Ambassador Ertharin Cousin has more than 30 years of national and international corporate, government and non-profit leadership experience. In 2009, she became US Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture, serving as the US representative for all food, agriculture and nutrition related issues. Additionally, from 2009 to 2017 she headed the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) as its twelfth Executive Director, leading the world’s largest food distribution organization, with 14,000 staff serving 80 million people in 75 countries. Ambassador Cousin’s passionate support for a Zero Hunger World helped deliver a donor funding increase from $3.8 billion in 2012 to $5.9 billion in 2016. She has published numerous articles and spoken extensively on topics of agriculture, food security and sustainability with a particular interest in the role of technology and innovation in these sectors.
Ambassador Cousin has also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of America’s Second Harvest (now Feeding America), a national confederation of 200 food banks. In this role, she mobilized an unprecedented fundraising, volunteer mobilization and media campaign in support of the organization’s successful Hurricane Katrina operational response. Ambassador Cousin is a member of the Bayer AG Supervisory Board and the Royale Dutch DSM Sustainability Advisory Board. Her nonprofit Board memberships include the London based Power of Nutrition and Heifer International.
Ambassador Cousin is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Georgia Law School. She has received Honorary PhDs from universities worldwide and has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards. She has been included on the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women List, as Fortune’s 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.
Ambassador Cousin has been a member of Angeleno Group’s Board of Advisors since 2020.