Balázs Győrffy
President of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture, Member of Parliament, Member of the Agriculture Committee of the National Assembly of Hungary

He was born in Pápa in 1979. He studied at the Faculty of Economics and at the Faculty of Law of the University of Pécs. From 2006 to 2014, he was the Mayor of his birthplace, Nemesgörzsöny. Since 2007, he has been the President of the Association of Farmers’ Societies in Veszprém County, and since 2009, the Vice-President of MAGOSZ. Since 2013, he has been the President of the HCA. He is an active farmer dealing with arable crop production in his family farm. He is married and the father of a son.




János Lázár
Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, Member of Parliament

János Lázár graduated from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of József Attila University, Szeged. Since 2002, he has been a Member of Parliament, from 2002 to 2012, he was the Mayor of Hódmezővásárhely, from 2012 to 2014, he was State Secretary heading the Prime Minister’s Office, and after that, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office.




István Jakab
President of the National Association of Hungarian Farmers’ Societies (MAGOSZ), Member of Parliament, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary

He graduated from the Faculty of Animal Husbandry of the Szeged College of Food Industry in 1972 as an animal husbandry engineer. He is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at Szent István University. In 1994, after several decades spent in the agricultural sector as a practical expert, he was elected Co-President of MAGOSZ, and he has been the President of the same farmers’ organization since 1999. Since 2006, he has been a Member of Parliament and since 2010, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary. He has been monitoring the practical aspects of agriculture in addition to its strategic aspects, devoting his professional experience to the Hungarian agriculture besides his public career.


György Czerván
State Secretary for Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture

He graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture of Marx Károly University of Economics, Budapest, in 1982. From 1982 to 1985 he was Head of the Department of Economics, from 1985 to 1986 Deputy Chief Accountant, from 1986 to 1988 Chief Accountant, from 1988 to 1993 Vice President of Economics, and from 1994, President and CEO at Aranyszarvas Production and Services Cooperative. Since 2010, he has been State Secretary for Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture.




Miklós Zsolt Kis
State Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development of the Prime Minister’s Office, Vice-President of the HCA for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, Vice-President of COPA, President of the Youth Section of MAGOSZ

He was born in Nagykőrös in 1979. He graduated from the Budapest Business School and from the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Pécs as an economist. From 2006 to 2014, he was the Vice-Mayor of Nyársapát, from 2006, he was the President of the Youth Section of MAGOSZ, from 2010 to 2014, he was the President of the Regional Development Committee of the Council of Pest County. From 2013, he has been the Vice-President of the HCA for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises. From 2014, he has been the State Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development of the Prime Minister’s Office. He is an active farmer, from 2002, he has been a member of the family farm in Nyársapát.


Mihail Dumitru
Deputy Director General, DG AGRI

Since 2014, he has been a Deputy Director General in the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission. He is responsible for managing the directorates for sustainability, income support and rural development. From 2011 to 2014, he served as Director of the Directorate for Rural Development Programmes. In 2009 and 2010, he was Romania’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. He graduated from the Bucharest University of Economics in 1988 as an economist and then he obtained scientific degrees during postgraduate courses at the Universities of Agriculture in Montpellier (France) and Chania (Greece). Before joining the European Commission he worked as a researcher of agriculture.

David Kostelancik
Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the United States of America – Budapest

He is a career US foreign service officer with the rank of Minister Counsellor, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest. From August 2014 to August 2015 he was Senior State Department Advisor to the Congressional Helsinki Commission. Before that, for two years he was Director of the Office of Russian Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.




Diego Morales
Director for Business Development (State of Indiana, USA)

He graduated from the Faculty of Communication and Political Science at Indiana University. Later he obtained an MBA degree at Purdue University and a global MBA degree at Tilburg University in Europe. He pursued other university studies as well in Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Beijing, Shanghai, Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil. Earlier he served as the senior advisor of Mike Pence, the current US Vice-President. At present he is a Director for Business Development in the private sector, a Manager with experience both in the private and public sectors as well as an Adjunct Professor.


Sylvie M. Brouder Professor
Purdue University, USA, Indiana

She is Professor of Agricultural Sciences at Purdue University, which was chosen this year as the 6th best agrarian higher education institution in the world, and Wickersham Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Research. Her specialties are agricultural science, plant cultivation, soil and environmental sciences. She obtained her university and academic degrees at Harvard, Cambridge, and California Universities. In her field she is among the researchers with the most publications and her work has been recognized by several prestigious awards.

Arnaud Petit, director, Copa-Cogeca

He's grew up close to a dairy farm in the northern part of France. He is graduated as Agricultural engineer at Institut Superieur d’agriculture of LILLE (France) and did a Master on Economy at Montpellier (France). Having an extended experience in lobbying activities in agriculture, he works for Copa-Cogeca since 2005, the European voice of farmers and their agri-cooperatives. Copa-Cogeca is composed by 70 members organisations from 28 Member states. Currently, he is director of the team “Commodities and trade”. He is in charge particularly of grain sector, agricultural technology, trade agreements and relation with international farming organizations.




Anikó Juhász
general director, Research Institute of Agricultural Economics

Anikó Juhász is the general director of AKI (Research Institute of Agricultural Economics, Budapest, Hungary) from 2015. Master’s degree in Horticultural Engineering (1997) and PhD in Management and Business Administration (2010). Seventeen years of experience in food supply chains and related policy research. Project and programme evaluator of FP7 and H2020 calls since 2012. Member of the Advisory Group for H2020 Societal Challenge 2 “Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research, and the Bioeconomy” (2016-2018)

Barna Kovacs, PhD

Between 2009-2017 he worked as scientific and policy officer in the European Commission's Directorate General Research and Innovation, Bioeconomy Strategy unit, in 2016 appointed as secretary for the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research. His responsibilities covered FP7 and HORIZON2020 project management and policy definition, contributing specifically to conceptual reflections and to the work programme, strategic documents and new approaches for the implementation of the Bioeconomy Strategy. Barna Kovacs was a focal point for relations with the member states and civil society, coordinates foresight exercises in the field of agriculture, forestry and fisheries within bioeconomy, responsible for the developments of the Bioeconomy Observatory. Upon obtaining his PhD degree and teaching at the Budapest University of Economic Science and Public Administration, between 2004-2009 he worked in Brussels in the European Parliament.




Barend Verachtert
Head of Unit, DG RTD

Barend Verachtert is the Head of the Agri-Food chain Unit in the Research and Innovation Directorate-General (DG RTD) of the European Commission (EC). Over the last 5 years, he has held various positions within DG RTD in the field of the bioeconomy. During its start-up phase, he was the interim Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking, a public-private partnership. Previous assignments in DG RTD included the SME unit in charge of the development of SME research policies and the promotion of SME participation in FP6 and FP7, and the Food Quality and Safety unit.  Before joining the EC he was a technology acquisition manager for Plant Genetic Systems NV, a Belgian plant biotechnology company. He obtained a PhD in biology from the University of Leuven (1988).


Flavio Coturni
Head of Unit, DG AGRI

At present he is Head of the Unit “Political Perspectives” in the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission. His major task is to coordinate the analysis and development of the Common Agricultural Policy. He has been working at the EU Commission since 1994. Between 2000 and 2007, he was analyst and trade negotiator in the WTO agriculture negotiations of the Doha Development Round (DDA). In 2007, he was appointed Head of the Unit “Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis” in DG AGRI. After leading the bilateral trade negotiations on agriculture with Canada in 2011, he was assigned to lead the Unit “Direct Support” in 2012 and 2013. He is a graduate of Political Science and International Affairs from the University of Rome.