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Advisory Board

Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez, MD, Dr. Sci.
Director of the Institute for Global Food Security, Margaret A. Gilliam Faculty Scholar in Food Security, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Macdonald Campus, McGill University.

Dr Melgar-Quiñonez is currently the Director of the Institute for Global Food Security. As the Margaret A. Gilliam Faculty Scholar in Food Security he holds an appointment in the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at McGill University in Montreal. A Guatemalan and a USA citizen, Dr Melgar-Quinonez moved to McGill University in September of 2012, after 9 years of work as a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Ohio State University. Previous to his appointment in Ohio, he worked as a researcher in public health nutrition at the University of California in Davis and at the Mexican Institute of Public Health. Dr. Melgar-Quiñonez holds a degree in Medicine from both the Friedrich Schiller University in Germany and the National University of San Carlos in Guatemala. He also received his doctoral degree in sciences from the Friedrich Schiller University in Germany. In addition to his academic appointments, Dr Melgar-Quinonez has worked as an advisor on food security in several countries in Latin America, and maintains strong collaborative relationships with the United Nations Food and agriculture Organization (FAO), among other international institutions and development agencies. His research program on the assessment of household food security includes over 20 countries around the globe.


Kristine Koski
Director School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Macdonald Campus, McGill University

Dr Koski holds a Master’s (University of Washington – Seattle) and PhD (University of California – Davis) in Nutrition. She was recipient of the prestigious American Institute of Nutrition/Nestle Postdoctoral Fellowship in Maternal and Child Nutrition. Dr Koski has served as an expert panelist for NIH and the Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as well as both the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and Health Canada on revisions to nutrition and weight gain guidelines during pregnancy. She is a member of the FQRNT Centre for Host Parasite Interactions and Director of the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at McGill.  

Her research focuses on the impact of low carbohydrate diets and exercise during pregnancy and lactation on perinatal growth and development, investigates early biomarkers of fetal growth and infant birth weight and examines the consequences of maternal parasitic infections and subclinical mastitis on stunting and wasting in infants and preschool children in Panama and Guatemala. Current international studies in food security are examining how agricultural training, conditional cash transfer and food voucher programs improve maternal and child health in indigenous, subsistence farming communities in Central America. And, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sport, Dr Koski and her Canadian team are identifying how to minimize composting of fruit and vegetables and increase delivery to local food banks through new models of dietetics education. 


Thomas Pesek
Partnership Officer, North American Liaison Office, Partnership and Resource Mobilization, International Fund for Agricultural Development

Thomas Pesek joined the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 2005 and manages its North American Liaison Office in Washington, DC.  In this capacity, he works to influence the direction and content of national and international poverty reduction policies and processes, cultivate and maintain strategic partnerships between IFAD and the Canadian and US governments, international institutions and civil society organizations, and to mobilize resources in North America on behalf of IFAD’s efforts to enable the rural poor to overcome poverty. 

Prior to joining IFAD, he served as Project Officer at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Office of the Under-Secretary-General at UN Headquarters in New York, where he evaluated and finalized proposals for projects to be funded by the United Nations Development Account. Previously, he worked as a Liaison Officer for the United Nations World Food Programme in New York, where he coordinated on global emergencies with United Nations development and humanitarian agencies, as well as NGOs and UN Member States, and issued situation reports to WFP leadership worldwide. 


Philip Oxhorn
Professor of Political Science and Founding Director ISID, Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University

