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The Foundation Board

Erik Fyrwald* (Board Chairman)
Erik Fyrwald became SFSA Board Chairman in 2018. He is the CEO of Syngenta. A short biography is available on the company’s website. See Erik talking about our Foundation and its interactions with the company. 

Simon Winter (Executive Director)
Simon Winter became Executive Director in September 2017. He joined the Syngenta Foundation from TechnoServe, where he was most recently Senior Vice President, Development, in Washington, D.C.

Bindu Ananth
Bindu Ananth is co-founder and Chair of Dvara Trust. She chaired Northern Arc Capital from 2009-18 and previously worked at ICICI Bank. Bindu sat on three Reserve Bank of India committees and the government’s High-Level Committee on Women. Bindu is also on the Executive Committee of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor and on Columbia University's India advisory board. In 2017, Forbes magazine featured her as one of India’s leading women.

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg
Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg is Executive-in-Residence at Schmidt Futures, having previously led the Rise program there. Before that she was Director of AWARD (African Women in Agricultural Research and Development), working towards gender-responsive agricultural innovation. Wanjiru serves in several Board and advisory roles focused on gender equality, agriculture, and climate change. Born in Kenya, she holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, as well as a B.A in Politics and an honorary Doctorate from Whitman College in Washington, U.S.A.

Jennifer Blanke
Jennifer Blanke is an expert on economic development. She served as Chief Economist of the World Economic Forum and also held the position of Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development of the African Development Bank Group. See what she said in an interview (E&F) when joining our Board.

Shenggen Fan
Shenggen Fan is now a Chair Professor at China Agricultural University in Beijing. He had previously worked for 11 years as Director-General of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., which he joined in 1995. Here's what he told us in a 2019 interview.

John Atkin
​John Atkin served as Chief Operating Officer for Syngenta from the foundation of the company in 2000 until 2014. He was previously Chief Executive Officer for Novartis Crop Protection, following a number of commercial and R&D leadership positions. Here are his thoughts about working on our Board.

Mohamed Ait Kadi
​Mohamed Ait Kadi is President of Morocco's General Council of Agricultural Development, a policy Think-Tank of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. He is a key player in Morocco’s agricultural sector reforms and has served on several national and international boards and many high-level international assignments. 

Paul Boateng
Paul Boateng was a UK Member of Parliament, a Cabinet Minister as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and UK High Commissioner to South Africa. He serves in the House of Lords and in a wide range of organizations internationally. He sits on the Board of the UK-regulated Ghana International Bank and the Health Advisory Board of Gilead Sciences, USA.

The Secretary to the Foundation Board is Rebecca Hubert Scherler (see team page).  

*The Nominations and Governance (N&G) Committee is a Board sub-committee. It supports the Board in establishing best practices for effective governance, and in maintaining and supervising a process for Board appointments, performance assessments and succession plans. The N&G Committee operates under a charter approved by the Board. Its members serve a two-year term that can be renewed once. The committee's current members are Lord Paul Boateng, Dr. Shenggen Fan and Erik Fyrwald.