Barbara Stinson will assume leadership of the World Food Prize Foundation on January 4, 2020, building on a career of championing policy, research and project innovations through collaborative solutions. She becomes the second president of the Foundation since it was established in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug. Ms. Stinson previously served as a co-founder and Senior Partner of the Meridian Institute, a renowned non-profit organization based in Dillon, CO and Washington D.C. that guides collaboration and drives action to address our world’s complex challenges.
Inspired by Dr. Borlaug’s mission of increasing agricultural productivity and education globally, Ms. Stinson is committed to expanding the impact of the Foundation and its programs to address pressing global challenges.
Ms. Stinson brings more than 30 years of experience in environmental public policy and business management, focusing the last 10 years on global food security and food safety. She has successfully led collaborations addressing complex challenges, such as tackling food safety in sub-Saharan Africa and the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity. Her work emphasizes policies and programs that support smallholder farmers, especially women and youth, by bringing institutional support and access to new tools, technologies and data to improve the quantity, quality and availability of food.
During her 22 years at Meridian, Ms. Stinson led programs focused on innovative approaches to agricultural development, alternative energy development, ecosystem restoration, climate change, air-quality management, natural resource management, and low-level radioactive waste disposal. Notably, Ms. Stinson was responsible for executing more than 40 major collaborative problem-solving projects in these areas, involving thousands of stakeholders from diverse perspectives. Since 2011, Ms. Stinson directed the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), a pan-African, multi-stakeholder program seeking to reduce aflatoxin prevalence across the continent.
Prior to Meridian, Ms. Stinson worked in the science and public policy program for The Keystone Policy Center, where she served as a neutral third-party mediator and facilitator.
Ms. Stinson serves on several boards, including Lady-Agri, a new organization offering meso-financing and technical assistance to women agri-preneurs; and the Foundation for Women Liberia, which offers micro-loans to local women developing businesses in Liberia.
She earned a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental conservation from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She and her family relocated to Des Moines, Iowa from Denver, Colorado.