Meet our Special Guests

Check back soon! We will be updating our list of presenters periodically in the weeks leading up to the conference.

World Food Prize laureate David Beckmann is one of the foremost U.S. advocates for hungry and poor people. He has been president of Bread for the World since 1991, leading large-scale and successful campaigns to strengthen U.S. political commitment to overcome hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. Bread for the World is a Christian advocacy movement to end hunger.  During Beckmann’s tenure, Bread for the World has helped to quadruple funding and improve the quality of U.S. international aid and to protect safety-net programs domestically.    

Beckmann is also president of Bread for the World Institute, which provides policy analysis on hunger and strategies to end it. He founded and serves as president of the Alliance to End Hunger, which engages diverse U.S. institutions—Muslim and Jewish groups, corporations, unions, and universities—in building the political will to end hunger.  Auburn University is a leading member of the Alliance to End Hunger, and the Alliance worked closely with Auburn University in the early days of PUSH.

Beckmann is a Lutheran pastor and an economist. He earned degrees from Yale University, Christ Seminary, and the London School of Economics. Seven universities have awarded him honorary doctorates. In 2010, he was named a World Food Prize laureate.

Beckmann has appeared on “Bill Moyer’s Journal,” PBS’s “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly,” CNN Español, C-Span, NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and “The Diane Rehm Show.” His latest book is Exodus from Hunger: We Are Called to Change the Politics of Hunger.

Beckmann is retiring from Bread for the World in June and will be launching a digital learning initiative on poverty, God, and politics, focused on changing the politics of poverty.

Ann Reed leads the Louisville Division of Kroger that oversees 116 stores in Kentucky, southern Indiana, and southern Illinois accounting for more than 16,000 associates. She is currently leading efforts to deliver fresh food at a fair price, simplify customers’ shopping experiences and meaningfully give back in the communities where Kroger operates. Through the company’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative, Ann has focused on ending hunger in the community and waste in stores by 2025. Ann also previously led the focused effort across the company on culture and engagement. She was recognized as one of Progressive Grocers Top Women in Grocery. 

Ann has served as a board member of the Western Association of Food Companies, Northwest Grocers Association, and is currently serving on the Board of Directors Executive Committee for Dare to Care Food Bank. 

Mark Broadhurst has been toiling in communications, public affairs and policy for all of his more than 25 years in government, politics, media and business. For nearly half of his career, he has honed his skills and expertise in the consumer product and food industries.

Now based in SoHo in Lower Manhattan and currently leading a team of public affairs professionals at founder led Chobani, the maker of America’s No. 1–selling Greek yogurt, Mark and his team are crafting public affairs strategies that help drive growth in Chobani’s purpose-driven brand – everything from a national effort to ban school lunch shaming to providing local scholarships for dairy farm families. The premise of this work is a belief that business can and should be a catalyst for positive change – change to improve public health and policy, the environmental, economic and social wellness of Chobani’s supply chain and the communities where it thrives, and finally, importantly, change in the food industry which leads to better outcomes, better options and ‘better food for more people.’

Under Mark’s leadership Chobani is becoming increasingly engaged in dairy and other agricultural policymaking, including standards of identity, child nutrition and federal school meals, opening new markets for yogurt, labor issues and immigration reform, to name a few. Driven by its values, Chobani is expanding its reputation as a food focused wellness company, building on its strong foundation of providing better, accessible food to more people all the while generously giving back to the communities Chobani calls home and the constituencies with whom Chobani partners to make a difference. Mark leads strategic public policy engagement, local, state and federal government relations, industry and trade matters, community relations, supply chain engagement, philanthropy and making a difference through social impact.

Mark had a sweet run prior to Chobani where for more than a decade he served as a member of the global corporate affairs team at Mars, building a successful state government program and leading on issues in health and nutrition, sustainability, taxation, animal welfare and business development in the US, Canada and around the globe.

A Dickinson College philosophy major, Mark began his career in presidential politics, worked in the Pacific for a territorial governor and on the Hill for a Member of Congress. The father of five, Mark left public service for the corporate world at his wife’s urging shortly before their fourth child was born. He and his wife, though sometimes weary, are active in their community of Long Valley, NJ.

