Board of Directors

Lorne Hepworth

Lorne Hepworth is now retired, after serving for over 16 years as President and CEO of CropLife Canada, the trade association representing developers, manufacturers and distributors of plant science innovations for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings. Dr. Hepworth is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Institute for Food Security, as well as a member of the Boards of CARE Canada and Input Capital Corp. He is on the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund Governance Committee and the Advisory Board for Assiniboia Farmland Holdings LP. Dr. Hepworth previously served as Chair of the Board of Genome Canada. He recently served on the Canadian Council of Academies Expert Panel on Sustainable Management of Water in the Agriculture Landscapes of Canada. He has served as a member of the Advisory Board of the National Research Council of Canada, Plant Biotechnology Institute; the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council; the federal government’s Pest Management Advisory Committee and National Biotechnology Advisory Committee. A graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan (1971), Dr. Hepworth was a veterinarian in Alberta and Saskatchewan until 1982, when he was elected to Saskatchewan’s Legislative Assembly. He subsequently served nine years in Cabinet, during which he was minister of Agriculture, Education, Finance, and Energy and Mines. From 1993 to 1997, he held several executive positions with the Canadian Agra group of companies specializing in agri-food/feed production, processing and marketing. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2014 was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. He was raised on a farm near Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, and continues to have an interest in farming there, including the original homestead quarter established by his grandfather in 1907. He is married to Fern and they have two adult children (Graeme and Alana).

Michael Atkinson

Professor, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

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Michael Atkinson

Michael Atkinson is a Professor in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan campus. He has held a number of academic administrative appointments including Associate Vice-President Academic at McMaster University (1995-97) and Provost and Vice-President Academic at the University of Saskatchewan (1997-2007). He served as the founding Executive Director of Johnson-Shoyama (20087-2015) and has also held visiting appointments at Duke University, Western University, and the Université de Strasbourg. In the early 1990s, he served as editor of Governance: An International Journal of Policy and Administration. Michael's academic background is in political science, and he has published extensively in that field and in public administration and public policy. He is a past President of the Canadian Political Science Association and in 2012, Michael was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Medal for achievement in public administration. His research interests include public-sector compensation, political ethics, and the broad topic of good governance.

Dallas Howe

Dallas J. Howe was the founding Chair of the Board of the Global Institute for Food Security and now a member. He served as the Chair of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. from 2003 to 2015 and a Director since 1991. He was a Director at Viterra Inc., (formerly Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Inc. and acquired by Glencore in 2012) since 2005. He serves as Chair of the Board of Advanced DataSystems Ltd.  and is a director of the C.D. Howe Institute. He served as the Chair and a Member of the University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors. He also served as director of a Crown corporation from 1982 to 1989. He is the owner of DSTC Ltd., and serves as its chief executive officer. Mr. Howe currently serves in a management advisor role to BDM IT, a company he sold to GE Medical Systems in 2002 and was repurchased in 2012. His principal areas of expertise and experience include governance, general business, compensation programs, agriculture, and e-commerce/technology. In 1989, he was the first recipient of the Saskatchewan/KPMG Entrepreneur Award. He was recognized in early 2009 with an ICD Fellowship Award for his leadership in board governance. Mr. Howe received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters in Mathematics from the University of Saskatchewan. He pursued graduate studies in Computer Science at the University of Toronto.

Stephen Visscher

Deputy Chief Executive, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

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Stephen Visscher

Steve has been Deputy Chief Executive at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) since November 2008. He now leads on BBSRC international activities and global partnerships.  He has extensive experience of research policy, funding and administration in institutes and universities having joined BBSRC on its formation in 1994 from the Agricultural and Food Research Council, initially serving as Director of Finance.  He has subsequently undertaken a variety of roles, including BBSRC Interim Chief Executive for one year and Chief Operating Officer for seven years, a role that included international relations alongside other strategic initiatives such as UK Campus Developments. 

Steve has developed extensive links in food security with funders in the US, Canada, Brazil, France, India, China, the European Union, and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). He took a leading role in establishing the G20 International Wheat Initiative and the International Wheat Yield Partnership, a public-private partnership. In recent years, he has  led the UK delegation to G20 meetings of agricultural chief scientists in Russia, Australia, and Turkey.

Steve’s external roles include Chair of the Institutions’ Committee of  the G20 sponsored Global Wheat Initiative, Vice Chair of the International Wheat Yield partnership,  director of the Norwich Research Park Campus Partnership,  trustee of the Medical Research Foundation and observer member on the boards of two leading institutes: Rothamsted Research  and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences.

Steve is fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and fellow of the Institute of Internal Auditors.

For his support for scientific research, Steve was honoured in 2013 with the title Commander of the Order of the British Empire, awarded for outstanding work in the respective individual’s field.

Lutz Goedde

Dr. Goedde is a partner in the Denver office of McKinsey & Company. He is a leader in McKinsey’s agriculture/food and social sector practices, working with agriculture and food companies, governments, and NGOs to improve agricultural productivity and efficiency, increase food availability and supply chains, and reduce poverty and hunger. He has a passion for complex strategic problems of growth and development and has demonstrated knowledge and experience in creating transformative multi-year country food security and global agribusiness strategies. He is currently advising a number of the firm’s private equity clients and institutional and strategic investors in the agriculture and food sector. Dr. Goedde has a rich experiential history of applying his deep expertise in agriculture and economic development. From 2006 to 2010, he was part of the leadership team building the global and agricultural development program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. During his tenure the Foundation committed over $2 billion to development efforts in Africa and Asia to improve smallholder agriculture. Until 2005, Dr. Goedde was CEO of Alta Genetics, a global livestock genetics improvement company based in Western Canada. In his early career, Dr. Goedde worked for Bayer CropScience in Central America and South Africa in sales and marketing. Dr. Goedde is fluent in English, German, and Spanish and has extensive work experience in North America, Latin America, Europe, Southern Africa, and Southeast Asia. He received a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Bonn in Germany and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Leslie Prosser, Q.C.

Corporate Secretary to the Board

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Leslie Prosser, Q.C.

Les Prosser was appointed as the Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors for the Global Institute for Food Security in July 2016. He is a former managing partner of Robertson Stromberg LLP and is a senior member of the corporate/commercial group in Saskatoon. With years of experience and a record of countless successful files, Les represents large and small businesses in all aspects of commercial law, with particular expertise in corporate acquisitions, mergers, and re-structuring, all manner of commercial and secured financing transactions. He also handles personal, estate and succession planning matters. Before joining Robertson Stromberg LLP, Les managed his own law firm. He is a graduate of Queen’s University, earning a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in 1970 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1974. He was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1975.