Dr. Juan Carlos Motamayor
PANEL Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Food Production: Bridging Technology and Local Communities
As a seasoned executive with over two decades of experience, Juan Carlos Motamayor has held leadership positions in two of the world's largest food and beverage companies. Now serving as Executive Director of NEOM's Food sector and CEO of NEOM’s Food Company, Juan Carlos is responsible for designing, scaling, and implementing a comprehensive food infrastructure and network for NEOM, with an emphasis on food security and sustainability.
His innovative approach includes the development of controlled environment production systems, weather resilient crops, optimization of open-field growing conditions, alternative proteins production facilities, and the promotion of regenerative aquaculture production. Juan Carlos's extensive background in designing, implementing, and managing intricate global programs for the food, beverage, and ingredient industries has proven invaluable for large-scale projects and cross-functional collaborations.
Through his career, Juan Carlos has partnered with government and non-government institutions from over 20 countries to spearhead agricultural and aquaculture projects, establish sustainable raw materials pipelines, and foster new business opportunities within the food and beverage sectors. Prior to joining NEOM, he served as the Director of Agricultural Ingredients and Citrus Research at The Coca-Cola Company. There, he successfully led an industry-wide regulatory policy, agronomy, breeding, and genomic program to address the crippling Citrus Greening disease, while also creating computational analytical tools for raw material optimization as well as byproduct utilization strategies.
For 17 years, Juan Carlos held senior positions at Mars-Wrigley, directing the company's agricultural cacao research strategies and plant science research programs across Latin America, Asia, Africa, and North America. He has also served as a scientific advisor for esteemed organizations such as the French National Research Agency, the Citrus Research and Development Foundation in Florida, and the United States Department of Agriculture, in addition to being an adjunct professor at the University of Florida.
Juan Carlos holds an Agricultural Engineering degree from the Venezuelan Central University, a Master's in Molecular Biology from AgroParisTech, and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of Paris XI. As a proven leader and industry expert, Juan Carlos Motamayor's vast experience and passion for sustainable development make him an invaluable asset to NEOM and its ambitious food sector goals.