Richard Lackey, the CEO of the World Food Bank, is delighted to announce the appointment of Scott Brown to the role of President of the World Food Bank.
Scott brings more than 30 years of executive leadership experience in engineering, banking and microfinance to the World Food Bank team. Through his role as President, Scott will work alongside Richard to lead the strategic management of food production, processing, market trading, and funds sourcing.
Raised in Montreal, Scott received degrees in engineering and business before spending 18 years working with the Royal Bank of Canada in several roles, including, the Director of Finance in London where he oversaw European operations of a $13BN regulated UK bank, with offices throughout Europe and the Middle East, engaging in retail, corporate lending, global treasury, bond distribution, and private banking.
In 2006, driven by a personal passion for poverty alleviation, Scott made the leap from commercial to not-for-profit joining World Vision as President and CEO of VisionFund International, with operations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Within 11 years, Scott grew VFI from a disconnected group of 48 grassroots entities to a linked global branded network of microfinance operations that now employs 7,500 people and serves 1.4 million clients (73 percent women) in 31 countries with over a half billion dollars in loans. During his time with VFI, Scott also chaired an industry group of microfinance CEOs, which focused on improving remote financial inclusion and client protection.
Over 60% of VFI clients operate small farms, and under Scott’s leadership the organization became increasingly focused on agriculture lending, crop insurance products and remote client servicing technology, as well as partnerships with others involved in the agricultural value chain, to improve farmer productivity and access to markets. It is this focus that drew Scott to the World Food Bank.
“There is huge potential in reducing poverty through improved farming and creating better access to markets for farmers,” Scott said. “There seemed to have been a red thread through my life of encountering the injustice of poverty across the globe and a desire to help create a world where children are able to grow up with sufficient food , and are educated properly. The agricultural work that we are undertaking at the World Food Bank is exactly what will accomplish this by helping to lift the productivity and the incomes of the farmers, and therefore the wellbeing of their families and their children.”
Scott said this red thread began when he was a young man on a trip to Bogota, Colombia. Rising at dawn to visit a business prospect, he glanced down an alleyway and saw three young boys huddled together for warmth and sleeping on broken glass. “I looked at those boys, and thought, ‘That’s unacceptable.’”. “That was the day that I became offended by the injustice of poverty.”
From that day, Scott embarked on many journeys in addition to his work with RBC and VFI, including building homes in Guatemala and founding a shelter in Toronto for homeless youth.
What he has gleaned through all of these experiences is that true poverty alleviation requires going beyond programmatic efforts. “You have to have a market-driven response, and you have to work across sectors – with governments, farmers, investors, funders, business owners – to create a sustainable and a long-term solution for African countries,” he said. “I am delighted with the caliber and the integrity of the people who are working with the World Food Bank to achieve this important goal.”
Richard Lackey, the CEO of the World Food Bank, praised Scott’s expertise and his commitment to WFB’s goal of creating systemic change within the global food system.
“The role of WFB president is a natural progression for Scott. He brings the perfect blend of experience in building coordinated value chains and approaching poverty alleviation through commercial pathways,” Richard said. “He is dedicated to our vision of creating lasting change to global food systems, and he will be integral in guiding our team forward in achieving this goal.”
A UK and Canadian passport holder, Scott lives in London with his wife. Through Scott’s appointment to the role of President, the World Food Bank now assumes a global footprint with operations in the U.S., Europe, and Africa.