Subcommittee Co-Chair Eva (Lini) Wollenberg, Ph.D.
Research Professor, Gund Institute, University of Vermont, USA
Associate Scientist, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
A Fellow in the Gund Institute and Associate Scientist of the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical, or CIAT), Dr. Lini Wollenberg is a social scientist and natural resource management specialist concerned with rural livelihoods and the environment. She led the research program on Low Emissions Agricultural Development for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) from 2009 to 2021. Prior to joining CCAFS, Lini worked with the Ford Foundation and Center for International Forestry Research. Lini lived and worked in Southeast Asia for 13 years. She received her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley.
Subcommittee Co-Chair Erin Coughlan de Perez, Ph.D.
Research Director, Dignitas Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition
Tufts University, USA
Dr. Erin Coughlan de Perez bridges science, policy, and practice in research on climate risk management around the world. Erin focuses on extreme events, exploring how droughts, floods, heatwaves, and other climate shocks can be anticipated before they happen. Erin works with humanitarian teams to develop early action protocols to avoid disaster impacts and researches the adoption and effectiveness of climate change adaptation measures. Erin is also a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report. As part of Working Group II on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Erin is authoring the chapter entitled, Decision-Making Options for Managing Risk. Erin received a Ph.D. from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, M.A. in climate and society from Columbia University, and B.S. in environmental science and international development from McGill University.
Climate Policy Initiative, UK
Daniela Chiriac is a Senior Consultant for Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), where she focuses on research and analysis of climate finance to agriculture, land use, adaptation, and nature-related finance. Daniela led the Sustainable Agriculture and Southern Africa streams of the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance. She is also contributing to the climate finance tracking program, especially as the lead author of the CPI report Examining the Climate Finance Gap for Small-Scale Agriculture, which provides a framework for tracking and first of its kind insights into the level of climate finance flowing toward small-scale agriculture in developing countries. Moreover, Daniela is involved in providing support to development finance institutions and multilateral banks on investment vehicles for climate adaptation and tracking of nature-related finance.
Chinenye Juliet Ejezie
Founder and CEO, Dozliet Anim Farms. Nigeria; Country Coordinator
Ms. Chinenye Juliet Ejezie is the Founder and CEO of Dozliet Anim farms Nigeria. The farm specializes in pig rearing, pork processing, and consultancy services for pig farm start-ups. Chinenye’s belief that the participation of youth and women in agriculture is very critical in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 2-Zero Hunger made her join the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN), a civil society organization whose objective is building the productive capacity of youth in climate-smart agriculture. Chinenye is currently the Country Coordinator for CSAYN in Nigeria. She is also the West African Hub Coordinator for Women in Agriculture for Sustainable Africa (WASA) which focuses on training African women on profitable agribusiness. Through the activities of CSAYN and WASA, she has been able to train several youth and women on how they can practice profitable agriculture via pig, fish, snail, and potato farming. Chinenye authored a handbook titled Pig Farming Guide for Beginners, which serves as a guide to prospective pig farmers intending to set up small- and medium-scale pig farms.
Jessica Fanzo, Ph.D.
Professor of Climate and Director of Food for Humanity Initiative
Columbia University, USA
Dr. Jessica Fanzo joined the Climate School of Columbia University as a Professor of Climate and Director of the Food for Humanity Initiative in July 2023. Fanzo comes to the Climate School from Johns Hopkins University, where she was the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics and the Director of Hopkins’ Global Food Policy and Ethics Program. Her most recent book, Can Fixing Dinner Fix the Planet?, was published by JHU Press in 2021. Her research interests include linkages between agriculture, the environment, climate, and health disciplines to improve food systems, the diversity, and quality of diets and nutrition outcomes.
Mario Herrero, Ph.D.
Professor, Cornell Atkinson Scholar, Department of Global Development
Cornell University, USA
Dr. Mario Herrero is a professor of sustainable food systems and global change in the Department of Global Development, a Cornell Atkinson Scholar, and a Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator in the Life Sciences at Cornell University. His research focuses on increasing the sustainability of food systems for the benefit of humans and ecosystems. He is a regular contributor to important global initiatives at the heart of the sustainability of global food systems, such as the UN Food Systems Summit, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Lancet Commission on Obesity, and the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. He works in the areas of food systems futures, climate mitigation and adaptation, livestock systems, sustainability metrics, circularity, and the true cost of food. He has worked extensively in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and he is on numerous editorial boards and committees on food security.
