For the past few years, the Institute has hosted a special lecture to recognize World Food Day, bringing notable speakers to address topics of global concern.

The Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security
invites you to celebrate

World Food Day

October 17th, 2022

Join us in person at
Macdonald-Stewart Building, MS2-022 Faculty Lounge or

             Stream on YouTube

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. EDT



Repositioning Communication in Food and Nutrition Security

Denyse Mariella Johnston, Development Communication ConsultantDenyse Mariella Johnston

Development Communication Consultant

Denyse Mariella Johnston, a national of Trinidad and Tobago, has been involved in development communication throughout the English-speaking Caribbean for over 30 years. She trained in general agriculture and agriculture extension at the University of the West Indies before going on the develop communication skills in England at Ian Macdonald and Associates, rural development at the University of Reading in England, and strategic communication planning at Malmö University in Sweden. Her interest in development has led her to expand beyond agriculture into the education, health and nutrition sectors. Denyse has worked with national, regional and international organizations helping to facilitate communication among scientists and with various stakeholders, including food producers and processors, donors and government officials responsible for policy development. She believes that well-planned, strategic communication is a key ingredient in the success of any development initiative.

Presentation Synopsis

Communication is often an afterthought in development projects. This seemingly simple omission can have a substantial impact on success outcomes. However, greater relevance, efficiency and effectiveness can be achieved by recognising the fundamental role of communication and repositioning it as an integral component of planning, development and implementation. Denyse Mariella Johnston will explore food and nutrition security in 2022, and how a communication perspective can facilitate efforts to address hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.




World Food Day

October 15th, 2021

Measuring Food System Transformation and Performance Post-Summit

Dr. Jean-Charles Le Vallée is the country Representative for the IICA Delegation in Canada. Prior to joining IICA in 2019, Jean-Charles was the former head for food research at The Conference Board of Canada and a former World Bank Food and Commodity Economist. Jean-Charles has also coordinated Canada's Food Security Bureau at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and managed the world's largest online food security community for the Development Gateway in Washington, D.C. He has extensive teaching and research experience in a dozen countries with the United Nations FAO, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the World Food Prize, USAID, Global Affairs Canada, and numerous universities such as Cornell, Laval, Michigan State, and Ryerson. Jean-Charles has written extensively on food issues including a book on fostering food system resilience in Belize, and book chapter in India on political will for food security. He helped produce the 2014 Canadian Food Strategy and published various world rankings (over 100+ million media impressions) across 17 OECD countries on food industry performance; agri-food trade; food safety; public trust; food security; healthy foods, nutrition, diseases & diets; food waste & environmental performance. He helped train agri-food SMEs in Colombia, Senegal and Vietnam to grow their business and increase trade, as well as developed agriculture market information systems in Ethiopia, Mali and Mozambique. He brings thought leadership to food policy, industry and sector issues, is a regular speaker and media guest in print, TV and radio, and a frequent witness at agri-food and trade senate standing committees.



World Food Day 2020


October 16, 2019

Guest speaker: Stephen Potter, Director of Agriculture and Food Systems, Global Affairs Canada


16 October 2018

The fuel of tomorrow: How nutrition can drive countries, economies and a brighter future
Keynote speaker: Lauren Landis, Director of the Nutrition Division at the World Food Programme, Rome


Ms. Landis has spent her career working in the field of relief and development, beginning at OCHA (then UNDRO) in Geneva in 1985. She then moved to the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance within the Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1986 to 1993, taking on assignments in Washington and in Africa as Disaster Operations Specialist and Emergency Operations Coordinator. 
In 1993, Ms. Landis turned her efforts to the NGO sector, working at InterAction from 1993 until 1995. She later moved to Save the Children, serving as both Director of Humanitarian Response and Director of the Food Security Unit. In 2002, Ms. Landis returned to the U.S. Government as Director of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace, and in 2006 she transitioned to the U.S. Department of State to serve as the Senior Representative on Sudan.
Ms. Landis joined the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as Chief of Staff in 2009, and two years later she became Director of the WFP Geneva Office. From 2013-2016, Ms. Landis served as the WFP Country Representative and Director in Chad, and in mid-2016 she returned to Rome, Italy to take up her current role as WFP’s Director of Nutrition.



10 October 2017

Towards a World with Zero Hunger
Keynote Speaker: Chris Kaye, Director of the Government Partnerships Division for the World Food Program

  • The history of World Food Day
  • Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture


Chris Kaye is the Director of the Government Partnerships Division for the World Food Program based in Rome. Prior to joining WFP in 2006, Chris served with OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) for over 12 years. He joined OCHA in 1994 and supported humanitarian efforts in Rwanda in the aftermath of the genocide. During a period between 1995 and 1999 he worked in Geneva where he led the development of the Consolidated Appeal Process and supported humanitarian efforts on short-term missions in Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
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