Strategic advisory committee
The Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) is a team of international experts who support and guide the FSNet-Africa Academic Leadership Team to advance the quality of its academic work and increase the profile, visibility and reach of the project to facilitate impact. The SAC was established to provide strategic guidance to FSNet-Africa and bring cutting-edge expertise to inform the network's action plans. It helps ensure that the FSNet-Africa leadership is aware of relevant international trends and opportunities, offering appropriate actions. SAC members also act as advocates for the FSNet-Africa in their own spheres of influence.
Prof. Tawana Kupe
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Pretoria
Prior to his current appointment as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Professor Tawana Kupe served as the Vice-Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand. He was responsible for the University’s daily running and the coordination of operations across all executive portfolios. He held the rotating Vice-Principal post for one year and served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Advancement, Human Resources, and Transformation. Between 2013 and 2014, he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Operations.
Professor Kupe is an active member of several civil society organisations, including the AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism. He has been Chairman of the Board of Media Monitoring Africa since 2005 and the inaugural convener of Judges for the Discovery Health Journalism Awards. He also serves on the board of a major private company and is a member of the International Association of Media and Communication Research.
Prof. Felix Asante
Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation, and Development, University of Ghana
Professor Felix Ankomah Asante is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development at the University of Ghana. Prof. Felix Asante was formerly Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana (2013 to 2019). He is a member of the Grant Review Committee of the Board of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) based in Kenya and a Thematic Resource Person for the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP). He is a board member of the International Center for Evaluation Development (ICED) based in Kenya. Felix is the President of the Ghana Association of Agricultural Economics; and a member of the Africa Association of Agricultural Economics, and the Ghana Science Association. He is also the President of the 1983 PRESEC Old Students Association. He holds a PhD in Agriculture Science (Agriculture Economics) from the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany.
Ms Heather Alford
Food Systems Challenge Manager of the GCRF
Heather Alford is the Food Systems Challenge Manager of the GCRF at UKRI. She studied Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Surrey and worked as a Dietitian in the NHS for six years in hospital, community, and specialist settings, primarily as a Specialist Renal Dietitian.
Heather subsequently graduated from the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London, with an MSc in Food Policy and is an alumni member of Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning. Heather’s interests across the food system are broad, including diet quality, prevention of malnutrition and non-communicable diseases, food security, environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and resilience, social justice, sustainable livelihoods, food policy, and governance.
Prof. Patrick Caron
Chair of the UN High-level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition
Professor Patrick Caron is the Chair of the UN High-Level Panel of Experts and Vice-President for International Relationships at the University of Montpellier. He is a veterinary doctor and holds a PhD in geography. As a specialist in farming systems and territorial dynamics, he specialises in family farming, agrarian and animal production systems, and territorial development.
Professor Caron has formerly held positions as Director of Research and Strategy at the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement; CIRAD); Director of Research for CIRAD’s Territories, Environment, and People Department; and Scientific Director of CIRAD’s Environment and Societies Department. He is a member of numerous national and international scientific and institutional bodies, including being the chair for the AgroParis Tech Scientific Committee and a member of the National Council for Development and International Solidarity. He has authored approximately 200 publications in international journals, books, and conference proceedings.
Prof. Margaret Jesang Hutchinson
Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Research, Innovation, and Enterprise at the University of Nairobi
Prof. Margaret Jesang Hutchinson is the Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Research, Innovation, and Enterprise at the University of Nairobi. She has over 30 years of experience in the agriculture sector. She obtained her PhD in Horticulture from the University of Guelph in Canada. Her research and outreach work cover most areas of horticulture and, more specifically, floriculture, looking at policy, programming, and the entire value chain of several commodities. Specific projects she has been involved in have focused on developing tissue culture protocols for several economically important floriculture and fruit crops; optimising the agronomic and pest control practices of fruits, vegetables, and flower crops; reducing post-harvest losses of horticultural crops (cut flowers, fruits, and vegetables), and gender mainstreaming in policy and programming.
Prof. Hutchinson has provided strong leadership in several areas and institutions, including being one of the longest-serving board members for the Horticultural Crops Development Authority, a Faculty of Agriculture Representative to the Senate, Chairperson of the Faculty of Agriculture Postgraduate Studies Committee, and Head of the Horticulture Unit of the Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection. She served in the Taskforce for Higher Education in Kenya Science, Technology, and Innovation with the Ministry of Higher Education, which sought to align the higher education sector with the new Kenya Constitution (2010) and Vision 2030. She is a member of several professional bodies, such as the African Crop Science Society, Horticultural Association of Kenya, Kenya Professional Association of Women in Agriculture and Environment, the Agricultural Society of Kenya, and the Institute of
Dr. Judith Ngalande Lungu
Member of the AWARD Steering Committee and Former Deputy Vice Chancellor Mulungushi University (MU)
Dr Judith Ngalande Lungu a member of the AWARD Steering Committee and Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Mulungushi University (MU) in Zambia. She is a Livestock Production Specialist and seasoned academician with over 30 years of experience. Dr Lungu has held several academic positions in various capacities, such as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Mulungushi University MU), Executive Dean at the School of Agricultural Sciences, University of Zambia (UNZA), and other positions from Kwame Nkrumah University and Botswana College of Agriculture.
She was an African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) mentor, a member of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) and a board member of the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) and Women for Change (WfC). She was also a member of the Advisory Committee on the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA), Science and Technology for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Agricultural & Rural Development, Netherlands.
Dr Lungu holds her Doctoral degree in Animal Physiology from the University of Manitoba. Her research interests are in reproductive hormones, small ruminants, poultry and food security and gender in agricultural development.
Ex-officio members of the SAC
ARUA and UKRI have nominated experts to serve as ex-officio members of the FSNet-Africa SAC. Dr Emmanuel Abbey is the ARUA-UKRI Project Coordinator based in Ghana. Ms Charlie Wallace is the Policy Manager GCRF, UKRI based in the UK. Dr Jacqui Williams is the Head of GCRF Programmes, UKRI.