New Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) Appointments
On January 14, 2022, President Biden announced his intent to appoint new members of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). BIFAD is a seven-member, presidentially appointed advisory committee to USAID, established in 1975 under Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act to ensure that USAID brings the assets of U.S. universities to bear on development challenges in agriculture and food security and supports their representation in USAID programming.
Dr. Laurence B. Alexander, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, has been appointed as BIFAD Chair along with the following new members: Dr. Marie Boyd, Associate Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina; Dr. Rattan Lal, 2020 World Food Prize Laureate, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of the Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration at The Ohio State University; Dr. Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University; Ms. Henri Moore, Vice President and Head of Responsible Business, GSK Consumer Health; and Ms. Kathy Spahn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helen Keller International. The announcement also extends the appointment of Dr. Pamela Anderson, Director General Emerita of the International Potato Center. We invite you to learn about their impressive backgrounds and expertise in their individual biographies on the USAID BIFAD page.
Serving as thought leaders and conveners of diverse expert dialogues, the board has recently provided evidence-based recommendations to USAID on protecting and advancing nutrition and food security outcomes during COVID-19 response and recovery, improving the agricultural sector and food security in conflict-affected and fragile contexts and measuring the benefits of global agricultural development investment on the U.S. economy. A newly published report commissioned by the board puts forward a priority agenda for promoting economic transformation and resilience in the sub-Saharan Africa region.
These new appointments position the board to reflect the priorities of the new administration and continue to support USAID’s global commitments in agriculture and food systems through initiatives such as the revised U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy and U.S. Government Global Food Security Research Strategy; responding to climate change; expanding diversity, equity and inclusion; and strengthening local systems. Dr. Alexander’s appointment as BIFAD chair marks the first time the board is chaired by a leader of an 1890 public land grant university, acknowledging the valuable contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and presenting an opportunity to further strengthen USAID’s partnerships with HBCUs and other U.S. Minority Serving Institutions. USAID is proud to welcome the new BIFAD members, and is encouraged by the diversity and depth of expertise, organizations and experience among the new members. We look forward to incorporating their expertise, input and energy to help advance USAID’s objectives in the important years to come.
USAID thanks outgoing members for giving generously of their time and talent and for their years of outstanding service, contributions, and support to BIFAD: Mark E. Keenum, BIFAD Chair & President, Mississippi State University; James M. Ash, Food & Agribusiness Group Leader, Husch Blackwell LLP; Gebisa Ejeta, Distinguished Professor, Purdue University; Richard L. Lackey, Chairman and CEO, World Food Bank Inc.; David Matthews, Business Development Officer, United Community Bank; and Mark McDaniel, Partner, McDaniel and McDaniel Attorneys, LLC.
For more information about BIFAD latest news and events, please visit the USAID BIFAD page.