Julia Poska | December 11, 2019
Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn brought nutrition and peace to Southeast Asian communities, ending a genocide and serving as Ambassador to Cambodia, before taking the helm of the World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moines 20 years ago.
He will retire from that position Jan. 3 after decades spent encouraging social and environmental change for the sake of food security.
“What at first seemed an impossible quest, to have the World Food Prize come to be seen as the ‘Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture,’ has over the last twenty years become a dream come true,” Quinn said in a press release about his retirement.
The World Food Prize honors the vision of Iowan Nobel Peace Prize recipient Norman Borlaug by annually recognizing outstanding achievements in promoting global food security with a $250,000 prize. Borlaug is credited with starting the midcentury “Green Revolution” with a genetically enhanced wheat variety that reportedly saved one billion lives.
As president of the foundation, Quinn promoted global food security, Borlaug’s vision and the state of Iowa, expanding the reach of the prize, associated ceremony and symposium and WFP education programs around the globe, reaching tens of thousands of people.
He will be replaced by Barbara Stinson, a co-founder and Senior Partner of the non-profit Meridian Institute, which aims to address complex global problems through action and collaboration. A press release on her appointment said that in her over 30 years of environmental public policy experience, she has successfully worked on campaigns to address food safety and climate change’s impact on food production.