Mary L. Shelman
With over 30 years experience in business and academia, Mary L. Shelman is an internationally recognized thought leader in the global food and agribusiness sector. Today, she brings her strategic insights and extensive global network to help organizations from entrepreneurial startups to global entities successfully navigate the increasingly complex issues facing industry leaders. Mary works with firms as a board member and advisor to provide leadership workshops, strategic and investment advice, and CEO coaching. She is a popular keynote speaker at conferences and has taught and presented in 17 countries.
Mary is the former Director of the Agribusiness Program at Harvard Business School which includes the renowned Harvard Agribusiness Seminar. During her 11 years at Harvard, she wrote dozens of case studies on industry-leading companies including Alltech, Climate Corporation, Fonterra, Hain Celestial, Monsanto, Nestlé, Olam, Syngenta, Taylor Farms, Yum China, and Zespri. Mary’s work has been published in Harvard Business Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, and Market Leader, and includes an invited White Paper for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Prior to Harvard, Mary was Chairman of the Board and led special projects for RiceTec, now the leading U.S. rice seed company. She has also served on many corporate and association boards including Cooksimple, Fractal Antenna Systems, Stiftung Furst Lichtenstein, U.S. Rice Millers Association, and the International Food and Management Association (IFAMA) where she is a past president. As an advisor to the Irish government, she co-authored the Pathways for Growth report which led to the creation of the world’s first country brand based on sustainability and has also completed a plan to maximize the value of the Irish seafood sector. She recently joined the advisory boards of Crop Enhancement Inc. and Village Capital, where she is also facilitating the 2016 Agriculture Program.
A native of Kentucky where she still owns a farm, Mary holds a BS in Chemical Engineering with High Distinction from the University of Kentucky and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School.