speaker for the Betty Klepper Endowed Lectureship at the 2020 Crop Science Society of America meeting. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Crop Science Society of America, and the American Society of Agronomy.