Carol Criner currently serves as Vice President of Strategic Accounts with HCL Technologies, a multinational information technology services and consulting company, and has a proven track record of scaling companies in highly competitive environments in the telecom, finance, retail, and operations industries. An entrepreneur, Carol delivered in leadership roles building start-ups and private companies including as President of Wireless Advocates for five years and CFO of HyperQuality, an international venture-backed start-up. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a certified public accountant. In addition to serving as GFN’s Board Chair, she is a Strategic Advisor for Propel Bio Partners, a global investment firm focused on life science and healthcare industry investments and is a USA Diversity lead for HCLTech Women Connect.
Mr. Gupta is a managing director of the Newport Beach office, global portfolio manager, and leader of the global desk at PIMCO. He is an advisory member of the Asia-Pacific portfolio committee and has previously served on the Investment committee, the Emerging Markets Portfolio committee, and the European Portfolio committee. In previous roles at PIMCO, he was based in the London office managing European liability-driven investment (LDI) portfolios, and in the Singapore office on the global portfolio management team, focusing on investments in government bonds, foreign exchange, and interest rate derivatives across global markets. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2003, he was in the fixed income and currency derivatives group at ABN AMRO Bank. He has 25 years of investment experience and holds a master’s in business administration from XLRI, India, and a bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology, Dehli.
Tom was Ireland’s Special Envoy for Food Systems from 2021-2022. In 2021, he chaired Ireland’s 2030 agri-food strategy committee which produced Food Vision 2030, Ireland’s national agri-food strategy to 2030, and was a member of the Champions Group Network for the Food Systems Summit. He chaired the High-level Expert Group for Food Systems Science for the EU Commission in 2021 and the Task Force Rural Africa in 2019.
In addition to serving on GFN’s Board, Tom is a member of the Global Panel for Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (GLOPAN), a member on Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition’s Board of Directors, a member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a member of the Sight and Life Foundation, and a member of the High-Level Groups on EU Policy Innovation.
His previous roles included serving as Coordinator for Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, the Director-General of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Chair of the Irish Constitutional Convention, CEO of Concern Worldwide, Chief Economist and Assistant Secretary General of the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Chair of the OECD Committee of Agriculture, and Administrator of the EU Commission.
Tom holds a degree in agricultural economics from University College Dublin (UCD) and master’s degrees from the Catholic University of Leuven and Trinity College, Dublin. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from the National University of Ireland (NUI) and from UCD.
Carol Bellamy is a nonprofit executive and former politician. Previously, she was Director of the US Peace Corps, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), President and CEO of World Learning, and Chair of the Global Partnership for Education. She recently completed her
term as Chair of the Board of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). After three terms in the New York State Senate, she was the first woman to be elected to any citywide office in NYC as President of the New York City Council. Bellamy has also worked in the private sector at Morgan Stanley and Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
“Through food banking, GFN is driving one of the most promising, community-based solutions to hunger. I am excited to work closely with the GFN Board and staff to fight hunger and food waste more effectively.”
Dr. Shenggen Fan is Chair Professor at the College of Economics and Management at China Agricultural University (CAU). He is a global leader in agricultural economics and food policies and an author of widely cited journal articles, books, and research on public investment, agricultural and rural development, food systems, transition economies, poverty, and food security and nutrition.
Prior to joining CAU, Dr. Fan served as Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) from 2009 to 2019. He serves as a member of the Lead Group for the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement appointed by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and served on the One CGIAR (Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research) Common Board. He also serves as Advisor to many national governments on agriculture, food security and nutrition, and was a member, Vice Chair and Chair of Food and Nutrition Council of the World Economic Forum.
In 2014, Dr. Fan received the Hunger Hero Award from the World Food Program, in recognition of his commitment to and leadership in alleviating hunger worldwide. He received the 2017 Fudan Management Excellence Award, which is referred to in China as the “Nobel Prize for Management.” This highly prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of management.
In 2003, Joseph Gitler founded Leket Israel – The National Food Bank as a one-man volunteer operation to respond to the paradox of growing hunger and poverty in Israel on the one hand and significant food waste on the other. Today, Joseph’s operation has grown to become the only food rescue and resource organization in Israel. Leket Israel supplies surplus food and nutritional support to over 250 non-profit organizations serving more than 234,000 people in Israel weekly.