Sophia Huyer, Ph.D.
Gender and Social Inclusion Lead
Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA), ILRI, Kenya
Dr. Sophia Huyer is Gender and Social Inclusion Leader for Accelerating the Impact of CGIAR Climate Research in Africa (AICCRA) as well as Director of Women in Global Science and Technology (WISAT). She is also a member of the Gender Advisory Board of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD); co-editor at the journal Gender, Technology and Development; and member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the AWARD One Planet Fellowship. Publications include “From vulnerability to agency: gender equality in climate adaptation and mitigation” in Advancing gender equality through agricultural and environmental research: past, present and future (IFPRI, 2020), and “Weathering the storm or storming the norms? Moving gender equality forward in climate-resilient agriculture” in Climatic Change.
She has participated in several UN Expert Group Meetings on gender, including the UNIDO Expert Group Meeting on Digital Agribusiness (2021); UN Women Expert Group Meeting on Gender and Linkages with the SDGs (2022); UNDP Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017 (2012); and UNDAW-UNESCO Expert Group Meeting on Gender, Science. and Technology (2010).
Andrew Muhammad, Ph.D.
Professor and Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy
University of Tennessee, USA
Dr. Andrew Muhammad is Professor and Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. His research and outreach program focuses on assisting stakeholders in the evaluation of opportunities and policies on international trade and global food demand. He worked in the Federal Government as the Associate Director of the Market and Trade Economics Division (2016-2018) and Chief of the International Demand and Trade Branch (2013-2016) at USDA’s Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C., where he advised the Department on international issues. Dr. Muhammad currently serves on several advisory boards including USDA’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee and the Socially Disadvantage Farmers and Ranchers Policy Center, and previously served on the Council on Food, Agricultural, & Resource Economics (C-FARE) and International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium. His education includes a Ph.D. in Food and Resource Economics (2000) from the University of Florida.
Climate Action Platform for Africa (CAP-A), The Netherlands
Ms. Carlijn Nouwen is an entrepreneur with over two decades of professional experience in the intersection of economic development, inclusive business, and management consulting. She is the co-founder of the novel CAP-A platform, which focuses on identifying and realizing economic growth opportunities for the African continent through climate action. Carlijn spent over nine years at Dalberg, where she contributed to the growth and diversification of Dalberg Advisors' Africa offices and of helping the Dalberg Group expand its capabilities beyond consulting. She led the development of client relationships and delivery for public, private, and social sector clients with a focus on sustainable inclusive business and investment opportunities across sectors (with deep sectoral experience in agro-processing and ag exports, healthcare, and financial services). Carlijn started her career at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, followed by seven years at McKinsey & Company, with a focus on healthcare and financial services.
Chief Executive Officer
Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), South Africa
Mr. Ishmael Sunga is the Chief Executive Officer of The Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), based in South Africa. SACAU is a farmers’ organization representing the common interests of farmers in 12 countries in southern Africa. In his role of CEO, Ishmael has spearheaded the organization’s work in relation to digital solutions, climate change, the development of a new generation of farmers and farmers’ organizations, multi-stakeholder platforms, systems thinking, and the governance of value chains. His wide-ranging experience and thought leadership have seen him serving a range of organizations, including the United Nations Food Systems Summit, the World Economic Forum, African Union/NEPAD, AGRA, Montpellier Malabo Panel of Experts, Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Generation Africa, and the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification. Ishmael holds a B.Sc. (Economics) from the University of Zimbabwe and an M.Sc. (Strategic Management) from the University of Derby, UK, with more than 30 years' experience in the development sector, including development research, international development assistance, and development consultancy.
