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Professor Walter Alhassan

Professor Walter Alhassan is a member of the Ghana National Biosafety Committee and Chairman of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) Board. Walter Alhassan is a Ghanaian national with a PhD in Animal and Poultry Science from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, an MSc in Dairy Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Biosafety and Plant Genetic Resources Management from the University of Geneva. Walter Alhassan, a former Director-General of the Ghana Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and currently coordinates Strengthening Capacity for Safe Biotechnology Management in Sub-Saharan  Africa (SABIMA) which is committed to strengthening the capacity of the African national agricultural research system and producers of genetically modified crops in stewardship, awareness creation and  information dissemination of biotechnology. He was Coordinator of the FARA-based Programme on Biosafety Systems (PBS) for Ghana and Mali.

Professor Sir David Baulcombe

Professor Sir David Baulcombe plant scientist and geneticist, is Royal Society Professor and Regius Professor of Botany at the University of Cambridge. He has degrees from the Universities of Leeds and Edinburgh, did postdoctoral work in the USA and Canada, and was appointed to the Plant Breeding Institute, Cambridge. He later joined the Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, where he became Head of Laboratory and Professor at the University of East Anglia. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, President of the International Society of Plant Molecular Biology, and is a senior advisor for The Embo Journal. Research interests and contributions to science are mainly in the fields of virus movement, genetic regulation, disease resistance, and gene silencing.

Sir Gordon Conway

Sir Gordon Conway Professor of International Development, Agriculture for Impact, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College. London. Gordon Conway trained in agricultural ecology, attending the universities of Bangor, Cambridge, West Indies (Trinidad) and California (Davis). In the 1960’s he was a pioneer of sustainable agriculture developing integrated pest management programs for the State of Sabah in Malaysia. He joined Imperial College and set up the Centre for Environmental Technology in 1976. Later, he lived and worked extensively in Asia and the Middle East, for the Ford Foundation, World Bank and USAID. He became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of International Development, Fellow of the Royal Society, and President of the Royal Geographical Society. He is the author of The Doubly Green Revolution: Food for all in the 21st Century and Science and Innovation for Development (with Jeff Waage). Sir Gordon leads the ‘Agriculture for Impact’ programme, advocating for more European government support for agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Shailaja Fennell

Dr Shailaja Fennell is a Lecturer in Development Studies in the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge with degrees in economics from the universities of Delhi and Cambridge. Her research lies within the specialist fields of rural development and institutional reform and the way that poor agricultural performance affects household decisions regarding life choices of young people. She was international leader of a four-country study funded by DFID as part of the RECOUP research consortium. Shailaja was team leader on agriculture in an international academic consortium which produced the first European Development Report, Overcoming Fragility in Africa. Her latest publication is on the engagment on Africa, China, and India in the grain market, Of Grains and Gains: the political economy of agriculture in a globalising world (Sage, 2013).

Willy de Greef

Willy de Greef is a botanist based in Ghent, and was a former oil palm breeder and research director for Unilever Plantations in Domestic Republic of Congo, reviewer of the biotechnology programme of PORIM (Malaysian Palm Oil Board), Manager in charge of new project assessment of a biofuel company (D1 Oils), and former Secretary General of EuropaBio, the association of European biotechnology companies. He was directly involved in European and international regulation of biofuel development and biobased economy.

Dr Margaret Karembu

Dr Margaret Karembu, Director, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) Africenter, Nairobi, Kenya. Margaret Karembu has a Ph.D. in Environmental Science Education from Kenyatta University, Kenya, where she taught for more than ten years prior to joining ISAAA. She is a senior level environmental management specialist with experience in technology transfer and agricultural biotechnology applications in Africa. She is responsible for all aspects of ISAAA Africenter’s programme of knowledge sharing on crop biotechnology and facilitating development of policies for the transfer of agri-biotechnologies from (and among) industrial and developing countries. This includes strengthening South-South and public-private sector cooperation. She also coordinates the Africa-based Biotechnology Information Centers (BICs) located in Kenya, Egypt, and Burkina Faso/Mali. Dr Karemba has co-authored a book on Understanding Environmental Communication (with Wambui Kiai).

Dr Jocelyn Webster

Dr Jocelyn Webster has a wide range of skills and experience including: science, communication, skills development, teaching, training and stakeholder management. Dr Webster established the first plant biotechnology laboratory at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa and was the Executive Director of AfricaBio, the African Biotechnology stakeholders’ association, from 1999 to 2011. Dr. Webster is committed to skills and education development and was a founder member of the Food Health and Hope foundation which was established over 15 years ago and is involved in developing skills of small scale farmers and others in the agricultural sector in Africa. Jocelyn has vast experience of working with government, industries, academia and research organisations both nationally and internationally. In addition, Jocelyn has won a number of awards from research organisations, industry and government including person of the year and communication awards.