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Olivier de Schutter is the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. He  is Professor of Law at the University of Louvain (UCL) and at the College of Europe (Natolin) and holds a LL.M. from Harvard University, He is the founder and coordinator of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights. Mr. De Schutter is an expert on social and economic rights and on trade and human rights.                     

More about Mr. De Schutter





Saulo Araujo is coordinator for Grassroots International's Brazil and Mesoamerica programs. He has dedicated himself to the interrelated issues of environment, food and agro-energy, with special focus on the impacts of global trade and industrial agriculture on the food sovereignty and resources rights of urban and rural communities. As an agronomist by training, he has worked with different organizations dedicated to agroecological development, a framework that addresses local and global demands for sustainable management of resources through community supported practices and the value of local knowledge.
Saturnino "Jun" Borras is Canada Research Chair in International Development Studies at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Canada. He has been deeply involved in rural social movements and was part of the core organizing team that established the international peasant movement La Via Campesina. He is Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS) and has written extensively on land issues and agrarian movements.

Marc J. Cohen is a senior researcher on humanitarian policy and climate change at Oxfam America and a professorial lecturer in international development at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins. He served as Commissioning Manager for the 2009 Oxfam International paper "Band Aids and Beyond: Tackling Disasters in Ethiopia 25 Years After the Famine" and is a co-author of the study Gender and Governance in Rural Services, published in January 2010 by the World Bank. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Marc Edelman is Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Hunter College, CUNY. Professor Edelman has pursued extensive anthropological studies concerning the role of peasants in globalization, and he has published widely on changing land tenure and land use patterns, production systems, rural class relations, and social movements in Central America. Currently, he is completing a book on peasant involvement in global civil society movements and transnational networking among small farmer organizations. He has served on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including American Anthropologist, Journal of Agrarian Change, and Studies in Comparative International Development. 

Andy Fisher became the proud co-founder and Director of the Community Food Security Coalition after many years of work with both food security and urban planning, using his prior involvement to launch and support the community food security movement through federal food policy advocacy. Through the Community Food Security Coalition, Andy has developed an innovative perception of community food security.

Colin Gonsalves is the founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Network. In response to a case he argued before the Indian Supreme Court asserting a constitutional right to food, the Court directed unions and state governments to implement several food security schemes. In addition, he has developed the Indian People's Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights (IPT), an independent organization directed by retired Supreme Court and High Court Judges that investigates human rights violations and environmental degradation.

Carmen G. Gonzalez is an Associate Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law. She has served as member and vice-chair of the International Subcommittee of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Professor Gonzalez has published widely on the environmental and social justice implications of trade liberalization. Articles she has written include Seasons of Resistance: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Cuba; Trade Liberalization, Food Security, and the Environment; Markets, Monocultures, and Malnutrition: Agricultural Trade Policy Through an Environmental Justice Lens, Genetically Modified Organisms and Justice: the International Environmental Justice Implications of Biotechnology; and Institutionalizing Inequality: The WTO Agreement on Agriculture, Food Security, and Developing Countries.

Jim Harkness is the president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.  He joined IATP in July 2006. Previously he served as Executive Director of the World Wildlife Fund in China from 1999-2005, where he expanded the organization's profile from a strict focus on conservation of biodiversity to also addressing the consequences of China's economic growth on a broader sustainable development agenda. From 1995-1999, Jim worked as the Ford Foundation's Environment and Development Program Officer for China. He has served as an adviser for the World Bank and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Mary Hendrickson is director of Food Circles Networking Project, a program of the University of Missouri Extension. She currently is focusing her work efforts on consumer education and community building as well as connecting farmers with distributors and helping food service source locally produced food. Her work has led to several community-based processing activities, making local food programming a strong priority in the Kansas City and St. Louis urban extension programs.



Ferd Hoefner is policy director for the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and has been the group’s senior Washington, D.C., representative since 1988. Hoefner has worked on nearly every federal agricultural budget and appropriations bill for the last several decades, as well as each of the omnibus farm bills from 1977 to 2002.  Hoefner recently served on the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers and the Blue Ribbon Panel for the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project. Hoefner is currently a member of the Coordinating Council for the Farm and Food Policy Project (FFPP).

Fred Kirschenmann is president of Kirschenmann Family Farms, a 3,500-acre certified organic farm in Windsor, North Dakota, where he also was president (1990-1999) of Farm Verified Organic, a private organic certification agency.  He is a leader of the organic/sustainable agriculture movement, and has served on many boards and advisory committees of such organizations. He has completed a five-year term on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Standards Board and has chaired the administrative council for the USDA's North Central Region's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.
Carol Kramer-LeBlanc serves as Director of Sustainable Development at the USDA.  She is an agricultural economist with broad experience in the federal government, in academia, and with international organizations. Kramer-LeBlanc has worked for several years as an associate director at USDA's Economic Research Service in the natural resources area as well as served as Deputy Executive Director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and Director of the Foreign Agricultural Service's Research and Scientific Exchange Division.

Margaret Mellon is a senior scientist and director of the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).  She holds a doctorate in molecular biology and a law degree from the University of Virginia. She is co-author of Ecological Risks of Engineered Crops and Hogging It!: Estimates of Antimicrobial Abuse in Livestock and co-editor of Now or Never: Serious New Plans to Save a Natural Pest Control. She serves on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture and teaches a course in biotechnology and the law at the Vermont Law School.     





