Educating and activating youth to address the growing concerns in
U.S. food production and consumption
Former Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme
Catherine Bertini is a professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She teaches graduate courses in international relations and leadership. She is a leader in public sector management, international organizations, humanitarian relief, agricultural development, gender programming, and nutrition policy. Her career spans public service at international, national, state, and local levels and includes university teaching and leadership roles in private and non-profit sectors.
Currently she is a distinguished fellow of the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, where she served for five years as co-chair of its Global Agricultural Development Initiative (GADI) and chair of its Girls in Rural Economies Project. The GADI Project is credited with creating the intellectual argument to increase the priority of US government support for poor farmers in the developing world. For two years, she was Senior Fellow, Agricultural Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Ms. Bertini was the driving force behind reform of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), where she was the Chief Executive for ten years. She was first appointed as the Executive Director of WFP in 1992 upon recommendation of President George H.W. Bush and was re-appointed with the support of the administration of President William J. Clinton. WFP’s institutional changes were cited by the United States government and the thirty-six-government board of WFP as models of UN reform, and have placed the food aid agency in the forefront of international agencies in efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, and income.
Ms. Bertini was named the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate for her leadership in “transforming WFP into the largest and most responsive humanitarian organization in the world.”
WFP and its staff are credited with assisting hundreds of millions of victims of wars and natural disasters throughout the world. In particular, Ms. Bertini was widely praised for her efforts in mitigating famine in North Korea, preventing starvation in Afghanistan, ensuring food was delivered effectively during crises in Bosnia and Kosovo, reaching Hurricane Mitch flood victims in Central America quickly, averting mass starvation in the Horn of Africa, and focusing on women as the key to ending hunger.
Following her WFP assignment, Ms. Bertini was appointed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to be Under Secretary General for Management. There, she was responsible for the UN’s human, financial, physical resources and security of staff worldwide. She improved the management of the UN Pension Fund and increased its assets by thirty eight percent in two years; supervised major reform of the security management system; improved procedures for information systems, facilities and more inclusive human resources policies (including benefits for some sex partners) and initiated stronger financial disclosure; whistle blower protection and internal management reforms.
For four years, Ms. Bertini chaired the UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition. She was also the Secretary General’s envoy twice: for drought in the Horn of Africa and for humanitarian needs in Gaza and the West Bank. She continues to organize assistance to increase the numbers of girls in school in developing countries.
As Assistant Secretary, Food and Consumer Services at the US Department of Agriculture, she proposed legislation for nationwide implementation of electronic benefit transfer programs for aid delivery; by 2004, all states had converted to this system. She created a food package for poor breastfeeding mothers. Initiation of this package correlates directly with increases in the percentage of poor American women who breastfed their infants. Her team created the first Food Guide Pyramid to educate Americans on healthy diets. At the US Department of Health and Human Services as Acting Assistant Secretary for Family Support, she was responsible for regulations that strengthened education and training support for the poorest American women.
While living in Illinois, Ms. Bertini was appointed by Governor James R. Thompson as a member of the Illinois State Scholarship Commission and later as a commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Earlier, she had worked in the office of New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller, for the New York State Senate, and for the City of Cortland, New York. Ms. Bertini returned to the private sector upon her election as a member of the Board of Directors of the Tupperware Brands Corporation in 2005. Earlier, she held public affairs management positions at Container Corporation of America in Chicago for ten years.
In the summer of 2005, Ms. Bertini joined the faculty of the Maxwell School. Previously, she was Policy Maker in Residence at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
She was appointed by President George W. Bush and re-appointed by President Barack Obama as a member of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development; it advises the United States Agency for International Development. She serves as a member of the Audit Advisory Committee of UN Women and a member of the Stuart Family Foundation board. In 2012, she was a member of the Accountability Review Board on Benghazi.
Ms. Bertini was decorated by the Republic of Italy with its Order of Merit and recognized by the Republic of Ireland with its Certificate of Irish Heritage. The Times of London listed her as one of the world’s most powerful women. Twelve universities in four countries have awarded her honorary degrees. Recently she was honored by the Borlaug CAST award for effective communications in agriculture, the International Women’s Associates Woman Extraordinaire Award, the Women of CONCERN Brigid Award, and the GCNF Gene White Award for Lifetime Achievement in Child Nutrition.
She is a member of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Academy of Food Science and Technology. Ms. Bertini earned a bachelor-of-arts degree from the State University of New York at Albany.
With her World Food Prize, she created the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls Education at WFP/USA. It supports programs to increase the members and longevity of girls in school. Part of her collection of Women at Work Around the World – including figurines and wall hangings – is on display at the Central New York Living History Museum. She resides in Cortland County, New York where she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cortland Regional Medical Center, a lector at St. Margaret’s Church, and where she plays clarinet in the community band.
Former Secretary of Agriculture & former Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University
Dan Glickman is the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, a nongovernmental, nonpartisan educational program for members of the United States Congress. The program provides lawmakers with a stronger grasp of critical public policy issues by convening high-level conferences and breakfast meetings in which legislators are brought together with internationally-recognized academics, experts and leaders to study the issues and explore various policy alternatives.
He served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from March 1995 until January 2001. Under his leadership, the Department administered farm and conservation programs; modernized food safety regulations; forged international trade agreements to expand U.S. markets; and improved its commitment to fairness and equality in civil rights.
Before his appointment as Secretary of Agriculture, Glickman served for 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 4th Congressional District of Kansas. During that time, he was a member of the House Agriculture Committee, including six years as chairman of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over federal farm policy issues. Moreover, he was an active member of the House Judiciary Committee; chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; and was a leading congressional expert on general aviation policy.
Glickman is also a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The BPC was formed in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell to develop and promote bipartisan solutions to the country’s problems and to promote civility in government.
Glickman served as Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) from 2004 until 2010.
Prior to joining the MPAA, he was the Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (2002-2004).
Before his election to Congress in 1976, Glickman served as president of the Wichita School Board; was a partner in the law firm of Sargent, Klenda and Glickman; and worked as a trial attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He received his Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from The George Washington University. He is a member of the Kansas and District of Columbia Bars.
Glickman is also on the board of directors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Communities in Schools; Food Research and Action Center, a domestic anti-hunger organization; National 4-H Council; and the Center for U.S. Global Engagement, where he is Chair of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. He co-chairs an initiative of eight foundations, administered by the Meridian Institute, to look at long-term implications of food and agricultural policy. He chairs an initiative at the Institute of Medicine on accelerating progress on childhood obesity. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a senior fellow of the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, the Council on American Politics at The Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University, and is Vice-Chair of the World Food Program-USA. He is the co-chair of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' global agricultural development initiative. He is the author of “Farm Futures,” in Foreign Affairs (May/June 2009).