Chase Sova is senior director of Public Policy and Research at World Food Program USA (WFP USA) and a non-resident senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Global Food Security Project. Previously, Chase worked with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). He has consulted with the World Bank, Johns Hopkins, and Tufts University. Interested in the intersection of food insecurity and conflict, humanitarian assistance, climate change, and sustainable agriculture, Chase has worked on food systems in 15 developing countries across Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. He has led several major research initiatives including WFP USA’s Winning the Peace: Hunger and Instability flagship report. Chase has served as an expert witness at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his writing has been featured extensively in peer-reviewed journals, and he regularly lectures on food insecurity at Universities in Washington, D.C. He delivered a TEDx talk on “Winning the Long Game in the Fight to End Hunger” in 2018. Chase earned his Ph.D. from Oxford University.

Linda Gorton, the longest continuously serving member of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council, is serving her first term as Lexington Mayor.

Mayor Gorton has lived in Lexington most of her adult life. In addition to her 16 years on the Council, including 4 years as Vice Mayor, Mayor Gorton has been a dedicated volunteer in our community.  She started her term with an emphasis on developing a comprehensive action plan to help those who suffer from opioid addiction, a problem that is detrimental to our labor force, diverts funding from much-needed initiatives, and has stolen the future from many talented Lexingtonians.  Another early and ongoing priority is economic development … jobs, jobs, jobs. Mayor Gorton is focused on making Lexington a technological hub, including high tech agriculture.

A desire for social and economic justice is the driving force behind Minerva Delgado’s work.  An experienced policy analyst, organizer, and program manager, Ms. Delgado has thirty years of experience on issues of poverty, hunger, public benefits and civil rights.  She has appeared in print media, radio and television news and is a frequent presenter at national conferences.

Ms. Delgado is currently the Director of Coalitions & Advocacy at the Alliance to End Hunger in Washington, DC.  In this position, she builds the public and political will to end hunger at home and abroad.  She oversees the organization’s work to strengthen Hunger Free Community coalitions and champion solutions to hunger.

She is the author of UnidosUS’ (formerly National Council of La Raza), 2015 Profiles of Latino Health: A Closer Look at Child Nutrition.  She has held senior positions at Manna Food Center, Food Bank For New York City, Children’s Defense Fund and LatinoJustice.  She taught at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she co-founded the Women of Color Policy Network. 

Ms. Delgado holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis from The New School, a Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University and attended Bronx High School of Science.  She is a founding Board Member of Community Food Advocates, Inc.  Minerva was born in The Bronx, NY.

Dr. John L. Graham serves as Associate Provost for Student Affairs and University Life at the State University of New York System Administration. Prior to this, he served as Provost Fellow for Academic and Strategic Development, supporting the implementation of SUNY’s priority Completion Agenda and as liaison to campuses to support the achievement of SUNY Excels Performance Improvement Plan goals. As well, he assisted with the refinement of student effectiveness and the strategic Enrollment Planning process.

Previously, Dr. Graham served as the transitional Vice President for University Advancement and External Relations at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. He was the chief development officer, providing strategic and operational leadership for several cross-functional areas such as alumni relations, corporate and foundation relations, government relations, sponsored research and community relations.

Dr. Graham was a Franklin Fellow at the United States Department of State, served as a Foreign Service Officer, and was selected as a member of its Negotiation Team at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Government Relations Council and served on the University Center for Academic and Workforce Development Legislative Committee for state-wide Educational Opportunity Centers. Dr. Graham’s professional travels extend to sixty countries on five continents.

Dr. Graham has a strong commitment to higher education, workforce training, and community development. He has worked with community-based organizations and industry leaders to develop and implement workforce training platforms in key areas, including allied health and vocational programs. 

His doctorate in Agricultural and Extension Education from Michigan State University, Masters in Agricultural and Extension Education from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration have all facilitated his passion to serve as a thought leader and change driver for communities striving for higher education and stronger workforce participation. Dr. Graham has certificates in leadership from the AASCU Executive Leadership Academy, SUNY Executive Leadership Academy, Millennium Leadership Initiative, and Institute for Educational Management and Executive Education at Harvard University.