Senior Technical Advisor, Climate Resilient Agriculture
Peter Wright is Senior Technical Advisor for climate resilient agriculture with CARE USA since 2016. In addition to contributing to food and water systems program development and support, he also leads a Working Group for Resilience and Sustainability, with a focus on the integration of women’s empowerment, inclusive local governance, and resilience building for sustainable outcomes in locally led development.
Peter has lived and worked in Africa since 1974 as a volunteer, research assistant, technical advisor, field facilitator, project/program manager, and consultant for European, American, and African organizations including universities, consulting firms, INGOs, gov’t ministries, and the World Bank. In the early 1980s he facilitated farmer-led action-research, peer to peer training and resource mobilization in Burkina Faso, sparking the spread of the now ubiquitous Zaï pit across much of Africa, and more recently inspiring the creation of locally-led multi-actor platforms in Niger that harness farmer expertise, link local actors, and mobilize local resources for sustainable community development. In 2007 he was decorated for meritorious service by the President of Burkina Faso. Peter received a B.Sc. in natural resources management from the SUNY School of Environmental Sciences and Forestry in 1974, and a M.Sc. in watershed management from the University of Arizona in 1980. He was a contributing author to the FAO/CARE publication “Good Practices for Integrating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Climate-Smart Agriculture Programmes”.
Former Subcommittee Members
Nature-Based Solutions and Food Systems Lead
responsAbility Investments AG, Switzerland
Mr. Mauricio Benitez oversees the development of new investment solutions related to climate finance, sustainable food, and natural capital. He is currently working in a climate impact fund to help address key challenges of the global food system.
He joined responsAbility in 2009, after 10 years of working in various countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe, supporting small banks to improve credit risk management and strategy. In 2012, after three years as Senior Risk Officer for financial inclusion debt transactions, he took the role of Head of Portfolio for sustainable food debt investments, a recently launched business line.
For eight years, he led the design and implementation of lending procedures for resposAbility's direct investments in ag and food small- and medium-sized enterprises. Responsible for the daily underwriting and portfolio strategy, he oversaw over USD 1 billion in disbursements.
Mauricio is a Swiss-Bolivian Economist and holds an M.Econ. degree from the University of the Western Cape and an M.A. in Development Management from the Ruhr Universität Bochum.
Associate Vice President, Food and Water Systems
Juan Echanove joined CARE in 2016, first as Agriculture Policies’ Advisor, and since May 2017 as Senior Director for Food and Nutrition Security at CARE USA and Chair of CARE International Food and Nutrition Security Steering Committee.Juan has been active in the food security, agriculture, rural development, and climate adaptation sectors for 25 years. Juan started his career working as food aid monitor in Croatia, Bosnia, and Cuba; he spent five years in Central America as Chief of Party on agriculture programs for the Swedish Development Cooperation, Policy Advisor for Oxfam International, and consultant for DFID, Spanish Development Cooperation Agency, and UNDP. Later, he coordinated the agriculture programs of the Spanish NGO Solidaridad International in the West Bank and Gaza. In 2004, as a staff member of the European Union, Juan led the establishment of the Southeast Asia Center for Biodiversity and ran the EU Food Security Facility for the Philippines. Juan lived in the Caucasus from 2009 to 2016, where he successfully managed the agriculture and food safety negotiations for the free trade agreement between Georgia and the EU. Juan has a bachelor’s degree in law, a master’s degree in development cooperation, and a minor degree in anthropology on Amerindian studies.
Angelino Viceisza, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Economics
Spelman College, USA
Dr. Angelino Viceisza is Associate Professor of Economics at Spelman College, Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, President-Elect of the National Economic Association (2022-23), and Associate Editor at Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Prior to Spelman, Angelino was at IFPRI. His primary expertise is in behavioral and experimental economics, with applications in development, household finance, and entrepreneurship. Angelino’s research has been published in journals such as Economic Inquiry, Experimental Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and Review of Black Political Economy. He has extensive experience conducting field experiments in countries such as Ethiopia, Peru, Senegal, the United States, and Vietnam. Angelino obtained his Ph.D. in economics from Georgia State University (GSU). He holds two master’s degrees in economics (GSU and Boston University), an M.B.A. in international business (Temple University), and a bachelor’s degree in accounting (formerly University of the Netherlands Antilles).