September 4, 2013 – The Chicago Council on Global Affairs today announced it has received a $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"This grant from the Gates Foundation is the single largest in the Council's history," said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. "We are grateful, as this funding enables The Chicago Council to continue its important work as a thought leader on US global agricultural development and food security policy."
The Chicago Council will offer policy analysis and dialogue about the benefits and opportunities of US investment in developing-country agriculture. The grant also will support a new effort to offer non-partisan information and analysis to members of Congress on the next steps for US agricultural development and food security policy.
"Leaders in Congress and the administration have recognized the transformational impact agricultural development can have on reducing poverty and advancing food security," said Dan Glickman, former US secretary of agriculture. "The Chicago Council looks forward to engaging more members of Congress in these conversations, as they are the most critical players in determining America's long-term economic, development, and foreign policy priorities."
Glickman and Doug Bereuter, president emeritus of the Asia Foundation, serve as cochairs of the Council's flagship global agriculture and food initiative, which was established in 2008 with support from the Gates Foundation.
Over the past five years, The Chicago Council has sponsored several studies on the rationale for US leadership and investment in developing country agriculture and food systems. Its most recent study (PDF), which was released in May 2013, found that US global agricultural development and food security policy could be improved through a focus on science and innovation, increasing agriculture and food trade, and supporting greater business activity.
"Agriculture is not only critical to feeding the world, but to raising the incomes of the world's poorest, spurring economic growth, ensuring nutritious food is available, conserving scarce resources like water and land, protecting the environment, and mitigating climate change," said Bereuter. "A US global food security policy that develops and deploys scientific innovation, increases global trade, and capitalizes on the strengths of business recognizes these important linkages."
In 2009, The Chicago Council released the report "Renewing American Leadership in the Fight Against Hunger and Poverty," which informed the Obama administration's Feed the Future initiative. Since 2009, the Council has also convened an annual Global Food Security Symposium in Washington, DC, which regularly serves as a platform for major US government announcements.