The World Food Prize Foundation

2020 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Hon. Ertharin Cousin

Distinguished Fellow, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Ertharin Cousin a global agriculture, food security and nutrition thought leader and advocate currently serves as a Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford University, Center on Food Security and Environment and as the CEO and Founder of Food Systems for the Future, a nutrition impact investment fund. From 2012 until 2017, Cousin led the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). As Executive Director, Cousin guided the 14,000-member WFP team. Each year providing emergency food assistance to more than 80 million people in over 75 countries. During this period the WFP team began to identify and implement longer-term sustainable agriculture and nutrition solutions. In 2009, Cousin was nominated and confirmed as the US Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome. Prior to her global hunger work, Cousin helped lead the U.S. domestic fight to end hunger including service as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of America’s Second Harvest - now Feeding America. Cousin’s previous private sector experience includes several leadership positions with the US national retailer, Albertsons Foods, including Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. Cousin is currently a member of the Bayer AG Supervisory Board, the Royal DSM Sustainability Board, Non-Executive Board Chair Camelot North America and the Heifer International Board of Directors and a Trustee of Akaydemiya2063. Cousin is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago; the University of Georgia Law School and the University of Chicago Executive Management Program-Finance for Non-Financial Executives. She has been listed numerous times on the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women List, as the Fortune Most Powerful Woman in Food and Drink, on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list, and as one of the 500 Most Powerful People on the Planet by Foreign Policy magazine.

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