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Founder's Day Celebrations


Join Macdonald faculty, staff, students and alumni for the annual celebration of Sir William C. Macdonald, founder of Macdonald College, one of McGill's greatest benefactors and the fourth Chancellor of the University.

A light lunch will be served.

ADMISSION: First come - first served. Seating limited to 500. Doors close at 10h05.




Director, McGill Institute for Global Food Security; Margaret A. Gilliam Faculty Scholar in Food Security; Professor, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University

Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez is the Director of the McGill Institute for Global Food Security and an Associate Professor at McGill University. He has previously worked in nutrition and food security research at the Mexican Public Health Institute (1996-1997), the Nutrition Department at the University of California, Davis (1998-2003), and the Department of Human Nutrition at the Ohio State University (2003-2012.  After graduating as a physician in 1992 at the University Friedrich Schiller in Germany, Dr. Melgar-Quiñonez received his doctoral degree in 1996 for his dissertation on the main causes of mortality in Mozambique. In Mexico, he worked on projects assessing the dietary intake among Mexican women. In the United States, Dr. Melgar-Quiñonez worked on food insecurity research with Latino immigrants, setting up the basis for subsequent studies in rural communities in several Latin American countries. His studies lead to further validation studies on adapted household food security instruments in a wide range of countries (e.g., Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Dominica Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, and Guatemala, Mexico, The Philippines). The global presence of his research supported the development of a broad collaboration network that includes the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Inter American Institute of Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), several universities, and governmental and non-governmental food security agencies. In addition to his validation studies, Dr. Melgar-Quinonez conducts studies on national food security measurements applied within Demographic and Health Surveys in several Latin American countries. Dr Melgar-Quiñonez’ work encompasses the use of mathematical models to assess psychometric characteristics of such tools. Furthermore, Dr. Melgar-Quiñonez’ research focuses also the association between food insecurity and nutrition and health outcomes. His work illustrates the complexity of food insecurity when showing the relationship between this phenomenon and the so called “double burden” of malnutrition and overweight in impoverished populations.


McGill students awarded $1 million for social enterprise to secure food for undernourished communities in urban slums

The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities. The Global Food Crisis was the official challenge of the 2013 Hult Prize, personally selected by Former US President Bill Clinton. President Clinton called to action university students around the world to develop social enterprises to eradicate one of modern day’s most critical yet solvable issues. He encouraged students to explore innovative solutions to the problem through a variety of lenses: distribution, manufacturing, production, technology. Student teams representing over 11,000 applicants from more than 150 different countries and over 350 colleges and universities answered President Clinton's call to action. Six of these teams then won the right to attend the Hult Prize Accelerator for startups, then pitch their social business ideas to President Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York. And, of course, only one team could win the coveted Hult Prize-USD1 million in startup seed money...and the 2013 winners were a group of McGill MBA students! The group will be represented at Founder's Day by Mohammed Ashour.

Mohammed Ashour
MD-CM-MBA candidate, McGill University

Mohammed Ashour is the CEO of Aspire, an international social enterprise that specializes in innovating, commercializing and distributing edible insect farming technologies worldwide. With strong expertise in global sales and marketing strategy, Mohammed leverages his deep understanding of the global food crisis to help structure and direct the team’s rapidly scalable enterprise. Mohammed’s passion for disruptive solutions to grand challenges was conceived in his previous role at Top Hat Monocle (now Top Hat), a technology start-up that continues to revolutionize student engagement in classrooms around the world. As the interim Vice-President of Sales, Mohammed successfully led an international sales force to increase company revenues by 35%, opening new market opportunities in England, New Zealand and Australia in the process. By building a rapidly scalable global sales and marketing strategy, Mohammed played a critical role in helping Top Hat Monocle secure $7MM in venture capital funding. Prior to his appointment with Top Hat Monocle, Mohammed led a team of twelve executives as the President of SMILE, a non-profit organization based in Canada and focused on assisting families and their children living with disabilities

In tandem with his passion for revolutionary solutions to food insecurity, Mohammed has a growing expertise in healthcare innovation management and public health policy. He is currently pursuing a joint MDCM-MBA designation at McGill University, working towards a Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery (MD,CM) degree from the Faculty of Medicine and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Desautels Faculty of Management. Mohammed holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Neuroscience from McGill University and a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Life Sciences from the University of Toronto.


Global food security is an issue that affects all of us. In recent years, the FAES has been taking steps to educate, research and help mitigate this global problem. Under the supervision of Professor Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez, Director of the Institute for Global Food Security, students are taking the initiative and getting involved. January 2013 will see the launch of the new McGill Global Food Security Club.

The Club’s objectives are to investigate and raise awareness about food security issues at all levels of the food system (both local and global perspectives), including the economic, social, and environmental aspects, through the organization of projects and events; to support, share information, and collaborate with other student organizations in order to develop a network between Mac and downtown McGill, other universities, local NGOs, international NGOs, and the general public, possibly leading to internship opportunities, and to identify a local issue as well as an issue abroad before each semester, and put together two action-oriented projects addressing those issues throughout that semester.

The Club has a Facebook page; planned activities include a global food security case study competition for undergraduate students, guest speakers and debates on Global Food Security and partnering with local and international food security and development agencies.

The Macdonald Stewart Foundation