Today, The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) welcomes Fatma Samoura, Gonzalo Muñoz, Xavier Lazo Guerrero, and Kumiko Watanabe to its Board of Directors. With their extensive knowledge and expertise, the four new members will be essential in advising GFN’s efforts to support community-driven solutions to alleviate hunger.
Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura is a trailblazer for gender equality, diversity, and humanitarian work. She brings to the GFN Board 21 years of high-level experience with the World Food Program and other United Nations programs in Africa, Central America, Central West Asia, and Europe. In 2016, she became the first Muslim, African, and woman in the organization’s history to hold the position of Secretary General at FIFA and she serves as the global football governing body’s second highest-ranking official. She is committed to using the unique power of football to support, encourage, and empower people around the world. As FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura has led strategic efforts to increase the number of women employed by FIFA in senior management and other roles and to double the number of female football players in the world by 2026. She also served as FIFA’s General Delegate for Africa for six months (1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020) to help accelerate the implementation of the Confederation of African Football’s reform process, which focused on good governance, organization of competitions, and the growth and development of African football.
Gonzalo Muñoz is a social entrepreneur who has advanced environmental innovation, sustainable waste management, and corporate social responsibility in Chile. He was appointed by Chilean President Sebastian Piñera as the United Nations High Level Climate Champion for the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change to mobilize climate action in non-state actors around the world. After witnessing the waste generated by the private sector in his 10 years of running traditional food businesses, he founded TriCiclos, a company that offers circular economy solutions in 13 Latin American countries. Sr. Muñoz is a board member of B Lab, a nonprofit that certifies businesses for social and environmental impact and transparency, and co-founded Sistema B, which promotes this certification and works to create an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system in Latin America.
Xavier Lazo Guerrero served as Ecuador’s minister of agriculture and livestock from 2018-2021. As minister, he implemented policies to protect food security and improve economic productivity. Lazo is an agronomist and expert in organic production, fair trade, and sustainable agriculture, and natural resource management, with experience in agroforestry systems to produce commodities like cocoa, mahogany, papaya, and bananas. Earlier in his career, Sr. Lazo founded Vialtec S.A., a company that develops wastewater biotreatment and bioremediation technologies, and served as the president and founder of Agricultura Creativa & Biotecnología S.A.
Kumiko Watanabe is a partner in Grant Thornton’s Global Client Services and member of Grant Thornton International’s global country desk steering committee. As the national leader of Grant Thornton’s Japan Business Group, she provides audit, tax, and advisory services to Japanese companies doing business in North America. Ms. Watanabe serves as executive vice president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago and sits on the board of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of NY and Japan America Society of Chicago.
“The Board is thrilled to welcome Fatma, Gonzalo, Xavier, and Kumiko. These international leaders will guide GFN as the organization continues to expand globally,” said Lisa Moon, GFN president and CEO. “We are proud to engage directors from around the world, making our current Board the most diverse to date.”
Fatma Samoura and Kumiko Watanabe will begin their terms on the GFN Board of Directors in October; Xavier Lazo Guerrero and Gonzalo Muñoz will start in December.
A complete list of The Global FoodBanking Network’s Board of Directors can be found here.