Who We Are

Jan Hopmans, Interim Director

Jan Hopmans, World Food Center

UC Davis and Europe’s lead ag university join forces with policymakers on climate and food science

Jan Hopmans leads World Food Center with China delegation

Jan Hopmans, who has had a long relationship with Wageningen University, helped organize the new agreement with the World Food Center and UC Davis. 

Jan Hopmans is serving as interim director of the World Food Center on a partial appointment while he still serves as associate dean for International Programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. 

A faculty member since 1988, Hopmans is a professor of soil hydrology in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, and a former department chair.

His research and teaching focus on soil water flow, plant-soil relationships, irrigation water and nutrient management, and climate change impacts on California hydrology. He has approximately 180 peer-reviewed publications in soil science and water resources journals and received the 2003 Soil Physics Don and Betty Kirkham Award. He was the 2014 president of the Soil Science Society of America.

He received a master's degree in hydrology from Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands and a Ph.D. in soil physics from Auburn University.


Josette Lewis, Associate Director

Josette Lewis, Associate Director

American Food 2.0 profiles Lewis for World Expo

The coalition representing the U.S. at the Milan Expo 2015 is featuring Josette Lewis in this video and profile about her relationship to sustainable food. 

American Food 2.0

Josette Lewis joined UC Davis in 2013 as associate director of the World Food Center.

Prior to the World Food Center, she worked in international business development with Arcadia Biosciences. Before Arcadia, Lewis spent 16 years at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in a variety of areas of agricultural research and development. As director of the Office of Agriculture at USAID, she worked with senior levels of the administration to launch a new global initiative on food security. Lewis serves on the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s advisory committee on Agricultural Biotechnology in the 21st Century, the Foundation for Agricultural Research’s Food Systems Innovation Advisory Committee and is a member of the board of directors for the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation.


Amy Beaudreault, Nutrition and Health Director

Amy Beaudreault directs the WFC nutrition and health effort



For the International Year of the Pulse, World Food Center Nutrition Director Amy Beudreault explains the environmental and nutritional value of this global food source. 

Amy Beaudreault focuses on the intersection of nutrition, food and agriculture in strategy development, program implementation and management, collaboration and outreach--both locally and globally. Her career spans 15 years in communications, research and program development, implementation and evaluation in agriculture and nutrition sciences, education, and communication.

Prior to the World Food Center, Beaudreault was associate director at The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science, a program at the New York Academy of Sciences that advances evidenced-based nutrition science research through convening and coordinating global experts, funding of scientific research and supporting knowledge dissemination. She also managed the Ohio State University Extension Agricultural and Safety Health Program; worked in communication at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, by translating research to practice; and directed several U.S. Department of Education contracts in Washington, D.C.

Beaudreault holds a B.S. in Journalism from the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and an M.S. in Agricultural Communication, a Ph.D. in Agricultural Education and Extension and a graduate certificate in survey research from Ohio State University. She gives global presentations, publishes research and editorials (e.g., Huffington Post) and serves as an expert on committees.


Julie Morris, Director of Technology Innovation

Jullie Morris innovation

Julie Morris has a passion for seeing young companies grow and prosper. She brings this enthusiasm to the World Food Center, where she is driving efforts to expand the UC Davis impact in food and agtech innovation, both regionally and through developing a global platform.

Morris is an experienced tech start-up professional. Having been chief financial officer and vice president of corporate development, Morris was also a founding investor in Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., which completed a successful initial public offering in August, 2013.

Prior to Marrone Bio, Morris accumulated more than 14 years of technology industry experience in venture capital investing, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, including product marketing, with roles in corporate development and marketing at Fortune 500 companies Agilent Technologies and Hewlett-Packard. During her tenure in corporate development at Agilent and HP, Morris worked on numerous investments in private and public technology companies, as well as acquisitions of both privately held and publicly traded companies. Morris also has experience as a strategic management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, based in New York City, and has worked in investment banking in Madrid, Spain.

Morris holds a B.S. in Bioelectronics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.


Barbara Celli, Senior Director, Partnerships & Development

Barbara Celli

Barbara Celli joined the World Food Center to found the partner programs that will fuel leading-edge solutions to healthy food for people and the planet. In this role, she connects the interests of individuals, companies and foundations to excellence in food and health across UC Davis, as well as to new and innovative approaches catalyzed by the World Food Center.

Barbara is passionate about UC Davis's vast interdisciplinary expertise and ability to greatly advance solutions for a healthy and sustainable world. Prior to the World Food Center, from 2008 to 2014 she led development programs for the university's flagship environmental institutes focusing on water, sustainability and climate change. The major and transformational gifts raised supported research breakthroughs, new technologies, education of next generation leaders, and outreach programs to inform policy makers and the greater community. From 2004 to 2007, she served as the campus-wide director of corporate relations and prior to UC Davis, held private sector management positions in marketing and business acquisition for nationally recognized firms in San Francisco and Southern California.


Brad Hooker, Communications Director

Brad Hooker portrait

Brad designs the content strategy and produces the communications products for the World Food Center, including news releases, web features, newsletters, photography and social media. 

Brad is a storyteller at heart. In his freelancing career, he has written a creative essay on fighter jets, blogged on the money behind D.C. politics, photographed water issues in Ecuador, captured California drought stories on audio and video and developed web content for quantum physics experiments at a national laboratory. He puts this toolkit to use telling the story of the World Food Center. Brad has a graduate degree in Magazine Journalism from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining the World Food Center, he was the senior science writer for the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences. 


Kyle Summers, Development and Operations Analyst

Kyle Summers

Kyle manages the backbone of the World Food Center through its unit operations, which include budget, finance and HR-related issues, and he also supports the unit’s development efforts.

Prior to joining the WFC in 2015, Kyle worked as the development coordinator at the UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine in Sacramento. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of San Francisco.


Phil Choi, Program Coordinator


Roger Beachy, Senior Fellow

Roger Beachy, Director

The Worldview 100

WorldView 100 cover

Roger Beachy has been ranked 19th in Scientific American's top 100 visionaries who have shaped biotechnology—and the world. 

Roger Beachy was named inaugural director of the UC Davis World Food Center in October of 2013 and served until January 2016. Beachy continues to assist the World Food Center as a senior fellow.

An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the 2001 recipient of the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture, Beachy is a world-renowned plant biologist and leading expert in plant viral resistance. He is the former chief scientist of the United States Department of Agriculture, and in 2009 was appointed by President Obama as the first director of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, where he served until 2011.

Beachy came to the World Food Center from the Global Institute for Food Security in Saskatchewan, Canada, where he was founding executive director and CEO. From 1999 to 2009, Beachy was the founding president and director of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, a not-for-profit, plant science research center near St. Louis, Missouri. He headed the plant biology division at The Scripps Research Institute from 1991 to 1998, where he was a professor and the Scripps Family Chair in Cell Biology, as well as co-director of the Institute’s International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology. From 1979 to 1991, he was a biology faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis, and served as director of the university’s Center for Plant Science and Biotechnology.

Beachy holds a doctoral degree in plant pathology from Michigan State University, and was an adjunct professor  at Peking University from 1992 to 2005 and  at UC Riverside from 1997 to 1999.