John Bell

Directorate-General Research and Innovation, European Commission
John Bell is Director for BioEconomy, DG Research & Innovation. This includes Horizon 2020, the BioEconomy strategy, the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking, Blue Growth, Food and Nutrition Security research and innovation for a total budget of 3.7 billion.
He has been a European Commission official since 1993. During his career he has worked in external relations on financial aid assistance programmes in the former Yugoslavia, public administration reform in Central and Eastern Europe and on Poland's accession to the EU. Dr. Bell was a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner David Byrne with responsibility for enlargement, food safety, public health and global health security issues, including bioterrorism. He was Head of Cabinet to European Commissioner Meglena Kuneva on Consumer Affairs and Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn on Research and Innovation, who was responsible for developing and funding Horizon 2020, mainstreaming innovation and simplification. He completed his Doctorate at St John's College, Oxford University in 1993.

Michele Perchonok

Human Research Program Science Management Office/NASA
Michele Perchonok, as manager of the NASA Human Research Program (HRP) Science Management Office, integrates the science to ensure that the science is focused on the highest risks to crew health and performance in support of exploration missions.  Prior to this position, Michele as HRP Advanced Food Technology Manager was responsible for space food product development, menu definition, nutritional requirements implementation, food processing, food packaging development, and the integration of NASA food science research for exploration space missions. Michele has served IFT, as an active volunteer, in over 30 volunteer opportunities and recently was awarded the IFT Calvert Willey Award.

Stefan Palzer

Nestlé, Switzerland
Stefan Palzer is Vice President at Nestlé and global R&D director for the beverages business at Nestlé (turnover > 10 Bio US$/y). In this function he is responsible for innovation a number of brands such as NESCAFÉ, NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE and NESTEA.

After starting his career with an apprenticeship in the beverage industry Prof. Palzer studied Food Technology at the Technical University of Munich/Germany and obtained his PhD from the same university. He joined Nestlé in 2000 and worked during the last 16 years in the culinary, confectionery and coffee business of the company in different functions. From 2005-2007 he was manager of the technology group for the culinary division (cooking aids, soups, cold sauces, dough products). In 2007 he got appointed head of the food science department at the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne/Switzerland which consisted of 120 researchers. Simultaneously he also managed the 12 Nestlé Food Science Expert Networks (companywide 400 scientists). In 2007 he obtained a venia legendi (habilitation) for process engineering from the University of Stuttgart and an MBA from the University Hagen/Germany. In 2010 he was appointed managing director for Nestlé’s global Product Technology Center for Confectionery in York/UK. With his team of 180 scientists, technologists and engineers he developed products and processes for KITKAT and many other well-known confectionery brands. Since 2013 he is global R&D director for Nestlé’s beverages business. In 2014 he was awarded the title of a Nestlé fellow (only 3 amongst the 380 000 Nestle employees) to recognize his deep expertise in food process engineering and material science.

Prof. Palzer is visiting professor for chemical engineering at The University of Sheffield/UK, professor for food process engineering at the University of Hamburg/Germany and honorary professor for food technology at the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim/Germany and. He is board member of various institutions and universities e.g. department for Chemical Engineering/University of Lausanne, European Academy for Food Engineering, French association of Chemist, Food- & Agricultural Engineers, European Master Studies in Food Technology (chairmen from 2007-2012), Research Association of the Germany Food Industry, European Working Party for Agglomeration (EFCE) and several scientific committees of the German Society for Process- and Chemical engineering.

He delivered 94 written publications (of which 70 peer reviewed), 210 scientific presentations and 37 patents (18 applied on large industrial scale).
In recognition of his expertise and scientific work he received several awards such as Nestlé Fellow, Ambassador of the University of Hamburg and honorary/visiting professorships from the universities Hamburg, Sheffield and Stuttgart. In 2002 he represented Nestle at the Future Leaders Forum, World Economic Forum Davos. His dissertation and study results were awarded with several prices and scholarships from industry and academia.

Tom Arnold

Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs
Tom Arnold has been appointed Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs with effect from 1st November. He succeeds Dáithí Ó Ceallaigh who retired on 31 July after three and a half years in office. 
As Director General, he will be responsible for the day to day management of the Institute.
An agricultural economist by training he holds Masters degrees in business administration and strategic management and was awarded honorary doctorates by both the National University of Ireland and UCD. 
He is currently chairperson of the Convention on the Constitution and was previously CEO of Concern Worldwide. 
He has worked in the Department of Agriculture as Chief Economist and as Assistant Secretary and has served as Chairman of the OECD Committee for Agriculture and as a member of many other European and International bodies. 
At present, he is Chair of the Irish Times Trust and is a member of the Irish Times Board. 
In welcoming the appointment, the chairperson of the Institute, Brendan Halligan, said “Tom Arnold continues a distinguished line of Directors General and brings a unique combination of national and international service to the post.  He is ideally equipped to guide the Institute through the next phase of development in which the rise of China, climate change and world hunger will rank in equal importance with the political and economic challenges currently posed by greater European integration.”