Dr. Mehmood Khan, the Chief Scientific Officer and CEO of the Global Nutrition Group for PepsiCo, delivered the 2011 Pardee Distinguished Lecture on Friday, April 15, 2011 on “Health and Nutrition: The Role of a Global Food and Beverage Company.” Dr Khan spoke to a rapt of audience of BU faculty, students and guests from around the Boston Area at a luncheon event held at the BU Law School. Dr. Jean Morrison, Boston University’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer, provided the welcome address and Prof. Adil Najam, Director of the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future introduced the event and guests.
Dr. Khan began his lecture by providing a background of PepsiCo as a global food and nutrition business and its various and diverse products and roles in different markets around the world. He especially highlighted the health and nutrition aspects of PepsiCo products and the integrated knowledge of a food production systems and vertical business integration that is required for a company of this size and scope to operate globally. Dr Khan emphasized the various ways in which PepsiCo’s products and processes impact people all over the world, including in developing countries. He posed the challenge that there are 1 billion people in the world today who remain hungry and undernourished, yet ironically the number of people in the world who are obese is exactly the same: 1 billion. He argued that the global nutrition challenge is the challenge of responding to both these numbers and that companies like PepsiCo have a central role to play in addressing this challenge.
Following his presentation, Dr Khan engaged the audience in a lively discussion. Some of the issues discussed included the sustainability of the production of healthy and nutritious food for the global population, the branding of PepsiCo and the need to adapt to different markets based on cultural differences and preferences.
Dr. Mehmood Khan, M.D. was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer when he joined PepsiCo in 2008, and was given the additional responsibility of Chief Executive Officer, Global Nutrition Group in October 2010. He was appointed CEO of the Global Nutrition Group with a charge to establish PepsiCo as the leading provider of “Good-for-You” foods and beverages that are great tasting, wholesome, accessible, affordable and advantaged by science.
A medical doctor trained at the University of Liverpool Medical School, Dr. Khan is a specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology with extensive academic and clinical experience, including senior clinical positions at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota Medical School. He has served on numerous state and national committees of the American Diabetes Association, the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation and the National Institutes for Health. Additionally, he has held several visiting professorships and is the author of numerous published papers. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors, New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Khan previously served as President of Takeda Pharmaceuticals Global Research and Development Center. He built the company’s U.S. Medical Affairs and Global Medical Affairs functions, and helped develop the strong, scientific basis for launching the company’s major products as President of U.S. and European drug development.
Earlier, the Pardee Center hosted a meeting where Dr. Mehmood Khan met a number of research leaders from around Boston who introduced him to the range of research being done at BU in related areas.
Dr. Mehmood Khan joins well-known and highly respected scholars and practitioners who have given past Pardee Distinguished Lectures including Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen, physicist Freeman Dyson and biologist and biocomplexity expert Simon Levin.