November 05, 2020

Former U.N. World Food Programme director to discuss pandemic’s impact on food supplies

Etharin_Cousin-sm.jpgCARBONDALE, Ill. – Ertharin Cousin, former director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme, will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on global food and agriculture during a conversation next week hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Cousin’s discussion with John T. Shaw, Simon Institute director, is at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. The virtual discussion is part of the Simon Institute’s “Understanding Our New World” series via Zoom.

Vast experience with global food issues

“Ertharin Cousin is one of America’s most impressive leaders, with especially vast and deep experience on global food issues,” Shaw said. “She has worked at all levels of government and in the private sector. We look forward to hearing her views on how COVID-19 has intensified our challenge of feeding a hungry world.”

Cousin, who is a distinguished fellow of global agriculture at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, served the U.N.’s World Food Programme from 2012 until 2017. Prior to that, Cousin, a Chicago native, was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome. Cousin also served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of America’s Second Harvest (now Feeding America). She also was senior vice president for Albertson’s Foods.

Cousin is a visiting scholar at the Center on Food Security and Environment at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Registration is open for Cousin’s conversation

Registration for the free Zoom meeting is available in advance. After completing registration, participants will receive an email confirmation with information about joining the meeting, along with the meeting ID and password. 

Participants have an opportunity when they register to submit a question to Cousin by email at or by including it in the “Questions and Comments” section on the registration form. 

More information on the Simon Institute’s events is available at