Philip Oxhorn is a Professor of Political Science at McGill University and the Founding Director of McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Latin American Research Review. A former Associate Dean (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) at McGill, his research focuses on the comparative study of civil society and its role in supporting democratic regimes, particularly in Latin America. Professor Oxhorn’s publications include Sustaining Civil Society: Economic Change, Democracy and the Social Construction of Citizenship in Latin America (Penn State University Press, 2011) and Organizing Civil Society: The Popular Sectors and the Struggle for Democracy in Chile (Penn State University Press, 1995), as well as numerous articles and four co-edited volumes: What Kind of Democracy? What Kind of Market? Latin America in the Age of Neoliberlism (with Graciela Ducatenzeiler, Penn State University Press, 1998), The Market and Democracy In Latin America: Convergence or Divergence? (with Pamela Starr, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1999), Decentralization, Civil Society, and Democratic Governance: Comparative Perspectives from Latin America, Africa, and Asia (with Joseph Tulchin and Andrew Selee Woodrow Wilson Center Press/the Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), and Beyond Neoliberalism? Patterns, Responses, and New Directions in Latin America and the Caribbean (with Kenneth Roberts and John Burdick, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Professor Oxhorn has lectured extensively in North and South America, Western Europe, Asia and Australia. He has also worked as a consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Population Fund, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada, Department for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Canada, the Ford Foundation, The Carter Center, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and the Mining Association of Canada.  He has a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University.


Marco Ferroni, PhD
Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

An expert in international agriculture and sustainability issues, Marco Ferroni joined the Syngenta Foundation as its Executive Director in 2008, after a career in multilateral institutions and government.  Before joining the Foundation, Marco Ferroni worked at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank in Washington DC. As a Deputy Manager of the Sustainable Development Department of the IDB, he had responsibility for regional sector policy and technical support to the Bank’s country departments. As the Principal Officer in

the Bank’s Office of Evaluation and Oversight, he directed evaluation studies that assessed the relevance, performance and results of Bank strategies and investments. As a senior advisor at the World Bank he advised on donor relations and directed work on international public goods and their role in foreign aid and international affairs. Earlier in his career, he was an economist and division chief in the Economics and Foreign Affairs Ministries of the Government of Switzerland, working in development finance. Marco Ferroni holds a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University. He has worked in Latin America, Africa and Asia and is a frequent lecturer and guest speaker on topics that include agriculture, food security, development finance, and trade.


Mark W. Rosegrant
Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, DC

Mark W. Rosegrant is the Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC. With a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, he has extensive experience in research and policy analysis in agriculture and economic development, with an emphasis on water resources and other natural resource and agricultural policy issues as they impact food security, rural livelihoods, and environmental sustainability. He currently directs research on climate change, water resources, sustainable land management, genetic resources and biotechnology, and agriculture and energy. 

He is the author or editor of 12 books and over 100 refereed papers in agricultural economics, water resources, and food policy analysis. Dr. Rosegrant has won numerous awards, such as Outstanding Journal Article (2008), Quality of Communications Award (2004), and Distinguished Policy Contribution Award (2002) awarded by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (formerly American Agricultural Economics Association); and Best Article Award (2005) from the International Water Resources Association.  Dr. Rosegrant is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. 


James W. Fyles
Tomlinson Chair in Forest Ecology; Professor and Chair, Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Macdonald Campus, McGill University

Jim Fyles is an ecosystem ecologist with broad interest and expertise in the ecology of forests, agro-ecosystems, and devastated lands.  He was raised in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in ecology from the University of Victoria. He obtained his Ph.D. jointly in Soil Science and Botany at the University of Alberta in 1986, after which he did post-doctoral research in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Since 1988, Dr. Fyles has been a professor in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, where he holds the Tomlinson Chair in Forest Ecology. He has been the Chair of the department since 2011. He was one of the primary developers of the McGill School of Environment and has served as the Director of the School. He is the Director of the Molson Nature Reserve and the Morgan Arboretum, peri-urban conservation and research areas near the Macdonald Campus. Between 2004 and 2010, he was the Scientific Director of the Sustainable Forest Management Network Centre of Excellence, a national research network involving partners from industry, governments, Aboriginal groups and non-governmental organizations.

Dr. Fyles’ research interests focus on the interrelationships between human activity, organisms, soil, disturbance and climate that structure patterns of ecosystem function across multiple scales. Through his multi-disciplinary work on food security and with the SFM-NCE he has become increasingly interested in the relationships between scientific knowledge, policy and management of natural landscapes. Dr. Fyles has published over 80 articles in scientific journals and co-authored many knowledge exchange documents.

Dr. Fyles teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the global environment and ecosystem ecology. He has received the Macdonald College Award for Teaching Excellence. He has supervised 30 graduate students and 31 senior undergraduate research projects.