GODAN is supported by a Secretariat hosted primarily at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Find out more about key members of the team below:

André Laperrière

Executive Director

Mr. André Laperrière joined the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative as its first Executive Director, in September 2015.

During his career, Mr. Laperrière has led/managed numerous projects on behalf of large Private Corporations and subsequently, within the United Nations and the World Bank.

In this context he played a senior role in the design and the implementation of major reforms within a number of agencies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. He has extensive work experience in the Americas, Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, in particular in developing countries and in conflict/post conflict environments. Before joining GODAN, Mr. Laperrière was Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Washington DC. Among other positions, he has also been the first Executive Director of the Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Director of the Administration and Finance Division in the World Health Organization (WHO), and Coordinator for reconstruction and rehabilitation activities under the responsibility of UNICEF in Iraq.

Prior to his career in the UN, Mr. Laperrière was Director in the International Services of Price Waterhouse. In this position, he led multiple large scale business evaluations, privatizations, mergers and structural reform projects in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Caribbean. Mr. Laperrière was born in Canada, where he completed postgraduate studies in Administration and in Industrial Relations. Mr. Laperrière is an expert in international development.

Dr. Johan Schotte

Chairman and Founder of JOHAN SCHOTTE FOUNDATION

Dr. Johan Schotte is Chairman and Founder of JOHAN SCHOTTE FOUNDATION based in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and in Washington, DC. JOHAN SCHOTTE FOUNDATION’s mission is to contribute to a lasting measurable impact in improving the human condition on the planet by fostering peace through education and innovation.

Dr. Johan Schotte, who has successfully lead publicly-quoted and private companies, as well as professional investment funds and regulated investment management firms, serves on multiple international company boards and committees around the world to which he provides strategic advice. His international career, experience, and expertise of the last 40+ years covers the banking, finance, real estate, media, entertainment, sports, technology, civil society, and philanthropic sectors and industries.


Deputy CEO and Executive Director of the South-South Secretaria

Kiringai, the Deputy CEO of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition is the Founder of the GODAN’s Programme for Capacity Development in Africa (P4CDA), which hosts the GODAN South- South Secretariat at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology.

He is an Agricultural Economist and Lecturer in Agribusiness and Agricultural Policy at the University of Nairobi. He is the brainchild of the GODAN Programme on the Earth Observation Data Cube supporting GODAN Programmes with universities in Africa and the South-South to create Centers for Agriculture and Nutrition, Data Analytics and Innovation for Policy Impact (CANDAI).

He promotes data sourcing initiative in line with the UN Agenda on SDG 2 aligning support to Governments, Academia, Research, Private Sector and Development Partners in Africa and the South-South to embrace digital dimensions of ground truthing the GODAN Earth Observation Data Cube.

Kiringai leads the GODAN Champions Collaborative that supports the development of Global Food System Observatory Platform in line with the 30x2030 Agenda as a national initiative for every country in the South-South anchored on his market aligned model of FarmHubs and FoodFarmacies that are respectively owned by farmers and consumers.

He promotes contextualized use of AI and ML learning through a scholarship programme offered through his P4CDA initiative to deepen student exposure in digital and human centered technologies anchored on his seminal integrated curriculum on Health, Experiential Education, Agriculture and Nutrition for Data Sourcing (HEEANDS).

Kiringai is an advisor to the Agricultural Transformation Office (ATO) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Cooperatives (MoALF&C) in Kenya, where he promotes the adoption of the GODAN Agenda on Data Sourcing and Agribusiness Development. He is the convener of the Data Think-Tank for Kenya Governments data use cases for the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS). He has many years of mentoring the youth to practice and become agribusiness owners.

He is a collaborative researcher on the impacts of farmer owned agribusinesses for wealth creation combining both macro and micro integration of development in sustainable agricultural thinking through food systems driven ICTs.

Amir A. Dossal

President & CEO of the Global Partnerships Forum

Amir Dossal is President & CEO of the Global Partnerships Forum – a not-for-profit knowledge platform providing changemakers with tools to build innovative partnerships for the SDGs.

Amir is co-founder of the Pearl Initiative, and the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance. He is a founding Commissioner of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. Amir co-founded the Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development and serves as Executive Vice Chair. He is also co-founder of the Coalition for Better Health at Lower Cost that focuses on prevention of chronic diseases. Amir serves as a Distinguished Fellow for the Health Platform at the World Economic Forum.

Pioneering Partnerships and Global Outreach

Amir works globally across the economic and social spectrum. He is an accomplished diplomat, with a deep understanding of international affairs and extensive experience in global development and humanitarian issues, including managing complex technical assistance projects in emerging markets. By nature, a social entrepreneur and innovator, his work is an endeavor to bond the power of the private sector, governments, and civil society, in order to better serve the greater good. These include initiatives on women’s empowerment, engaging media in sustainable development, and innovative use of technology for positive social change. Amir is also a champion for the UN’s Safe Ground Campaign.

Ernest Francis Jones


Ernest Francis Jones is an executive with decades long experience within the realm of development and humanitarian assistance.

Mr. Jones’ profile encompasses employment with an array of intergovernmental entities located primarily in Europe and in the Global South.

The range of Mr. Jones’ professional experience encompasses employment, in part, with the following: the UN Peacekeeping Mission “UNPROFOR” in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Criminal Court, and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN in Zimbabwe. Mr. Jones is currently pursuing doctoral studies within the domain of communication in addition to a postgraduate certificate in community development.

Currently, Mr. Jones holds a Master of Science in agricultural education and communication; a Master of Arts in economics focused on human development and food security; a postgraduate certificate in technical writing and professional communication, and a B.A.


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