As Founder and Chairman of Leke Israel, Joseph has worked to expand the scope of Leket Israel’s capabilities. Today, Leket thrives with the assistance of 130 employees, 20 delivery vehicles, and tens of thousands of volunteers — a direct result of Joseph’s dedication.
Outside of his work with Leket Israel, Joseph is a founding member of Ten Gav and Israel Gives, as well as an active board member of re-specs, The Meir Medical Center, Camp Moshava Canada, Dualis, Mercaz Panim and Artists & Musicians for Israel. Joseph is also the Israeli representative for The Global FoodBanking Network.
Joseph received the coveted Presidential Award for Volunteerism from former President Shimon Peres, accepted the Ruppin Academic Center’s 2017 Honorary Fellowship, received the 2018 Cohon Award, was named the 2018 Man of the Year by the Ra’anana Rotary, was awarded Beit Hapalmach’s 2016 Yigal Alon Prize, and was selected to deliver a 2017 JedX talk and a 2015 ELI talk. He is a recipient of the Inaugural 2014 Bonei Zion Prize and named one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world. Additionally, Joseph received the 2018 Compassion Award for Children and Youth at Risk. Most recently Joseph was selected as an esteemed 2022 Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Big Synergy.
Joseph received his juris doctor degree from Fordham University. He also has a bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University. He resides in Ra’anana, Israel with his wife and their five children.
Leket Israel, the country’s only food rescue organization, works tirelessly to lead the safe, effective and efficient collection and distribution of surplus nutritious food in Israel to those in need. Founded in 2003, Leket Israel distributes over 60 million pounds of produce and perishable goods to Israel’s socio-economic periphery through its partnerships with 265 nonprofit organizations, reaching more than 234,000 people in need each week. For more information, visit www.leket.org/en
Brian Greene is president/CEO of the Houston Food Bank, the largest Feeding America food bank in the nation by distribution. Since taking this role in 2005, Greene has led the organization to unprecedented growth and development, and in 2015 it was recognized as Food Bank of the Year. He leads the staff to be visionaries in each of their roles, enabling the organization to be flexible and creative to best serve our community, with the mission of food for better lives and a vision getting to a world that doesn’t need food banks.
In September 2021, Greene was selected from a group of 300 top executives and honored as one of The Non Profit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 for adapting and overcoming hardship of the 100-year pandemic. COVID-19 brought unprecedented challenges which led to the establishment of new distribution programs, partnerships and donation streams, and logistics and operations were adapted were adjusted daily to meet the needs of HFB’s Partners and the community. Daily distribution in 2020 reached as high as 1 million pounds per day. In just the first 12 months of the pandemic, from March 2020 to March 2021, the Houston Food Bank distributed an astounding 297,980,183 pounds of food.
In February 2021, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden toured the Houston Food Bank with Greene to learn about the organization’s work during the pandemic and discuss issues facing food banks.
Greene oversaw the organization’s move to its current headquarters in 2011 which quadrupled its square footage and allowed for increased food distribution and volunteer capacity. It also provided a new home for the Keegan Kitchen, which prepares hot meals for kids and seniors, which became part of the organization after the 2008 merger with End Hunger Network, a Houston-area food rescue organization.
Greene received the John van Hengel Fellowship award at Feeding America’s 2019 Hunger’s Hope Awards. The award honors the ideals of the late John van Hengel, who developed the concept of food banking in the 1960s. It recognizes an executive of a member food bank for his or her excellence in leadership, local impact and national influence, and entrepreneurial spirit in the area of hunger relief.
Before moving to Houston, Greene was the executive director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana for 12 years. In the five years prior, he held the same position at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Knoxville, Tennessee.
In addition to a successful and respected career at three food banks, Greene has served on numerous Feeding America Network committees, the National Council and on Feeding America’s Board. Outside of his food bank role, he is a board member of the Global Foodbanking Network, Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas, and Food Bank News Editorial Advisory. He is a member of the Global Foodbanking Network Governance Committee, Feeding Texas Board Equity Committee, Upskill Houston Executive Committee TXFLC Partners, and the Executive Advisory Committee to the Health Equity Collective. He is the Executive Ambassador for the Greater Houston Coalition on Social Determinants of Health, and Adjunct Professor of Nonprofit Management at the University of Houston Downtown, College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Greene received a BA in Economics from Humboldt State University and an MA in Economics from the University of Tennessee.
