August 27, 2015

Advisory Board


Andrew McConville

Head of Corporate Affairs, Syngenta Asia Pacific


Andrew McConville has been Head of Corporate Affairs for Syngenta Asia Pacific since 2008. Based in Singapore, he is responsible for the management of the company’s reputation and stakeholder relationships across the region in the disciplines of Government and Public Affairs, Public Policy and Partnerships, Media Relations, Internal Communications, Community Relations, Corporate Responsibility and Issues and Crisis Management. 

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Andrew has more than 20 years’ experience in agricultural issues management, public relations and corporate affairs. He has worked in the private sector – both corporate and consulting – and also spent several years working in government, managing issues and stakeholders in the Asia Pacific region, the United States, Europe and South America. Andrew holds a first class honors degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of New England and a Master of Science in Agricultural Policy from Oxford University.

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Professor Paul Teng

Nanyang Technological University


Paul Teng is Senior Fellow (Food Security), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (, Nanyang Technological University, and Dean, Graduate Studies and Professional Learning, National Institute of Education (, Singapore. His professional interests are in new agri-technologies, science-based entrepreneurship, sustainable development and food security.

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He is also currently Vice-Chairman of the Board, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA — and member of the board, Singapore Science Centre, and Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre. Professor Teng was previously Deputy Director-General at the WorldFish Center, Malaysia, Program Leader for Cross-ecosystems Research at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines, and Professor of Plant Pathology respectively at the University of Hawaii and University of Minnesota, U.S.A .

Prof Teng has published over 250 technical papers and eight books and won awards such as the Eriksson Prize in Plant Pathology and the 2001 CGIAR Excellence in Science Award for Outstanding Scientific Article. He is a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences and Fellow, American Phytopathological Society. Professor Teng is a graduate from Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. 

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Bruce Blakeman

Vice President Corporate Affairs, Asia Pacific, Cargill


Bruce Blakeman is the Vice President for Corporate Affairs in the Asia-Pacific region for Cargill stationed in Singapore. His responsibilities include managing government relations, stakeholder management, M&A, internal & external communications, issues management and corporate social responsibility activities in the Asia-Pacific region. 

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Prior to joining Cargill in October 2005, Bruce served four years as a Presidential Appointee in the in Bush Administration. He was first appointed as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Commerce where he ran the domestic operations of the U.S. Commercial Service (2001-2003). He was then asked to serve as the Secretary of Commerce Donald Evan’s special envoy to China stationed in the Beijing Embassy where he served for two years (2003-2005).

Before joining the government, Bruce was a Senior Vice President for Wirthlin Worldwide, living in Washington, DC, Singapore and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Wirthlin Worldwide was a global communications & branding strategy consultancy and political consulting firm headed by President Ronald Reagan’s chief strategist, Dr. Richard Wirthlin. In the early 1990’s, Bruce was the first foreign political campaign advisor to the Liberal Party of Australia, based in Canberra for two-and-a-half years. Bruce began his career as a political campaign manager and consultant. He also has worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Bruce is from Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA and grew up on a blueberry farm. 

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Dr. Ramon Clarete

Dean of the University of the Philippines School of Economics


Dr. Ramon Clarete is an applied economist, project manager and economics professor who has substantial experience in policy reform and economic development. Since the late 1980’s, Dr. Clarete has been at the forefront of economic policy reform efforts in the Philippines, providing technical assistance on trade policy, customs administration, agriculture and food policy.

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An independent consultant, he is actively engaged in several projects improving and assessing the food security of the ASEAN Member States. His most recent assignments include working for the ADB on the ASEAN Food Security Project and the Regional Technical Assistance for the ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework (AIFS). Responsible for assessing policies affecting the food security of the member states, he also is working as a Food Trade Economist advising the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry on the regional trade of staple foods particularly rice and maize in support of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement. With a proven ability to forge relationships with stakeholders, counterparts and donors, Dr. Clarete has successfully led USAID-funded economic growth programs, including, the Economic Modernization through Efficient Reforms and Governance Enhancement (EMERGE) project. Prior to his involvement on EMERGE, Dr. Clarete was the Chief of Party of the USAID, six-year Accelerating Growth and Investment and Liberalization with Equity (AGILE) program to the Philippine government and its follow-on EGTA project. He developed and managed numerous activities including financial, commercial law, trade, intellectual property rights, agriculture and food.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Clarete was an economic policy advisor at the Philippines Department of Agriculture for two successive multi-year USAID-supported technical assistance projects, namely, the Research and Training Program for Agricultural Policy/Accelerated Agricultural Production Project (AAPP) and the Agribusiness System Assistance Program (ASAP) projects. A member of the American Agricultural Economics Society, Dr. Clarete received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Hawaii. 

