22 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM RaleGjuric LeticiaGonçalves Rale Gjuric, Director of the UC Davis European Plant Breeding Academy (EPBA). The number of young people studying plant breeding has been decreasing steadily over the past dec- ades. In a time where seed companies are having more and more trouble filling their breeding vacancies, it is imperative that new initiatives stand up that fill the edu- cation gap. Rale has been instrumental in spearheading these education efforts and has trained numerous students, which subsequently became more productive plant breeders in their respective organ- izations. The EPBA is part of the larger UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy, which since 2006, has offered 15 classes world- wide which were attended by 281 breed- ers from over 60 countries, making this organization the most recognized pro- gram of its kind. LeticiaGonçalves, President, Monsanto Europe. Under Leticia’s leadership, the company has expanded its scope in Europe from not only selling products, but moving towards an integrated-solu- tions approach, helping farmers better manage their decision-making and improve sustainable practices through a variety of advanced agronomics and modern technologies, such as digital farming and biological seed solutions. Furthermore, as a female leader in a male-dominated industry, Leticia brings her unique perspective and a signature management style with a focus on talent development, promoting diversity and empowering leaders. Over the past few years, Leticia has modernised the vision and operations of Monsanto across the region to build a truly pan-European business on the principle of “one vision, one culture,” leveraging regional exper- tise to serve as farmers’ partner of choice. HeinzHaller,Executive Vice President of the Dow Chemical Company and President of Dow Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI). In 2017, The Chemists’ Club awarded Heinz the Winthrop-Sears Medal for entrepreneurial achievement, acknowledging his leadership and creative strategies that have contributed immeas- urably to the growth and success of Dow over the years. This medal recognizes individuals who, by their entrepreneurial action, have contributed to the vitality of the chemical industry and the better- ment of mankind. The merger between Dow and Dupont-Pioneer will reshape the global and European seed sector in an unprecedented way and the decisions the European heads of the merging companies are taking will have a major and lasting impact on the European seed sector. Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. As Commissioner, Phil is ensuring that EU agricultural and rural development pol- icies promote growth, investment and new jobs, while at the same time review- ing the effectiveness of EU spending on agriculture and rural development. He is currently debating the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and earlier in 2017, he played a decisive role HeinzHaller PhilHogan