Ellen Messer is an anthropologist specializing in human rights and food security. She is the former director of the World Hunger Program at Brown University, and has also taught at Tufts University's School of Nutrition Science & Policy.  She currently teaches in the Sustainable International Development program at the Heller School of Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University. Dr. Messer received her PhD in ecological anthropology from the University of Michigan, after carrying out ethnobotanical fieldwork in Mexico focusing on food systems. She is the author of numerous books and articles on the topic of food policy, including: The Human Right to Food as a US Nutrition Concern, 1976-2006 (2007) and Food Systems and Dietary Perspective: Are Genetically Modified Organisms the Best Way to Ensure Nutritionally Adequate Food? 9 Ind. J. Global Legal Stud. 65 (2001-2002).


Smita Narula is a clinical professor at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU. She is an advisor to the special rapporteur on food, and author of The Right to Food: Holding Global Actors Accountable Under International Law, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 44 (2006). Previously, she spent six years at Human Rights Watch, first as the organization’s India researcher and later as Senior Researcher for South Asia. She has also worked for UNICEF and UNDP. Before graduating from Harvard Law School, Narula received a Masters in International Development from Brown University.

Dennis Nuxoll is Senior Director of Government Relations for the American Farmland Trust. Nuxoll previously worked as a legislative assistant for Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), where he drafted policy positions and helped craft speeches on domestic and foreign agricultural issues. Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, Nuxoll was a Senior Associate for Stewart and Stewart Law Offices, where he handled international trade matters for clients as well as conducted government affairs projects involving international trade legislation. 

Kathy Ozer has worked on farm, rural, and fair trade policy for the past 20 years in her role as Policy Director and Executive Director of the National Family Farm Coalition. Prior to that she worked with the United States Student Association (USSA) on legislative issues.  She is on the board of the Citizens Trade Campaign, Community Food Security Coalition and the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture. In 2007, her work has been focusing on promoting changes in federal farm policy that promote food sovereignty; ensuring that farmers receive a fair price for what they produce and policies that expand access to healthy food for all consumers.

George Priest is a Professor of Law and Economics at Yale Law School. Before coming to Yale, he taught at the University of Chicago, SUNY/Buffalo, and UCLA. His subject areas are antitrust; capitalism or democracy; products liability; regulated industries; insurance and public policy; constitutional law; federalism; state and local government law; and civil procedure. Professor Priest has a B.A. from Yale and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Annie Shattuck is a policy analyst at Food First. Annie has written and spoken extensively on the global food crisis, agrofuels, climate change and food sovereignty. Trained in biology and agroecology, she has worked in participatory action research, rural development, and ecology research in the U.S. and Latin America. With Eric Holt-Giménez and Raj Patel, she is co-author of the book Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice, which examines the root causes of the global food crisis and grassroots solutions to hunger springing up around the world.



Flavio Valente is the Secretary General of FIAN International, a global civil society organization that has advocated for the realization of the right to food for more than 20 years. FIAN consists of national sections and individual members in over 50 countries around the world, and has consultative status to the United Nations. From 2002 to 2007, Mr. Valente was the Brazilian National Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Adequate Food, Water and Rural Land. He was for many years the Technical coordinator of ABRANDH (Brazilian Action for Nutrition and Human Rights) a Civil Society organization linked to the World Alliance for Nutrition and Human Rights (WANAHR), and since 1998, a member of the coordination of the Brazilian Forum for Food and Nutritional Security (FBSAN).





Lea Brilmayer is the Howard M. Holtzmann Professor of International Law at Yale Law School.  In addition to teaching Contracts to first-year students, she also teaches Conflict of Laws and International Courts and Tribunals, as well as seminars on the laws of war and on African current affairs. Professor Brilmayer has written extensively on international law and international relations, including two books: Justifying International Acts and American Hegemony: Political Morality in a One-Superpower World. Professor Brilmayer received a B.A. in mathematics, a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School.

Kelly Brownell is Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University, where he also serves as Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and as Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. In 2006 Time magazine listed Kelly Brownell among “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” in its special Time 100 issue featuring those “whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.”                                                                         

Amy Chua is the John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School.  She came to Yale in 2001 after teaching at Duke and serving as a visiting professor at Columbia, Stanford, and NYU.  Her expertise is in international business transactions, law and development, ethnic conflict, and globalization and the law.  Her recent books include Day of Empire and World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability.  Professor Chua has an A.B. and a J.D. from Harvard University.


Peter Crane’s work focuses on the diversity of plant life: its origin and fossil history, current status, and conservation and use. From 1992 to 1999 he was director of the Field Museum in Chicago and established the Office of Environmental and Conservation Programs and the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change, which today make up the Division of Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo). From 1999 to 2006 he was director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, one of the largest and most influential botanical gardens in the world. Dean Crane was elected to the Royal Society (the U.K. academy of sciences) in 1998.




Susan Rose-Ackerman is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence (Law and Political Science) with joint appointments between Yale Law School and the Yale Department of Political Science. She has taught and written widely on corruption, law and development, administrative law, law and regulatory policy, the nonprofit sector, and federalism. Her recent books are Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences and Reform, which has been translated into 13 languages, and From Elections to Democracy: Building Accountable Government in Hungary and Poland. Professor Rose-Ackerman has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and at Collegium Budapest, where she co-directs a project on Honesty and Trust in Post-Socialist Societies. She has also been a visiting research scholar at the World Bank. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and has held Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships. She has a B.A. from Wellesley College.







James Silk is Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where he directs the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. He is also executive director of the Law School’s Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. He was formerly the director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights in Washington, D.C.  Before attending law school, Professor Silk was editor, policy analyst, and senior writer for the U.S. Committee for Refugees. He has taught English in Shanghai, China. Professor Silk has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in the Humanities from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from Yale.