|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, Food and Agriculture Organization Chief Appoint
Ertharin Cousin of United States to Head World Food Programme
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva announced today their appointment of Ertharin Cousin (United States) as Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), at the Under-Secretary-General level, in succession to Josette Sheeran. The Executive Board of WFP has confirmed its concurrence with the appointment.
The Secretary-General and Director-General express their deep appreciation to Ms. Sheeran for her leadership of WFP during her five-year tenure, noting that she has been an outstanding advocate for the United Nations and a champion of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
Currently the United States Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, Ms. Cousin is closely involved in the global fight to end hunger and malnutrition, and to ensure the advancement of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly those dealing with food security and environmental sustainability.
She has more than 25 years of national and international corporate, non-profit, and Government leadership experience, including as President of the Polk Street Group, a national public affairs firm located in Illinois. In that capacity, she led several projects related to strategic partnership development, external communications and philanthropy. She also served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger organization in the United States. Among her key achievements was leading the organization’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
Ms. Cousin has significant background in the retail food sector, including as Senior Vice-President of Albertsons Foods and Vice-President for Government and Community Affairs for Jewel Food Stores. While working for Albertsons, she also served as President and Chair of the company’s corporate foundation, managing the organization’s philanthropic activities.
She worked for the Clinton Administration for four years, including as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Democratic National Committee and White House Liaison at the State Department. In 1997, she received a White House appointment to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.
Early in her career, Ms. Cousin worked in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, served as Deputy Director of Chicago’s Board of Ethics and practised law as a trial attorney.
A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Illinois as well as the University of Georgia’s School of Law, she has a life-long commitment to food and agricultural issues rooted in a personal history.
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