Koch, Babiuk to lead Global Institute for Food Security


Two very familiar names within the agriculture industry in Western Canada now lead the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS).

This month, Alanna Koch was elected chair of GIFS, while Dr. Lorne Babiuk was elected vice-chair, by the board of directors.

Koch was unanimously welcomed back by the GIFS board back in June of this year after taking a leave of absence from her position as Deputy Minister to the Premier of Saskatchewan during her bid for leadership of the Saskatchewan Party.

Alanna Koch, GIFS chair

“As one of the longest serving agriculture deputy ministers in Saskatchewan and Canadian history, Alanna brings a great deal of wisdom and knowledge to the board,” Karen Chad, University of Saskatchewan vice-president, research, says in a news release.

Before joining government, Koch was president of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, a director with Agricore United (a predecessor of Viterra), and executive director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association.

According to the release, Dr. Babiuk is described as “a world leader in Canadian vaccine and infectious disease research.” He has devoted his career to Canadian-based research aimed at advancing the health of humans and animals in Canada and internationally.

Dr. Lorne Babiuk, GIFS vice-chair

Dr. Babiuk was instrumental in building the U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) where he led the organization to become an internationally-recognized research powerhouse. He also helped launch the $140-million bio-containment facility—the International Vaccine Centre, the only one of its kind in Canada. Vaccines Dr. Babiuk was involved in developing have reduced mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases in animals and have had a significant impact on the economy.

GIFS, located at the U of S, is a partnership of Nutrien, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the U of S.

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