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Susan is an International lawyer, natural resource ecologist and U.S. patent agent with 25+ years of experience working with governments, United Nations agencies, multilateral institutions, donor organizations and small-scale farmer organizations to create deliberate, systemic institutional and policy change in support of agriculture that nourishes both people and the planet.

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Manuel Ruiz Muller is a lawyer who has been practicing environmental and development law and policy since 1990. He graduated as a lawyer from the Catholic University of Peru, where he coordinated and lectured in the International Environmental Law course of the Diploma on Natural Resources and Environmental Law from 2009-2016. His activities have included legal and policy research, capacity building, project development and management, and technical assistance in a broad range of issues, including climate change adaptation, agrobiodiversity, trade and the environment, intellectual property, rural development, indigenous peoples, biotechnology, biosafety, traditional knowledge, protected areas, marine conservation and fisheries, among others. Mr. Ruiz was Director of the International Affairs and Biodiversity Program of the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA) from 2004-2017. At present, he serves as a Senior Advisor and Researcher at SPDA and is a Darwin Fellow for Botanical Gardens Conservation International working on climate change, in situ and ex situ conservation. Mr. Ruiz has worked has been a consultant in many countries and regions of the world and worked with institutions such as FIELD, FIAN, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNEP, FFLA, IDB, ICTSD, IUCN, GIZ, South Center, Andean Community, FAO, UK Food Group, IPGRI, World Resources Institute, WIPO, among others.




Alejandro Argumedo is Program Director of Asociacion ANDES, a Cusco, Peru-based indigenous peoples' organization that focuses its work on independent action-research and analysis and fostering new forms of networking and alliance building. Alejandro is founder of various international indigenous knowledge platforms cooperating within shared goals of protecting and nurturing biodiversity and promoting indigenous agroecology solutions. Alejandro is agronomist by training and is the current International Coordinator of the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples, INMIP, the Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Assessment Initiative, IPCCA, a "Champion" of the “Food for Ever" initiative, Steering Committee member of the Satoyama initiative, member of the Specialist Group on Landscapes of the IUCN Commission on Protected Areas, among others. He has served in various expert panels of the UN and other relevant international bodies, and has been consultant for various international organizations.




Dr. Vargheses works on global initiatives on water governance and food security, focusing on initiatives and investments related to water and climate crises, their implications for food security of smallholder producers, especially women, and possible solutions that emphasize equity, environmental justice and sustainability. She has presented and published extensively on these issues. Shiney was a Project Team member of the CFS-HLPE report, Water for food security and nutrition (2014-2015). She has over 20 years of experience in public policy analysis, and prior to this, for many years she organized around social and environmental issues in India with indigenous groups and civil society organizations. She is a member of the Fourth Steering Committee of the UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (2017-2019).  From 2001 she has been leading the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's advocacy work on right to water. Since then, she has been active in the campaign that led to the recognition in 2010 of access to safe water as a fundamental human right, and for much of that time, served as the co-chair of the Fresh water caucus at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.



SENIOR ADVISER (Rural Sociology and Rural DevelopmenT)

Dr. Yiching Song obtained her Ph.D in rural sociology and rural development in Wageningen University, in the Netherlands in 1998. Since 2000, she has been a senior researcher and Program Leader in the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP), Chinese Academy of Science. She is leading an participatory action research program in CCAP and a Farmer Seed Network in China. She is also a lecture professor of China Agricultural University and senior research fellow in the China Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture (CCIPA), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science. Her research focus on sustainable agricultural and rural development policies in China covering a range of several related areas like ago-biodiversity and related in-situ conservation,farmers’ seeds and community rights, IPR and ABS issues, rural community based natural resource management and climate change adaptation for sustainable development, farmer organization, gender and related social issues etc.



SENIOR ADVISER (Gender, economic empowerment, rural producerS)

Mildred is a farmer and business woman in Jamaica.  From 2007 to 2017 she was President of the Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers.  She is a Founding Member of the Jamaica Pig Farmers’ Association, a non-governmental organization that advocates for all pig farmers in Jamaica.  She also works for Newport Genetics as an Artificial Inseminator.  Mildred represents civil society groups locally, regionally and internationally on issues relating to rural women, women’s right, rural development, Gender and other economic empowerment issues including participating in Expert Group Meetings and the High-Level Political Forum on Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals since 2017.



SENIOR ADVISER (Sustainable Food Systems)

Danny Hunter is Senior Scientist in the Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems Programme at Bioversity International. He is also Global Project Coordinator of the GEF-funded Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN) project, an innovative multi-country initiative promoting the mainstreaming of agrobiodiversity for more sustainable food systems and improved nutrition. Danny is a researcher, teacher and leader specializing in the links between sustainable agriculture, food, environment, health and nutrition. He has 25 years’ post-PhD experience working with family farmers and partners in over 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, South and South East Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific. His research and development interests include sustainable agriculture, agroecology and plant genetic resources, sustainable food systems, food and nutrition security. He has extensive experience representing Bioversity International and other organizations at UN gatherings as well as other international forums. He is currently a member of CBD/WHO Interagency Liaison Group on Biodiversity and Human Health. He is also a member of the Leadership Team that convenes the Charles Perkins Centre/Marie Basher Institute ‘Healthy Food Systems’ node at the University of Sydney and a team member of the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research (PAR) hosted by Bioversity International. He is also Board Member, Australian Institute for Ecological Agriculture (AIEA). He holds the position of Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University, Australia and National University of Ireland-Galway, Ireland.



SENIOR ADVISER (agriculture sector)


Andrew Mushita is the Executive Director of Community Technology Development Organization (CTDO) and is trained as an agronomist. He has a long association with rural development work. He has participated directly in a number of national, regional and international policy dialogues focused on issues related to agricultural biodiversity, food and nutrition security, environment, international trade, farmers rights and the implications of IPRs on smallholder farmers.

Mr. Mushita sits on a number of national, regional and international bodies that include the National Plant Genetic Resources Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture, Biodiversity Advisory Board of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Board Chairperson of the Regional Agricultural and Environmental Initiatives Network for Southern and Eastern Africa. He is also a Board Member of the Association of Plant Breeding for the Benefit of Society (APBREBES) based in Geneva Switzerland.

He has written a number of papers, published a number of books and chapters in several books.