Office of the Endowed Chair

Office of the Endowed Chair, Global Animal Health and Food Security

The Endowed Chair in Global Animal Health and Food Security was established by the generosity of Cargill and General Mills to help the University of Minnesota Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) engage individuals and organizations in innovative, responsible, and effective solutions to animal health, food safety and food security challenges at local and national levels around the globe.

The Endowed Chair seeks to identify workforce development gaps by engaging cross-sectoral partners from private industry, government, and academia, while building new frameworks and tools designed to improve trade and economic outcomes. An essential element of all programs under the Endowed Chair is establishing evaluative criteria and engaging a partner network from the beginning to ensure that targeted impacts are actualized.

Thanks to the endowment, the center has been able to conduct research and build partnerships that are crucial in promoting worldwide trade, animal health, and human health.

Current Endowed Chair

Professor Andres Perez

Andres Perez, DVM, PhD, professor in the department of Veterinary Population Medicine and expert in the field of veterinary epidemiology and veterinary public health, was named the endowed chair in 2015. Perez currently also serves as the director of CAHFS.

Under Perez’s direction, the Office of the Endowed Chair has helped countries build capacity for sustaining long-term solutions. “We develop strategies that are not aid-based,” says Perez. “We work with countries to develop educational, outreach, and research programs to fill gaps and needs, with the ultimate objective of supporting their sustainable development.”

History of the Endowed Chair

In 2007, Cargill and General Mills generously funded the Global Initiative for Food Systems Leadership (GIFSL), an endowed chair established in recognition that worldwide food safety and security depend on professionals having both technical knowledge about food systems and the leadership competencies required for significant progress to take place.

For over seven years, GIFSL carried out projects in more than 40 countries, training hundreds of food industry professionals in developing the collaborative leadership necessary to positively impact food safety on a global scale. In 2014, the position was re-imagined as the Endowed Chair in Global Animal Health and Food Security.