Roger Thurow joined The Chicago Council on Global Affairs as senior fellow for global agriculture and food policy in January 2010 after three decades at The Wall Street Journal.   For 20 years, he served as a Journalforeign correspondent, based in Europe and Africa.  His coverage of global affairs spanned the Cold War, the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany, the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of apartheid, the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the humanitarian crises of the first decade of this century – along with 10 Olympic Games. 

In 2003, he and Journal colleague Scott Kilman wrote a series of stories on famine in Africa that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting.  Their reporting on humanitarian and development issues was also honored by the United Nations.  Thurow and Kilman are authors of the book, ENOUGH: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty.  In 2009, they were awarded Action Against Hunger’s Humanitarian Award.  They also received the 2009 Harry Chapin Why Hunger book award.

In May 2012, Thurow published his second book, The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change.  His third book, The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children – And the World, was published in May 2016.

Steve Dauphin works at the intersection of entrepreneurship, development venture capital and nutrition solutions.

He is a founding partner of Bonaventure Capital with more than twenty years of venture capital experience working in underserved markets.  Today, he is focused on promising companies delivering advanced agriculture, cleaner energy and smarter infrastructure.

Steve is also a director of the Kirchner Impact Foundation where he and the Kirchner team are developing new ways to invest angel capital in regions of the world where there is none through an experimental, grad student-powered model that has been described as “Peace Corps meets VC.”  Using this model, the Foundation has programs in Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., and programs in development in Columbia, Central America and Southern Africa.

Steve a director of Shared-X (Peru), Enviva Holdings (US), TrakRef (US) and Lucky Iron Fish (Canada).  Additional notable investments include:  Entia (UK), Banverde Solar (Mexico), GoSolar (Costa Rica) and Power-Gen (Kenya).  Additional notable roles include:  Red Sea Farms (UAE) enterprise development advisor, Stimson Center Alfred Lee Loomis Innovation Council, and the Hunger Solutions Institute Board of Advisors.  Prior to his venture career, Steve was a special agent with the US Drug Enforcement Administration and an Anglican Lay Minister.  He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Leah Wentworth is the inaugural Director of Student Wellness within the Office of Student Affairs at SUNY System Administration. She has 11 years of experience managing and evaluating health promotion programs, with a focus on injury and violence prevention. She came to SUNY in 2017, and has coordinated research and programming activities on a range of activities focused on student health and wellness, including mental health promotion and food insecurity. Before her time at SUNY, she spent three years at the New York State Department of Health, where she served as the evaluator for the state’s Rape Prevention and Education program, and principal investigator on a violence perpetration prevention research grant. She has a B.A. in Community Planning from the University of Massachusetts—Boston, an MPH in Health Policy and Management from the University of Massachusetts—Amherst, and a Ph.D. in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa. She is a 2019-20 Safe States Alliance Injury and Violence Prevention Policy Fellow.

After 12 years of church ministry, including 6 years in post war Bosnia & Herzegovina, Scoggins Berg joined ONE in 2015 as a Regional Organizing Manager for the Southeast U.S. Scoggins holds a Masters in Sustainable Development, University of London, SOAS.

Lauri Wright worked as a clinical dietitian at the Tampa VA Hospital for more than 15 years, specializing in infectious disease. She began and directed the dietetic internship at Bay Pines VA Hospital. After completing her doctorate degree, Dr. Wright directed the master’s/dietetic internship program at the University of North Florida. While at UNF, her work with HIV moved to the community and food insecurity. Dr. Wright then joined the faculty of the College of Public Health at University of South Florida as an assistant professor where her research focused on food insecurity and its health impact, HIV nutrition and global nutrition. Dr. Wright is an Academy Media Spokesperson, Delegate to the Academy House, and a past-president of the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Caitlyn Peacock is the Executive Director of Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger. She is responsible for facilitating the mission of TBNEH, one of the largest non-profit anti-hunger, membership organizations in Florida, by fostering relationships with over 350 members and community organizations around food insecurity, building the capacity of organizations to provide food security related services, and promoting access to healthy food in Tampa Bay and has helped launch Networks to End Hunger all over the State and expanding nationally, including Jacksonville, FL, Orlando, Florida, and Oak Park, Illinois.

