Roger Thurow

Senior Fellow, Global Agriculture and Food Policy

Roger ThurowRoger Thurow joined The Chicago Council on Global Affairs as senior fellow on global agriculture and food policy in January 2010 after three decades at The Wall Street Journal. For 20 years, he was a foreign correspondent based in Europe and Africa. His coverage of global affairs spanned the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of apartheid, the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and the humanitarian crises of the first decade of this century–along with 10 Olympic Games. In 2003, he and Journal colleague Scott Kilman wrote a series of stories on famine in Africa that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. Their reporting on humanitarian and development issues was also honored by the United Nations. Thurow and Kilman are authors of the recent book ENOUGH: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty. In 2009, they were awarded Action Against Hunger’s Humanitarian Award. Thurow’s most recent book, The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change, was published in May 2012. Roger is an expert on agricultural development and speaks often on high-visibility platforms related to nutrition, hunger, and agriculture in the US, Europe, and Africa. In 2013, Roger Thurow spoke about the power smallholder farmers in Africa at TedxChange Seattle event, hosted by Melinda Gates. Roger Thurow graduated from the University of Iowa. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Anne, and their two children, Brian and Aishling.

1,000 Days Multimedia Story Telling Project
Roger Thurow’s next book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday. The 1,000 days period is the crucial period of development, when malnutrition can have severe life-long impacts on the individual, the family and society as a whole. Nutritional deficiencies that occur during this time are often overlooked, resulting in a hidden hunger. It is a problem of great human and economic dimensions, impacting rich and poor countries alike. Launched in March 2013, Roger is tracking small groups of women and their children in four parts of the world–India, Uganda, Guatemala, and the United States–through the 1,000 days period. He also will examine the innovations, the economics, and the politics of malnutrition and hunger. The book is tentatively scheduled for release around Mother’s Day, 2016. This timing will also align to a major, international summit in Brazil on nutritional and maternal-child health goals. The Chicago Council is grateful to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for providing core support for this project. The Chicago Council also thanks The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Kelly and Jim McShane for their generous support. Visit for full details on the project.

Recent Publications

Outrage and Inspire"Standing Tall in History" Senior Fellow Roger Thurow on Outrage and Inspire Blog3/25/2014 

Journalist or Advocate? Thurow Explains His Anti-Hunger Campaign"Journalist or Advocate? Thurow Explains His Anti-Hunger Campaign," Senior Fellow Roger Thurow featured in Medill Reports2/6/2014 

One Book One Northwestern Author Talks World Hunger, Poverty in Keynote Speech"One Book One Northwestern Author Talks World Hunger, Poverty in Keynote Speech," Senior Fellow Roger Thurow featured in The Daily Northwestern2/5/2014 

Empowering Smallholder Farmers"Empowering Smallholder Farmers," Commentary by Senior Fellow Roger Thurow in The Economist1/23/2014 

Roger Thurow on Illinois Public MediaRoger Thurow on Illinois Public Media11/12/2013 

A Global Conversation: Role of Nutrition in Maternal and Infant HealthSenior Fellow Roger Thurow's slideshow for Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting10/8/2013 

The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of ChangeBook by Roger Thurow5/29/2012 

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