On Monday, June 23, Dr. Nancy Stetson took the oath of office and joined the Department of State as the Secretary’s Special Representative for Global Food Security. The Office of Global Food Security coordinates all aspects of U.S. diplomacy related to food security and nutrition, including in support of Feed the Future, President Obama’s flagship global hunger and food security initiative.
Dr. Stetson is an international affairs specialist with substantive expertise and practical experience in American foreign policy and policymaking. She is a veteran of Capitol Hill, having worked for 26 years in the Senate, as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to then- Senator John Kerry and as a Professional Staff Member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Dr. Stetson has first-hand experience with the importance of food security to human and economic development. During her time in the Senate, she traveled extensively and was essential to some of the U.S. government’s major foreign policy achievements, including expanding U.S. global AIDS funding, protecting U.S. foreign assistance for Africa, and normalizing relations with Vietnam. After leaving the Senate, she became the Vice President for Policy and Client Services at The Sheridan Group, a consulting firm focused on nonprofit organizations. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University and is a former professor with expertise in international relations and American foreign policy.
Secretary Kerry announced the selection of Dr. Stetson at the World Food Prize ceremony, hosted at the State Department last week. The Secretary said, “When I first sat down with President Obama to talk about being Secretary of State, he told me then that food security was one of these looming, emerging issues that he really wanted to make a mark on, that he wanted to address. He felt compelled for a lot of different reasons. And Nancy Stetson was the first person that I thought of to lead this effort at the State Department.”
Dr. Stetson was sworn in Monday morning by Under Secretary Pat Kennedy. Her staff will be led by Foreign Service Officer Chris Hegadorn, who also started working on Monday, as the Director of the Office of Global Food Security.
About the Author: Elizabeth Buckingham serves as a Nutrition and Gender Advisor in the Office of Global Food Security.