By: Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn
On behalf of our Chairman John Ruan III and all of us at the World Food Prize Foundation, I extend our most heartfelt condolences to the family of President George H.W. Bush, a distinguished member of our Council of Advisors, on his passing on November 30.
President Bush, by his willingness to serve as a member of our Council of Advisors beginning two decades ago, played a vital role in building awareness of our Prize and its international prestige, at a time when it was little known around the world. In fulfilling this role, the former president was especially proud of the connection of World Food Prize founder Dr. Norman Borlaug to Texas A &M University where the George Bush Presidential Library is located.
During his political career, President Bush developed a strong personal relationship with John Ruan Sr. This in turn led to Mr. Ruan extending the initial invitation to the former president to join the Council of Advisors in 1999.
On a personal note, I was privileged to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State during the Bush 41 administration. During that time, I worked directly on several of the President’s most significant foreign policy initiatives, including: the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War; obtaining the fullest possible accounting for POW / MIAs from the Vietnam War; and bringing peace to Cambodia and eradicating the genocidal Khmer Rouge.
From his exceptional service in combat in World War II, to his leadership of the Central Intelligence Agency to his leadership as President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush’s life was characterized by distinguished public service to his country. As such, it has been with extraordinary pride that his name has been associated with all of our World Food Prize programs and his portrait is prominently displayed in the Founders Boardroom at the Hall of Laureates.