Spring Conference Updates
With Spring Conference only 6 weeks away, we have confirmed additional speakers.
In addition to Frances Moore Lappé, our keynote speaker, the following participants have been confirmed. Be sure to check back at we secure more speakers.
- Andrew Rice, The New York Times
Andrew Rice has written about Africa for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and The Economist, among other publications. His article “The Book of Wilson,” published in The Paris Review, received a Pushcart Prize. Between 2002 and 2004, he lived in Uganda as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, an American nonprofit foundation. Prior to that, he worked for several newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Observer. A native of Columbia, South Carolina and a graduate of Georgetown University, he currently lives in Brooklyn.
- Penelope Anderson, Director of Food Security, Mercy Corps
- Noel Gurwick, Senior Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists
Noel Gurwick is a climate–agriculture scientist in the Food & Environment Program. Noel received a B.S. in biology from Brown University and an M.S. in Natural Resource Policy and Management from Cornell University. His Ph.D. in Biogeochemistry and Environmental Change, also from Cornell, centered on carbon and nitrogen cycling in shallow groundwater near streams. As a post-doctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology, Dr. Gurwick studied responses of plant–soil ecosystems to multiple, co-occurring aspects of global environmental change, including carbon dioxide enrichment, warming, changes in precipitation, and increased nitrogen deposition.
Noel has served as an expert reviewer of the IPCC 2007 reports and is on the Ecological Society of America’s advisory board for Issues in Ecology. In the past, he sat on the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council and held the position of research translator at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, working to improve information flow between the science and policy communities concerned with coastal zone management.
Before coming to UCS, he was a AAAS Science–Policy Fellow in the State Department’s Bureau of Economics, Energy, and Business Affairs (EEB), where he managed the biofuels partnership with Brazil and supported U.S. diplomatic relations concerning low-carbon energy technologies. At State, he also strengthened EEB’s relations with the academic community.
- Christina Schiavoni, International Program Coordinator, World Hunger Year
- John Coonrod, Vice President, Strategy and Impact, The Hunger Project
John Coonrod is Vice President, Strategy and Impact of The Hunger Project. He was one of the first volunteers in The Hunger Project in early 1977, assisting in the research during the organizations formulation, and was then a volunteer leader in its enrollment, educational and financial family campaigns through 1984. In 1985, he joined staff to assist in opening the Global Office in New York and facilitate our work with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
John has been instrumental in the formulation and management of the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger since 1986, and in the development of all Hunger Project programs. The board elected him Vice President in October 1997.
John grew up in the Midwest, and was trained as a physicist at Stanford (BSc) and the University of California-Berkeley (MS, PhD), during which time he was active in the civil rights and anti-war movement. He worked as a research physicist at Princeton University from 1978 through 1984. As a physicist, he was involved in the design and construction of the High-Energy Astronomical Observatory satellite, the first whole-body CAT scanner, and the first tokamak to achieve a break-even fusion reaction.
At a Hunger Project event, he met his colleague and future wife Carol. They were married in 1988 and are living happily ever after.
- Ellen Gustafson, Co-Founder and Executive VP, FEED Project
Ellen is the co-Founder and Executive Vice President of FEED Projects, LLC. She is also the Executive Director of the FEED Foundation, a non-profit that seeks ways to support a more sustainably fed and well-nourished world. Previously, Ellen was the NY Communications Officer for the UN World Food Program (WFP). At WFP, she was acting Sr. Spokesperson in 2006 and launched the Universities Fighting World Hunger initiative of over 70 partner schools. Prior to WFP, Ellen reported in the ABC News Investigative Unit and was a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations in the Military Policy and Communications groups.
Ellen has a BA in International Politics from Columbia University and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Food and Nutrition Policy at New York University. She hails from the battlefields near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Ellen loves to cook and sing, both of which are enjoyed regularly by Team FEED.