In 2016 we were joined by some incredible speakers from New Zealand and around the world.  

Col. John T Hoffman

Food Protection and Defense Institute, University of Minnesota

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Col. John T. Hoffman is a Senior Research Fellow with the Food Protection & Defense Institute, a U. S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the University of Minnesota.    His current areas of focus are on improving the resilience of the nation’s food supply systems and to reduce risks to the complex supply chains that support the food and agriculture infrastructure. He is collaborating with industry on key risks across supply chain components such as cyber, EMA, cargo theft, and system failures as well as the potential for intentional direct attacks and terrorism.  His past research and development projects have included the Food and Agriculture Sector Criticality Assessment Tool (FASCAT), for which he proposed and developed the basic concepts in prototype; the development of national and state level bio-surveillance systems; defending against economically motivated adulteration of food and feed products; defense of the nation’s food supply infrastructure; and high consequence food event modeling.  Col. Hoffman served on the Steering Committee for the new Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance from its inception.    He has served as a Visiting Scholar with the Office of Heath Affairs within the US Department of Homeland Security from 2007 until 2009.   From November 2003 to December 2005 he served a two year appointment to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as the Food and Agriculture Program Manager in the Infrastructure Preparedness Directorate, establishing a national program to focus on food and agriculture protection, threat and intelligence issues.   He has also served as an advisor to the National Security Council and the U.S. Department of State for G-8 bio-terrorism issues, as a member of the G-8 Bio-Warfare Experts Group in 2004 and 2005, as well as serving on the U.S. Delegation to the U.N Bio-Weapons Convention 2004 session in Geneva.


A retired U.S. Army Colonel, he spent the majority of his 31 year military career, both on active duty and in the National Guard, as a Military Police Officer and Intelligence Officer working in the anti-terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and force protection areas.  During his military career he has worked in both the international and domestic terrorism reduction efforts.  Early in his career Col. Hoffman served as a combat helicopter pilot and as an Infantry Platoon leader in the Republic of South Vietnam.