Ertharin Cousin began her tenure as the twelfth Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on 5 April 2012.
Cousin brings more than twenty-five years of national and international non- profit, government, and corporate leadership experience focusing on hunger, food, and resilience strategies. Cousin guides WFP in meeting urgent food needs while championing longer-term solutions to food insecurity and hunger.
As the leader of the world’s largest humanitarian organization with 14,000 staff serving 80 million beneficiaries in 75 countries, she is an exceptional advocate for improving the lives of hungry people worldwide, and travels extensively to raise awareness of food insecurity and chronic malnutrition.
In 2009, Cousin was confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.
Previously, Cousin served as White House Liaison to the State Department, during which time she was appointed to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Feeding America.
A Chicago native, Cousin is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Georgia Law School.