WASHINGTON--Chicago's Ertharin Cousin has been tapped by the United Nations to be the executive director of the World Food Program. The appointment came from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Since 2009, Cousin has been the U.S. ambassador to the Rome-based U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. The UN position is also based in Rome.
"I am pleased to offer my congratulations to Ambassador Ertharin Cousin on her appointment by the United Nations Secretary General as Executive Director of the World Food Programme," Obama said in a statement.
"I am confident that the United Nations and its members will be well served by Ambassador Cousin's experience and commitment to the World Food Programme's vision of a world in which every citizen has access to the food they need to survive and to thrive. I also offer the thanks of the United States Government for the service of Josette Sheeran, under whose leadership the World Food Programme has become a stronger and ever more critical partner in the fight against world hunger, and for food security."
Cousin is a veteran of local Chicago and national politics, the Obama 2008 campaign, the Clinton State Department and the non-profit and corporate world dealing with food distribution to the needy and the food industry.
During the Clinton administration, Cousin was the White House liason to the State Department between 1994 and 1996.
Cousin was Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer with Feeding America from 2004-2006; she served as a board member for International Food and Agriculture Development 1997-2000. She was Senior Vice President Public Affairs and other positions at Albertsons Foods, 1999-2004 and was Vice-President Government and Community Affairs at Jewel Food stores, 1997-1999.