Ellen de Brabander
Board of Governors
Senior Vice President Research and Development Global Functions, Governance and Compliance, PepsiCo
Ellen joined PepsiCo in 2014 as senior VP leading Europe and Africa South R&D. From January 2015 onwards she built and led R&D for nutrition category, including the platforms for fruit and vegetables, dairy, grains and sports nutrition. Since July 2017 she is based in US at PepsiCo headquarters (NY) and as senior vice president leads the global R&D functions including the Food Safety, Quality, External Innovation, Strategy & Portfolio Management, Nutrition Science, Sensory and Regulatory Affairs teams.
Apart from her role in PepsiCo, Ellen also served until January 2018 as the interim and founding CEO of EIT Food, the unique European innovation consortium with more than 50 leading partners from industry and academics and more than 1.5 B Euro expected funding. EIT Food is focused on transforming the food sector by designing and delivering unique and high impact research, innovation, business creation and education programs.
Ellen has worked in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, health/nutrition, coatings and chemicals. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Ellen was chief scientific officer and global head of research, development and regulatory affairs for Merial Limited (currently part of Boehringer Ingelheim), where she led a global team to discover and develop innovative animal health products for companion and production animals. Prior to her role at Merial, Ellen held executive R&D, regulatory, business strategy and program management positions at Intervet (currently Merck animal health division) and DSM.
Ellen earned a PhD cum laude in bio-organic chemistry from Leiden University in The Netherlands and completed post-doctoral work in molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with Nobel Laureate H.G. Khorana. Her PhD has been awarded as best PhD for natural sciences from Leiden University (1990; Kock award); in 2000, she was awarded the Golden Medal from the Royal Dutch Chemical Society for being the best Dutch chemist under 40 years of age.