Before devoting her full time to TBNEH, Cait owned her own company, Next Stop Produce. NSP was one of the first mobile produce trucks in Tampa Bay to serve low income individuals and food desert neighborhoods. She holds previous positions tasked with solving hunger with Florida Impact, Metropolitan Ministries, and RCS Food Bank.

Cait lives in New Tampa, where she is happily married and madly in love with her son Bennett. She enjoys traveling to the mountains in Georgia and cooking with her family.

Jon Chin is the founder of Share Meals. Share Meals was started in 2013 at New York University. An anonymous post from an NYU student on social media revealed that she was relying on $5 McDonald giftcards, given to her by her grandmother and saved for many years, to feed herself. She was financially unable to access enough nutritious food because she was poorer than she had ever been before. That spoke deeply to Jon, since he struggled with food insecurity throughout childhood and college himself. Due to the anonymous nature, Jon was unable to send food, money, or even good thoughts.

Driven to help, Jon created a meal sharing digital platform prototype in 24 hours, called NYU Meal Swipes. The prototype was unpolished in many ways but filled a huge gap in the needs of NYU students who are food insecure. In just 7 days, 400 students were able to find a meal and there were enough donations to feed 400 more. Over the summer of 2013, Jon studied enterprise level software frameworks and matching algorithms to expand it beyond NYU. This is when NYU Meal Swipes evolved into Share Meals, showing how even in the early stages, the mission has always been the same: end college hunger, wherever it is.

Jon is an educator, poet, software engineer, 2nd degree black belt, and social entrepreneur. His greatest concern is how to leverage breakthrough technology to address the human condition in new, disarming ways.

Nikki Putnam Badding, Director of Human Nutrition Initiatives at Alltech, Inc. is a registered dietitian helping farmers and producers across the globe apply the lens of human nutrition to agricultural practices for the improved nutrition of plants, animals and consumers. She is actively advancing the vision of Planet of Plenty – producing enough safe, nutritious food for all, while caring for our animals and sustaining our land, air and water for future generations.

Dr. Esther Ngumbi, Author, Researcher, Educator, Mentor, and Speaker, is a champion for change around issues of hunger, gender, education, youth activism, agriculture, sustainability, and public service. She is an Assistant Professor in the School of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She has founded organizations that empower farmers and youth in Kenya. She uses her education as a voice for the voiceless, and has a deep commitment for developing Kenya, Africa and our global world.

Dr. Nancy Cox became Dean of UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment in 2014. The College educates approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year, manages a robust portfolio of research projects and administers the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. She works extensively with stakeholder groups to promote the teaching, research and extension missions. During her tenure, enrollment, scholarship opportunities and underrepresented minority enrollment have increased. As dean, she has worked to secure funding for improved facilities including the new Grain and Forage Center of Excellence and renovation and expansion of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. 

Dr. Susan Hubbard is Professor and Dean of the College of Human Sciences and Executive Director for the Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University.  Prior to taking leadership as of the Hunger Solutions Institute, Hubbard was instrumental in building the End Child Hunger in Alabama task force, a multi-sector collaboration that works to end childhood hunger in the state and the Institute’s first outreach initiative. 

Hubbard is a recognized leader in research, teaching and outreach initiatives in the College of Human Sciences. An Auburn alumna, Hubbard earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Education and her doctorate in vocational and adult education with an emphasis in higher education administration.

Dr. Alicia Powers serves as the Director of Strategy and Policy for the Hunger Solutions Institute. Dr. Powers holds a PhD in Nutrition and Food Systems from The University of Southern Mississippi as well as a MS and BS in Nutrition and Food Sciences from Auburn University.

Prior to joining HSI, Powers worked as Extension Specialist/Community Health Coordinator with the Alabama Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) at Auburn University. In this role, Powers developed, implemented and evaluated policy, systems and environmental strategies to increase access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities for limited resource populations throughout Alabama.