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Dr. Margaret M. Zeigler, Executive Director
Margaret has dedicated her career to addressing global hunger and food security, most recently serving as deputy director at the Congressional Hunger Center, where she spent the past 18 years working closely with the public and private sectors, non-profit organizations, industry leaders and policy makers to promote food security and reduce hunger.
Margaret is a recognized thought leader on food security issues, serving as a media commentator and writer for several publications and news networks around the world.
Ann M. Steensland, Deputy Director
Ann served as chief of staff of the Alliance to End Hunger from 2008 to 2012 where she advised and supported the executive director, Ambassador Tony P. Hall; led the Alliance’s work on global agriculture, food security, and nutrition; and liaised with the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.
For the last 15 years, Ann has worked and consulted for a variety of international non-profits, arts institutions, and advocacy organizations. She has a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in African History.
Board of Directors
Each GHI Member Company is represented on the Board of Directors. Current representatives are listed below.
Doyle Karr, Biotechnology Public Policy Director, DuPont
Doyle Karr is the director of DuPont Biotechnology Public Policy. His role includes the development and implementation of company-wide strategies for biotechnology policies, acceptance and communications across business units and functional areas.
The objective of the DuPont Biotech Acceptance and Advocacy Program that Doyle leads is to drive global biotechnology (biological technology) acceptance by customers and consumers to increase adoption of current DuPont products and the chances of success for the DuPont R&D pipeline while enhancing the reputation of DuPont.
Doyle began his career at DuPont Pioneer in 1989 with the marketing communications group for North America operations. He held a variety of communications roles before being named the director of global communications for Pioneer in 2004. While in that role, Doyle also led global public affairs for DuPont Ag & Nutrition business. He was named director of DuPont biotechnology public policy in 2013.
Prior to joining Pioneer, Doyle was a journalist in Illinois and Iowa. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois in Journalism and Agriculture and was raised on a small farm in central Illinois.
Benjamin J. Pratt, Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs, The Mosaic Company
Ben Pratt is Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs at The Mosaic Company, the world’s largest producer of phosphate and potash fertilizers. Ben leads internal, executive, investor, media and crisis communications, as well as the company’s community investment activities and its sustainability reporting.
Prior to joining Mosaic in February 2012, Ben was Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications at Ameriprise Financial, Inc., in Minneapolis.
Earlier in his career, Ben worked in a variety of communications and investor relations capacities at The PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, and at Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, both in New York. A graduate of Duke University, Ben lives in Deephaven, Minn., with his wife and two children.
Stewart T. Leeth, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Stewart Leeth serves as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for Smithfield Foods, Inc. He leads company-wide regulatory initiatives and directs the company’s sustainability program. This program focuses on animal welfare, employee relations, environmental stewardship, food safety and quality, and community development. He is also responsible for legal affairs for Smithfield’s hog production division and serves as Vice President of the Smithfield Foundation.
Stewart joined Smithfield Foods in 2008 and has worked in several capacities for the company. Prior to joining Smithfield Foods, he was a partner at the Virginia law firm of McGuireWoods and before that, served as Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia, representing a variety of state agencies. He also served as a law clerk to Judge Claude Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Stewart is a graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law and earned a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from the University of Richmond.
Pam Strifler, Vice President, Global Sustainability, Stakeholder Engagement and Corporate Insights, Monsanto Company
Pam Strifler is Vice President Global Sustainability, Stakeholder Engagement and Corporate Insights. In this role, Pam and her team are responsible for key stakeholder collaborations, societal outreach and market intelligence. She oversees the development of Monsanto’s global sustainability strategy and execution of key initiatives such as the Carbon Neutral Operations commitment, Biodiversity programs, Midwest Row Crops Coalition and the company’s partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Water Efficient Maize for Africa.
Prior to this role, Pam served as the Integrated Farming Solutions Lead in Corporate Strategy where she was responsible for the development of the company’s digital integrated farming strategy, and its acquisition and investment portfolio.
Pam joined Monsanto as Director of Marketing for the Dairy business in 1997. During her tenure at Monsanto, Pam has served in a number of other roles, including Commercial Development Manager for its Animal Agriculture Division; U.S. Marketing Operations Lead; Director of Customer Operations; Business Director for the Regional Seed Brands; as well as U.S. Marketing Lead, for Row Crops and Chemistry.
Pam is a Board Member of The Keystone Policy Center and the Global Harvest Initiative. She also is a member of the BIOSTL coalition council.
Pam holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Deaconess School of Nursing and a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University.
Aaron Wetzel, Vice President, A&T Global Platform, Crop Care, Agriculture and Turf Division, John Deere
Aaron L. Wetzel is Vice President, A&T Global Platform, Crop Care, for the Agriculture & Turf Division, a position he has held since September 2012. He is responsible for the design, manufacture, and sourcing of the crop care platform of products for Deere’s global agriculture and turf equipment operations.
Wetzel joined the company in 1988 as a summer student in accounting and began full-time in 1990 as an auditor. Wetzel’s previous assignments include Group Product Manager- Utility Vehicles and North American Sales manager for Golf & Turf with the Commercial & Consumer Equipment Division (C&CE).
In 2005, Wetzel served as Director, Region II C&CE Sales based at the European office in Mannheim. In 2006, he was Director, Strategic Planning and Customer Focus for Europe, Africa and the Middle East for the Agricultural Division. He was named Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Planning in South America for the Agricultural Division in April 2007. He was named Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Latin America, Agriculture and Turf Division in May 2009. Wetzel received his bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Augustana College and his master’s degree in business administration from Duke University.
J.B. Penn, Senior Advisor, Office of the Chairman, John Deere
J.B. Penn is Chief Economist for Deere & Co, a position he has held since 2006. He is responsible for heading the office which helps guide the company’s policy development and corporate growth initiatives worldwide, through the analysis of global trends in economics, business conditions, and governmental policies.
Prior to joining John Deere, J.B. had served for more than five years as undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Before appointment to the USDA, J.B. had an extensive career in the private sector. He was senior vice president and manager of Sparks Companies, Inc.’s Washington office for more than a dozen years. Prior to joining Sparks, he was president of Economic Perspectives, Inc. J.B.’s former government experience includes service as deputy administrator for economics of the USDA’s then Economics and Statistics Service and as senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
J.B. holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Arkansas State University, a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Louisiana State University, and a doctorate in agricultural economics from Purdue University. He is a member of several professional organizations, a recipient of the Order of Australia, and a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association.