Dr. Abraham holds a Masters degree in sociology and a Doctorate in sociology, with emphasis on development economics from the University of Toulouse in France. She was Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica from 2010 to 2014, the first woman to occupy that position. She has worked in different international organizations including UNDP, the World Bank and IICA, where she held positions such as Representative, technical specialist in international cooperation, public policies and agricultural trade. She has vast experience in negotiating international free trade agreements in the area of agriculture. She is currently the Ambassador and Head of Delegation for Costa Rica to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
A group with recognized expertise
The Advisory Council for Food Security in the Americas comprises specialists who have made significant contributions to the agrifood sector, both in the political and academic spheres. The Council monitors the impact of the new coronavirus on food security in the region, with a view to offering analyses and recommendations to facilitate decision making in the public and private sectors.
It also supports IICA’s technical cooperation, assisting the organization in redirecting its efforts to address the demands of the countries, which have arisen as a result of the pandemic, thereby contributing to the development of a new institutional roadmap.
Meet the members of IICA’s Food Security Advisory Council:
Gloria Abraham, Costa Rica
Chelston Brathwaite, Barbados
Dr. Brathwaite holds a B.Sc. in Agricultural Science, a M.Sc. degree, as well as a Ph. D in Plant Pathology from Cornell University, USA. Dr. Brathwaite has a Diploma in Agricultural Development with Distinction from the University of London and has completed courses in Executive Management at INCAE and in Leadership for Senior Executives at Harvard Business School. He was a lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of the West Indies (UWI). Dr. Brathwaite served as the Director General of IICA (2002-2010). He joined UWI as the Interim Director of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture and has served as the Ambassador of Barbados to the People’s Republic of China.
Carlos Gustavo Cano Sanz, Colombia
An economist and politician, Carlos Gustavo Cano Sanz holds an M.Sc in Economics from the University of Lancaster and has also completed post-graduate studies in Government and International Economics at the University of Harvard, as well as in Senior Business Management. As Colombia’s Minister of Agriculture (2002–2005), he implemented reforms that led to the merging of the Ministry with other entities to become the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. He was Manager of the Federación Nacional de Arroceros (FedeArroz), President of the Colombia Agriculture Society and an international consultant in Strategic Planning for IICA. Currently, he is Co-Director of the Board of Directors of the Bank of the Republic of Colombia.
Cassio Luiselli Fernández, Mexico
Dr. Luiselli holds a BSc. in Economics, an MSc. and Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin, specializing in Agricultural Economics, Rural Development and International Economics. He also has a Ph.D from the University of South Africa, Pretoria. Dr. Luiselli is Professor Emeritus of the Humanities division of the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterey – Mexico City Campus (ITESM). He was a former advisor to the President of the Republic on agricultural development (1967–1970). He has also served as Mexico’s Ambassador to South Korea, South Africa and Uruguay; as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Mexico to ALADI; and as Under-Secretary for Development and Environmental Regulation (SEMARNAT).
Elsa Murano, United States
Dr. Murano possesses a BSc. from Florida International University, as well as an M.Sc. in Anaerobic Microbiology and a Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech. She served as the United States Undersecretary of Agriculture for Food Safety (2001-04), and also has extensive experience in the field of education. She was President of Texas A&M University and served as Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Texas A&M University in Agriculture and Life Sciences (2005-07). Dr. Morano was also a member of the Board of Directors of Hormel Foods.
Martín Piñeiro, Argentina
An agricultural engineer, he holds a PhD in Agrarian Economics from the University of California, USA. He is the current Director of the Committee on Agricultural Affairs of the Argentine International Affairs Council (CARI) and a member of the Support Team of the Group of Producing Countries from the Southern Cone (GPS) in Argentina. He is also a Special Advisor to IICA. He was Director General of IICA (1986-1994); President of the Steering Committee of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and member of the Steering Committee of the International Service for Agricultural Research (ISNAR).
Álvaro Ramos, Uruguay
Mr. Ramos obtained his Agricultural Engineering degree from the Universidad de la República. He served as Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (1990-1993) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1995-1998). He was a senator in his country and has worked as a consultant for IICA and other international organizations, and as an Institutions and Public Development Policies specialist for the FIDA MERCOSUR regional program.
Roberto Rodrigues, Brazil
An agricultural engineer, he served as Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (2003-2006) and as Secretary of Agriculture and Supply of the State of Sao Paolo (1993-1994). He received the Sao Paolo Medal of Scientific Merit and the National Scientific Merit award for his technical contribution to the development of science in Brazil. In 2004, he was named Agronomist of the Decade by the Association of Agricultural Engineers of the State of Sao Paolo (AEASP). He is also a rural entrepreneur and a special ambassador for cooperatives.
Silvia Sarapura, Canada
Peruvian-Canadian researcher with more than 20 years of experience in rural planning for development and an extensive background in international rural and agricultural research for development. She is an academic specializing in agrifood systems and a professor at the University of Guelph (Canada), where she also obtained an MSc. in Capacity Development and Extension and a PhD in the Interdisciplinary Program of Rural Studies. She has worked for the International Potato Center on its Andean Initiative and for the Alliance of Bioversity International-CIAT on the Seed Systems Resilience Project. She was a Senior Researcher at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in the Netherlands and has collaborated with public and regional organizations on the Integrated Seed Sector Development Platform (ISSD) – Africa, focusing on climate smart agriculture. Dr. Sarapura has also worked with Dutch and international organizations on gender planning.
José María Sumpsi, Spain
Mr. Sumpsi is the Director of the Research Center for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks (CEIGRAM) and a Professor Emeritus of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM). In 2019, he was appointed as a member of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) of the UN Committee on World Food Security. He previously served as President of the Andalusian Institute for Agrarian Reform (IARA); Director of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences of UPM; Director of the Spanish Journal of Agricultural Economics; and Vice-President and President of the Spanish Association of Agricultural Economics (AEEA). He also served as Deputy Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) from 2007 to 2011.