Paul Henrys brings over 25 years in finance, strategy, and supply chain. Henrys currently serves as Chief
Financial Officer of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, where he leads finance, strategic planning, and legal operations, and also serves as Treasurer of the Feeding America Board of Directors. Prior to joining Feeding America in 2013, Mr. Henrys spent eight years in finance and strategy at U.S. Foods – a leading foodservice distributor – and most recently served as Senior Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis. Paul also brings experience in supply chain technology and consulting and holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.
Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg is an Executive-In-Residence at Schmidt Futures, building an initiative focused on senior and executive Black women leaders globally.
Previously she was Director of AWARD, the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development program which is working towards more gender responsive agricultural research and innovation on the continent.
Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg is a member of the selection committee of the Africa Food Prize, and the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a high-level panel of independent experts that supports African governments and civil society to identify and implement policies that enhance agriculture, food and nutrition security across the continent.
Born in Kenya, Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg holds a PhD and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, USA. She has held research and teaching roles at various universities, focusing on African politics, gender, international relations, ethnicity, and democratization, and the role of technology in social activism.
Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg has received widespread recognition for her work including being honored as a White House Champion of Change by the Obama Administration, named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans, 100 Most Reputable Africans, recognized as a Ford Foundation Champion of Democracy, awarded the United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award, named one of Kenya’s Top 40 Women Under Age 40 and a 2018 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow among others.
Xavier Lazo Guerrero served as Ecuador’s Minister of Agriculture and Livestock from 2018-2021. As Minister, he implemented policies to protect food security and improve economic productivity. Lazo is an agronomist and expert in organic production, fair trade, and sustainable agriculture, and natural resource management, with experience in agroforestry systems to produce commodities like cacao, mahogany, papaya, and bananas. Earlier in his career, Sr. Lazo founded Vialtec S.A., a company that develops wastewater biotreatment and bioremediation technologies, and served as the President and Founder of Agricultura Creativa & Biotecnología S.A.
Gonzalo Muñoz is a social entrepreneur who has advanced environmental innovation, sustainable waste management, and corporate social responsibility in Chile. He was appointed by Chilean President Sebastian Piñera as the UN High-Level Climate Champion for the 25th UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) to mobilize climate action in nonstate actors around the world. After witnessing the waste generated by the private sector in his 10 years of running traditional food businesses, he founded TriCiclos, a company that offers circular economy solutions in 13 Latin American countries. Sr. Muñoz is a board member of B Lab, a nonprofit that certifies businesses for social and environmental impact and transparency, and co-founded Sistema B, which promotes this certification and works to create an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system in Latin America.
“In light of the difficulties people are facing around the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and many other issues, I am truly happy to be part of a panel of individuals who will use their experience, expertise, and skills to power responses and build resilience in the face of food insecurity. I look forward to working side by side and hand in hand with The Global FoodBanking Network to help the millions of people who count on the global food chain to feed them and to have better lives.”
Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura is a trailblazer for gender equality, diversity, and humanitarian work. She brings to the GFN Board 21 years of high-level experience with the World Food Program and other United Nations programs in Africa, Central America, Central West Asia, and Europe.
In 2016, she became the first Muslim, African, and woman in the organization’s history to hold the position of Secretary General at FIFA, which is the global football governing body’s second highest-ranking official. She is committed to using the unique power of football to support, encourage, and empower people around the world. As FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura has led strategic efforts to increase the number of women employed by FIFA in senior management and other roles and to double the number of female football players in the world by 2026. She also served as FIFA’s General Delegate for Africa for six months (1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020) to help accelerate the implementation of the Confederation of African Football’s reform process, which focused on good governance, organization of competitions, and the growth and development of African football.
Kumiko Watanabe is a Partner in Grant Thornton’s Global Client Services and member of Grant Thornton International’s Global Country Desk Steering Committee. As the national leader of Grant Thornton’s Japan Business Group, she provides audit, tax, and advisory services to Japanese companies doing business in North America. Ms. Watanabe serves as Executive Vice President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago and sits on the Board of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of NY and Japan America Society of Chicago.