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Our Team

Our Team

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Eric Trachtenberg

Co-Founder
Co-Chair

Eric is an agricultural economist, diplomat, and executive driven by the desire to end malnutrition, global poverty, and food insecurity in his lifetime. His achievements in the public and private sectors include international agriculture development, nutrition policy, regulatory and government affairs, strategic planning, agriculture, trade policy, export promotion, management, and evaluation. 

Eric has more than 25 years’ experience working globally on food and agricultural issues, including service as a Foreign Service Officer at United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) both in Washington and abroad. Subsequent work included the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, consulting at McLarty Associates, and with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). He has lived and worked in China, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Russia, with additional later field experience in Africa, South America, and South Asia.

He received a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Southern California with a concentration in program evaluation and an Master’s of Science (MS) in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University with a focus on international economic development and public policy.

Rebecca Hamel

Co-founder
co-chair

Rebecca Hamel brings a private sector background in global strategic marketing and business development to helping organizations maximize their social impact. As the Managing Director of Georgetown Resource Mobilization, she helps NGOs raise funding and visibility.  Previously as the Corporate Relations Manager at the Global Health Council, she managed private sector and large NGO membership to support the development of the NCDs agenda from 2009 to 2011.

She holds a B.S. from Georgetown University (Mandarin Chinese, with a minor in Asian Studies) and an M.A. in International Development from American University’s School of International Service. She serves on the Board of Directors of the youth-led Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) and as an advisor to BAO Systems, the largest US-based DHIS 2 consulting and hosting firm in North America. Rebecca also serves as a Member of the Steering Committee of the NCD Roundtable.

 
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Kevin Latner

Co-Chair

Kevin provides agricultural policy, trade policy, trade facilitation and market development expertise. Previously, he was Senior Country Director for China for the U.S. Grains Council, responsible for leading overseas operations in China. Mr. Latner also has 15 years' experience with USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, where he spent over 10 years as a diplomat in China and Japan.

A native of California, Mr. Latner attended the University of California, Davis, where he earned a MS in Agricultural Economics, a JD in International Trade Law and undergraduate degrees in International Relations and Spanish.

Patricia Sheikh

Co-chair

Patricia provides leadership for the agribusiness community. Her extensive work in agricultural affairs that spans a career of 39 years puts her in a unique position to tackle the complex challenges associated with agricultural sustainability, trade, food security, the role of both women and the private sector in agriculture, and the creation of programs and projects that take into account climate change.

She is well known for her knowledge in understanding how to tackle problems along the agricultural value chain, the role of the private sector in agricultural development, and building regulatory structures that meet international standards and ensure food safety for domestic and imported products.

 
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Allen Rakotoniaina

Policy officer

Allen is a public health professional possessed with a core belief in equitable access to safe, nutrient-rich, and affordable food – thus contributing to a healthier and more prosperous global community. Within AFH, Allen plays a key role in researching and identifying food and health policy issues, as well as garnering and synthesizing substantive participant feedback, to produce AFH white papers. In addition to his work with AFH, Allen supports domestic, public sector work in noncommunicable disease prevention and health systems strengthening.

Allen has his Masters of Public Health (MPH) from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, with a concentration in health policy, and a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, with concentrations in public health and political science. During his undergraduate work, Allen spent part of his time at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China, where he studied and discussed environmental health and food safety issues with Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention representatives.

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Amber Wright

Policy Intern

Amber has a passion for creating a more equitable global food system. She plays a key role in researching and identifying policy issues on the role of food and agriculture in reducing morbidity and mortality from noncommunicable diseases to develop White Papers proposing actionable recommendations for governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations .

She has her Master of Public Health (MPH), with a focus in health policy, from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Kinesiology and Health Science, Anthropology double major, from the College of William and Mary.