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Marcel van Doremaele

CEO, Rabobank Singapore & Representative Markets


Mr. Marcel van Doremaele is the Chief Executive Officer of Rabobank Singapore & Representative Markets since April 2012. He is responsible for the overall management of the Branch, and focuses on the strategic planning and development of the wholesale banking business in the Singapore market as well as cross-border businesses, leveraging on Rabobank’s global network and Singapore’s close proximity to South East Asian countries. 

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The Rabobank office in Singapore covers the following countries: Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia. Mr. van Doremaele joined Rabobank in 1996 and knows Asia well, having worked for Rabobank Hong Kong from 2002 to 2007 as the Head of Relationship Management. In 2008, he returned to Rabobank’s head office in the Netherlands where he was the Head of Treasury Advisory Mid Corporates and was subsequently in 2010 promoted to Global Head of Corporate Treasury Advisory Mid Markets. In these roles, he was responsible for leading Rabobank’s treasury sales organisation in the Netherlands and internationally for mid corporates.

Mr. van Doremaele holds a MSc in Business Economics from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and a BSc in Horticulture from the College for Higher Agricultural Education in the Netherlands.

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Kavita Prakash-Mani

Executive Director, Grow Asia


Kavita Prakash-Mani is the Executive Director of Grow Asia. Grow Asia is a multi-stakeholder partnership platform catalysed by the World Economic Forum in partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat to develop sustainable, inclusive agriculture in South-East Asian countries.

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The partnership convenes governments, companies, farmers, NGOs, and other stakeholders to co-create value chain initiatives focused on smallholder farmers and environmental sustainability of agriculture. It currently supports country partnerships in Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam.

Previously, Kavita was Head of Food Security Agenda at Syngenta, piloting innovative business models focused on smallholder farmers and environmental sustainability and helping design Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan and engage with Grow Africa and the G7 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

Prior to that she was Vice President for Client Services and Emerging Economies at SustainAbility, a consulting firm and think tank. She has also worked with the World Resources Institute, USA and at SmithKline Beecham, India. Kavita holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.

She has been a Trustee of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, a Board member of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Food Security and Nutrition, and on the Executive Committee of the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).

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Dr. Regina Moench-Pfanner

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, ibn360


Regina has more than 25 years of experience in international nutrition, specifically in nutrition and health programming and evaluation with attention to adequate nutrition and nutrients in the context of poverty and economic crises.

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Regina is the Founder and CEO of ibn360, a consulting firm in the nutrition and health sectors.  Before founding ibn360, Regina was with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) where she served as the Director for GAIN’s recently established representative office in Singapore. Previously, she led the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent major relief operations in Africa and Eastern Europe; provided technical nutrition expertise to organizations working with refugees, internally displaced people and vulnerable populations. In addition, she also managed and implemented several multi-million dollar programs as Regional Coordinator for Asia Pacific at Helen Keller International. She has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed international journals and is recognized internationally as a key presenter in her field. 

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Hans Joehr

Head of Agriculture, Nestle


 Hans Jöhr is the Corporate Head of Agriculture at Nestlé in Vevey, Switzerland. As such, Mr Jöhr is responsible for providing technical and strategic leadership in the groups’ world-wide agricultural raw material supply chain.

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This includes the agricultural policy, the raw material quality control and R&D. Mr Jöhr joined Nestlé in April 2000. Prior to moving to Nestlé, Mr Jöhr served as CEO of a Consulting & Management Company in Brazil engaged in agribusiness & forestry.

