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Our team

“Agriculture in Europe is vital. As an industry it provides essential food, fibre and fuel. It is a major contributor to the economy that supports our rural communities and thereby preserves our cultural heritage, traditions and landscapes.”

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Dr. Janez Potočnik

Dr. Janez Potočnik is the Chairman of the Board of the RISE Foundation. He graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ph.D. degree 1993). After a successful career starting in 1989 in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research and then Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (1994), he was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002).

In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as ‘shadow’ Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 Dr Potočnik became Commissioner for Environment. His term ended in November 2014 and he was then appointed for a three-year term as a member and Co-Chair of International resource Panel hosted by United Nations Environment Programme. In the same month he was also appointed as a Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation and a Member of the European Policy Centre’s Advisory Council.

Annabelle Williams

Annabelle Williams is the Managing Director at RISE. Prior to joining the RISE Foundation, Annabelle spent over 10 years managing projects in the humanitarian and development sector both from the UK and overseas. Growing up on a farm, agriculture and the environment has always been a personal interest and in 2011, she completed an MBA in Agriculture before joining RISE in 2012.  

Prof. Allan Buckwell

Emeritus Professor Allan Buckwell is the Director of RISE’s reports since 2012 on the following topics: crop protection, livestock, the Common Agricultural Policy, nutrient recovery and reuse and sustainable intensification. Two thirds of his career has been as an academic agricultural economist specialising in agricultural and rural policy. This has involved his work as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (since 2012), fourteen years at Newcastle University and then from 1984-1999 as Professor of Agricultural Economics, Wye College University of London (which was merged into Imperial College). During this period he specialised on teaching and research into all aspects of European rural policy dealing especially with the Common Agricultural Policy, trade issues, and technology and structural change in farming and its impacts. 

During 1995/6 he was seconded to the analysis and conception unit of DG Agri in the European Commission where he chaired a policy integration group who laid out a model for the evolution of the CAP. He joined the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) as Policy Director in 2000.

Since then he has been involved in debates on how to balance the CAP as a policy for Food and Environmental Security. He chaired and authored a report on Public Goods from Private Land and worked a good deal on Climate Change, the threats and opportunities this poses to rural land managers and Green House Gas accounting from land-based businesses. His key specialist subjects are CAP, agriculture and environmental land management.

Dr. Elisabet Nadeu

Elisabet Nadeu is a researcher at RISE since 2015. She’s worked on the Foundation’s reports on nutrients, livestock and crop protection. Besides performing research for the RISE reports she also manages the website and social media.

Elisabet is an environmental scientist holding a Ph.D. in physical geography and prior to joining the RISE Foundation she worked for six years as a researcher on issues related to geomorphology and biogeochemical cycles at the Spanish National Research Council, the Catholic University of Louvain and the University of California. As a result of her interest in environmental issues, she has also worked as an environmental consultant and educator.