Catherine Bertini

Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture

Areas of expertise: Global Food & Agriculture


Catherine Bertini is a distinguished fellow of global food and agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and a former Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. She also chairs the Council’s Girls in Rural Economies projects.

For five years, she cochaired the Council’s Global Food and Agriculture program, and she cochaired the Council’s work on domestic agriculture during two Farm Bill seasons.

Previously, she was executive director of the United Nations World Food Program (1992 to 2002), the world’s largest international humanitarian agency. She was awarded the World Food Prize (WFP) in 2003 for her groundbreaking work with WFP. She served as UN Under Secretary General for Management and as the UN Security Coordinator (2003 to 2005). She taught graduate students at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and the Ford School at the University of Michigan, and was a fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Bertini served in the US government as USDA assistant secretary for food and consumer services, nominated by President George H.W. Bush, as director of the office of family assistance at DHHS, and as an appointee of both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to the board of International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). She was part of the early agriculture team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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