Catherine Bertini wins Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (November 30, 2006) – Catherine Bertini, whose influence and contributions to child nutrition have spanned the past twenty years, has been selected to receive the 2007 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition. This prestigious award honors champions of child nutrition and was named for Gene White, an extraordinary woman who dedicates her life to children and the benefits that good nutrition can provide them. Other recipients of this award include Dr. Josephine Martin and Senators Bob Dole and George McGovern. Ms. Bertini will be honored at the 4th annual “A Possible Dream” Gala on March 6, 2007, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.
Ms. Bertini’s contributions began with her appointment as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Food and Consumer Services at USDA under George H.W. Bush, and as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Family Support Administration in the United States Department of Health and Human Services under the Reagan administration.
In 1992 Ms. Bertini was appointed Executive Director of the United Nation’s World Food Programme; the world’s largest international humanitarian agency. She is credited with assisting victims of wars and natural disasters throughout the developing world. . While serving as Director, Ms. Bertini made significant achievements in the dual mandate of the agency: to avert starvation in humanitarian crises through emergency operations, and to promote long-term development projects aimed at breaking the deeply rooted hunger-poverty cycle. Under her leadership, global food aid rose from 22 percent in 1993 to 36 percent in 1998.
Ms. Bertini then accepted the appointment to serve as the U.N.’s undersecretary-general for management. In this position she focused on improving communication and information technology, intensifying efforts to recruit more women to the U.N. staff and to revamp the budget process. Ms. Bertini was awarded the 2003 World Food Prize for transforming the World Food Programme from a development assistance program to the largest and most effective humanitarian food relief organization. Ms. Bertini used the $250,000 award to create a trust fund for girls’ education through the Friends of the World Food Program. In 2005, following twelve years service at the U.N., she accepted a position at Syracuse University as a professor of public administration.
During the gala, two other champions of child nutrition will be honored. Lynnelle Grumbles, SFNS, the 2006 SNA Outstanding Director of the Year, and Patrick McCoy, SFNS, the 2006 SNA Industry Member of the Year, will be recognized for their tremendous contributions to child nutrition.
The gala occurs during SNA’s Legislative Action Conference, which will be held from March 4-7, 2007. The conference is unparalleled in its importance to SNA members and the child nutrition programs in the United States. The Child Nutrition Foundation, established in 1964, is a non-profit corporation that provides high-quality professional development, financial aid and research programs to child nutrition professionals and members of the School Nutrition Association (SNA). SNA is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.