Catalysts of Change: Women Leaders in Science

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About our twelfth speaker, Cynthia Rosenzweig

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Cynthia is a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the co-located Columbia University Climate School’s Center for Climate Systems Research. At NASA GISS, she heads the Climate Impacts Group whose mission is to investigate the interactions of climate (both variability and change) on systems and sectors important to human well-being, including agriculture, cities, and conservation.

Cynthia is the co-founder and member of the Executive Committee of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP). In 2022, she received the World Food Prize, considered as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.”

Come back soon for the session recap!


About our thirteenth speaker, Saharah Moon Chapotin

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Executive director of the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) 

Saharah Moon Chapotin leads the foundation in support of its vision – a world in which pioneering, collaborative science provides every person access to affordable, nutritious food grown on thriving farms. Chapotin is a plant scientist passionate about the role of agriculture and research in solving today’s challenges. She is committed to building partnerships in support of this vital science. Chapotin offers decades of experience bringing the best of global science on issues ranging from climate change to food security, nutrition and agricultural productivity to her leadership at FFAR.

Prior to joining FFAR in August 2022, Chapotin held roles across the U.S. government, including at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Botanic Garden–where she served as executive director – and the U.S. Agency for International Development–where she served as a deputy assistant administrator and worked to advance the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.

Earlier in her career, Chapotin completed fellowships at Iowa State University, the National Academies and the American Association for the Advancement of Science working on issues of scientific communication, national security and agricultural biotechnology. She further conducted research on forest ecology and canopy biology throughout the U.S., Madagascar and Costa Rica. Chapotin holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and a doctorate in plant physiology from Harvard University.


About our fourteenth speaker, Anastasia Bodnar

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Senior policy advisor, agriculture

Anastasia Bodnar serves as the senior agricultural advisor for the National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology. She has 20 years of U.S. military and federal experience in science policy and science communication, including in biotechnology regulation, risk management, and public health. Bodnar holds a Ph.D. in plant genetics with a minor in sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Maryland, College Park.


About our fifteenth speaker, Mashal Husain

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Chief Operating Officer, World Food Prize Foundation

Mashal Husain is the chief operating officer at the World Food Prize Foundation. Husain brings decades of global leadership experience spanning Pakistan, Tanzania, Thailand, and the Philippines, where she first joined the World Food Prize Foundation in 2008. At the Foundation, Husain has overseen diverse and impactful initiatives, including leading a successful US $36 million campaign to restore the Des Moines Public Library, transforming it into the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates, or the global headquarters of the World Food Prize Foundation.