2017 Judges



Dr. Mahfuz Ahmed Senior Operations Assistant
Sustainable Development and Climate Change
Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Dr. Ahmed has over 30 years of professional work experience in agriculture, natural resources management and rural development in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. He has published over 100 peer reviewed articles and books. One of his most Recent contributions include: Climate Change and Food Security in the Pacific. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, a financial intermediary fund administered by the World Bank.

We asked Dr. Ahmed several questions on the topic of food security:

1. What impact has ADB had on food security?
In its 50-year history , ADB has hundreds of agriculture and natural resources projects, starting in 1967 with first technical assistance on food grain production in Indonesia. Innovation on the farm and introduction of new technologies have revolutionized food production in the Asia and Pacific region, giving it a remarkable degree of self-sufficiency in staple foods and economic stability.

2. Why do you like working on issues surrounding food security?
I have spent most part of my more that 30 years professional life working on policy, institution, technology, market and distribution issues surrounding food security. I strongly believed that food is a basic human rights, and if I could make a small contribution to this basic human welfare through my work. I have seen visible differences in peoples lives as a result of my work during this long journey as a professional in agriculture and food security, which me inspired and continue to do more for the sector.

3. Do you have any advice for public policy and public administration students who are trying to get into this field?
Public policy and public administration play a huge rule in shifting the comparative advantage for those that are engaged in agriculture. Policy analysis and public administration have resulted in many reforms and supportive measures , such as land reform, seed, water and inputs supply, and pricing of produce, which helped the sector to grow and advance over the decades. Going forward, I see a growing role for public policy and administration in addressing newer problems such as climate change, demographic shifts, land and water conflicts.

The list of judges by site is as follows:

Global Super Judges:
Josette Sheeran – President and CEO of Asia Society (previously served as Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme)
Steve Cohen – Executive Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University
Anand Desai Section Head of Evaluation and Assessment, National Science Foundation
Mahfuz Ahmed Technical Advisor in the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ASIAN Development Bank

Arizona Site Judges:
Erin Lentz – Assistant Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin (worked or consulted with CARE, the United Nations World Food Program and numerous other international NGOs on markets, food security and food assistance programs)
Samuel Richard – 
Executive Director at Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition
Elisa Jane Bienenstock – 
Associate Research Professor, Arizona State University

New York Site Judges:
Isabelle Tsakok – Experienced Economist in Agriculture and Rural Development , Adjunct Professor at SIPA
Anouch Missirian –
Ph.D. Candidate in Sustainable Development at Columbia SIPA
Suzanne Lipton –
Project Manager, Earth Institute Center for Environmental University, Columbia University

Washington Site Judges:
Marina Negroponte – Philanthropic Partnership Officer, Vulcan, Inc. (previously served as Government Partnership Officer with the UN World Food Programme)
Roy Heidelberg – Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University’s Public Administration Institute
Jose Manuel Magallanes – Visiting Professor, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance (expert on computational approaches to public policy analysis)

Virginia Site Judges:
Anand Desai – Description under global super judges
Ted Lyng – Director, Global Food Security Program, U.S. Department of State
Rajul Pandya-Lorch —  Chief of Staff in the Director General’s Office, International Food Policy Research Institute
Yuko Akune – Associate Professor, Reitaku University (Japan) and Visiting Scholar, GMU’s Schar School of Policy and Government

Indiana Site Judges:
Marlene Walk – Assistant Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IUPUI
Adam Ward – Environmental Scientist and Assistant Professor, Indiana University in Bloomington
Alyssa Newerth – Director, Indy Reads Books
Jerome Dumortier – Assistant Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IUPUI

Bogotá, Colombia Site Judges:
Mónica Pachón – Dean of Political Science, Government and International Relations at Universidad del Rosario
Diego Lucumi – Associate Professor of Public Health, School of Government, Universidad de los Andes
Mauricio Velasquez – Associate Professor, Universidad de los Andes (expert on rural issues such as land and land distribution)

Maastricht, Netherlands, Site Judges:
Valerie Graw – Senior Researcher, University of Bonn’s Center of Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (expert on land use, land degradation, agriculture technologies in Africa)
Dorcas Mbuvi – Senior Researcher, UNU – MERIT (expert on economic and human development, public policy and global governance)
Chase Sova – Director of Public Policy and Research, World Food Program USA

Beijing, China Site Judges:
Yumei CHEN– Public Administration, Political Methodology, Information Technology and Politics Professor, Jinan University
Zhiyong LAN – Professor specializing in Sustainable Development, Tsinghua University
Chengyu  ZHAN – Associate Professor, School of Political Science and Public Management, China University of Political Science and Law