Faris Ahmed has more than 20 years of policy and research experience in sustainable food systems and international development, specializing in agroecosystems, biodiversity, climate resilience, human rights, health and nutrition. He possesses deep experience in policy dialogue, advocacy and campaigns, collaborative and multi-disciplinary research, stakeholder engagement and strategic communications. Faris has played leadership roles in civil society networks such as the CSM (Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism of the Committee for World Food Security), the Food Security Policy Group, the CBD Alliance and Food Secure Canada.
As a consultant over the last two years, Faris has carried out work for the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, Coventry University (CAWR), Global Affairs Canada, the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), ActionAid USA, CIDSE, VSO International and Friends of the Earth International. Faris was Director of Policy and Campaigns at the Canadian NGO SeedChange during 2007-2019, and prior to that held senior positions at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Oxfam Canada.
Faris holds a Masters in International Development from the University of Toronto, and is currently a Research Associate with the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (Waterloo, Canada), an advisor to the UNESCO Chair on Biodiversity, and an Affiliate Member of the Margaret A Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security (McGill University, Montreal). Based in Ottawa, he has lived and worked in South and Southeast Asia, and West Africa.
Working as a documentary photographer-writer in Asia, Faris developed a love of photographing trees — whether mangroves, baobabs, old growth cedars or slippery elms — a passion he continues through TreeFest, a group of tree photographers in the Eastern Ontario region. In his spare time, he dabbles with jazz and R&B music of the 1970s.
Expertise: Sustainable food systems, agroecological transition, agricultural biodiversity, seeds and farmer knowledge, food sovereignty and inclusive governance, climate resilience, health and nutrition.
Skills: Policy and campaigns, research and writing, advocacy and strategic communications, multi-actor platforms and movement building, photography.