Mr Jöhr is a member of the IPC (Intl. Policy Council on Agriculture Food and Trade) and a member of Comitée National Suisse – FAO. Recently, he joined IITA’s Board of Trustees (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture) and just ended his mandate as Director of Board of CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) in Costa Rica. Mr Jöhr is a former president of IFAMA (Intl. Food and Agribusiness Management Association) and past president of the Swiss-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in Sâo Paulo, Brazil.

Mr. Jöhr is the co-founder, former and to-day honorary president of the SAI Platform (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative of the food industry).

Mr Jöhr has a formal education in agricultural economics, completed with a doctorate degree in economic science with complementary management programmes at INSEAD (l’Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires, Fontainebleau, France) and IMD (International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland) and Harvard Business School (HBS), Cambridge. He has consulted in over 50 countries and is the author of more than 30 publications in Brazilian and international newspapers. 

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Andrew Powell

CEO, Asia Biobusiness


Andrew got his early education in Scotland at Ayr Academy and Edinburgh University (Biological Sciences) and obtained his PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has held research and academic positions in Crop Science at the University of Guelph, the National Institute of Human Sciences, Tokyo, the Medicinal Plant Research Station, Tsukuba, and the National University of Singapore. 

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Andrew has been working as a consultant for both the public and private sectors since 1994 and founded Asia BioBusiness with Professor Paul Teng in 2005. Recent clients include APEC, USDA, the US State Department, the Inter American Development Bank, the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture, the Asia Productivity Organization, and Tate and Lyle’s Open Innovation group. He is also trained in Risk Communication and is establishing a network of centers in the field in Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, Asia and the EU. 

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David Shearer

Corporate Director, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)


David’s international development has focussed in Asia and the Pacific, with activities to develop more competitive smallholder based value chains and enabling access to higher value markets.

Adrian Gasparian

Director of Commodity Distribution, Asia, ADM


Adrian Gasparian is ADM’s Director of Commodity Distribution for Asia. Based in Singapore since early 2015, he oversees ADM’s commercial activities and initiatives for in-country distribution of commodities across the region.

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Prior to his current role, Adrian’s most recent position was General Manager of ADM Latin America, overseeing ADM’s operations in Central America, Northern South America, and the Caribbean.

Adrian joined ADM in 2007 and—prior to his roles in Latin America—worked in different commercial and management positions in grain trading and logistics in the agricultural heartland of the United States.

Adrian grew up in São Paulo, Brazil and graduated from Fairfield University, Connecticut, USA with a dual degree in International Studies and English.

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Alexandra Stuart

Director for Maritime South East Asia, Energy and APEC, US-ASEAN Business Council


Alexandra Stuart is the Director for Maritime Southeast Asia, Energy and APEC at the US-ASEAN Business Council. She directly manages the Indonesia, Energy and APEC committees and supports and oversees the committees for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore.

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Prior to joining the Council in April 2013, she worked as Assistant Director at CG/LA Infrastructure, a Washington, DC-based advisory firm focused on issues related to global infrastructure development. She has an M.A. in International Economics and Southeast Asia Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. (Hons) in Government and International Relations from the University of Sydney, Australia. Her honors thesis examined patterns of corruption in post-Soeharto Indonesia.

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Richard Leggett

Chief Executive Officer, Frontier Strategy Group


Richard Leggett has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Strategy Group since January 2012. Frontier Strategy Group is the leading emerging markets information and advisory services firm for executives and corporate leaders. 

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Mr. Leggett is a recognized business leader with more than 20 years of global information and financial services experience. He previously served as Chairman and CEO of Business Intelligence Advisors (BIA), an independent investment research, advisory and analytics firm. Prior to BIA, Mr. Leggett ran the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) Business Unit at RiskMetrics Group (now part of MSCI), a provider of proxy advisory and corporate governance research, data and analytical tools. Mr. Leggett joined RiskMetrics following its acquisition in 2007 of the Center for Financial Research and Analysis (CFRA), a specialized independent investment research and analytics firm, where he was President and CEO.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Leggett served as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in New York and London, in both the equity research and investment banking divisions, and as a Senior Manager in the Financial Services consulting practice at Accenture. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Alpha-Sense, a privately held financial analytics company. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of K Street Capital, a Washington, D.C. angel investor group. Mr. Leggett holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University, where he graduated with honors.

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