Harold Schmitz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schmitz is a General Partner of The March Fund, an investment fund dedicated to generating 'wealth with a purpose' and solving societal grand challenges by investing in companies at the intersection of food, health, and sustainability. He also serves as a Senior Scholar in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Schmitz recently retired as Chief Science Officer of Mars, Incorporated and Director of the Mars Advanced Research Institute. In 2018, he was elected as a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, reflecting his current focus on food, health, and agriculture as well as the urgent need for collaboration and innovation to improve global health and environmental sustainability.
Prior to joining Mars in 1993, Dr. Schmitz was a United States Department of Agriculture National Needs Research Fellow at North Carolina State University's Department of Food Science. He received his Master of Science degree in Food Science from the University of Illinois and his Doctoral degree in Food Science (with a minor in organic chemistry) from North Carolina State University. Dr. Schmitz received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas in 1987 and was honored as the 2011 Outstanding Alumnus of the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food and Life Sciences.
Dr. Schmitz has authored and co-authored a number of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, given numerous invited talks and presentations, organized and/or chaired a number of scientific meetings, and is a co-inventor on several granted patents (with particular emphasis on exploring the relationship between vascular biology and dietary constituents and generally the metabolism and function of dietary phytochemicals in modulating human health).
His focus on multidisciplinary collaborations led to a position on the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Sciences' Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable from 2005 to 2013. Dr. Schmitz is a member of the National Research Advisory Board at Washington University in St. Louis, the Food Innovation Advisory Council at The Ohio State University, and the Board of Visitors (which advises the Chancellor) at North Carolina State University. Since 2007, he has also been active in the annual meetings of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Prize Winners Meetings at Lake Constance.
Dr. Schmitz's current areas of interest focus broadly on the relationship between agriculture and food production in the context of social, cultural, ecological, environmental, and economic sustainability, as well as the unique role that multi-sector collaborations can play in solving challenges in this area.