Ertharin Cousin served as the twelfth Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) from 2012 to 2017. Following the completion of her term, Cousin accepted an appointment as a Trustee on the Board of Directors of The Power of Nutrition.
Ms. Cousin has more than twenty-five years of national and international non-profit, government, and corporate leadership experience focusing on hunger, food, and resilience strategies. During her time at the World Food Programme, she guided the organization in meeting urgent food needs while championing longer-term solutions to food insecurity and hunger.
In 2009, Ertharin Cousin was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, and head of the U.S. Mission to the U.N. Agencies in Rome. During her nearly three years as the chief U.S. diplomatic voice for famine relief and hunger solutions, she helped guide U.S. and international policy around some of the most devastating and life-threatening situations in the world – including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2010 flooding in Pakistan and 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa.
As the U.S. Representative in Rome, she played a significant role in advocating for improved collaboration between the three Rome-based food and agriculture agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agriculture Development and the World Food Programme.
Cousin worked in the Administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton for four years, including as White House Liaison to the State Department, and received a White House appointment to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.