Get to know Catherine Bertini

What positions have you previously held leading up to your current role?
  • Executive Director, UN World Food Programme
  • United Nations Under Secretary General
  • Assistant Secretary, US Department of Agriculture
  • Board member Tupperware Brands Corporation
  • University professor
  • Advisor to three foundations
  • Managing programs to help people improve their livelihoods and end hunger 


Which leaders in life science do you most look up to? 

Sir Gordon Conway, Dr Cutberto Garza.


What advice do you have for anyone pursuing a career in life science? 

You can make a difference in the world through your profession.


What do you do in your spare time? 

Enjoy family and friends, reading, travelling, playing the clarinet.

What's your favourite Canadian dish? 

Maple syrup and, when I can find one, food from the Tim Hortons’ menu.

What do you most value in your friends? 


Which superpower would you most like to have?


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Leading and transforming the World Food Programme into the largest and most efficient humanitarian organization in the world, empowering women in their families and within WFP. For this I was proud to be chosen as a World Food Prize laureate.

Which living person do you most admire?

George Herbert Walker Bush.


Who are your heroes in real life? 

Women and men who never give up.


BONUS: Have you ever visited Manitoba? If so, what's your favourite thing about it?

Yes, I visited the Canadian Food Grains Bank while I was with WFP. I was impressed by the enthusiasm and generosity of so many farmers.


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