Board of Trustees Chair Cary Fowler ’71 has joined the Department of State as U.S. Special Envoy for Global Food Security. The news was announced today in a press statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The mission of the Special Envoy for Global Food Security is to advance U.S. food security, global hunger, and nutrition objectives through diplomatic engagement with allies and partners in bilateral, regional, and multilateral fora.
According to the press statement, “Dr. Fowler will be critical to the Department’s efforts to respond to the current global food security challenges guided by the Administration’s Global Food Security Strategy 2022-2026 and Global Nutrition Coordination Plan 2021-2026. He will also serve as Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy under the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Feed the Future initiative. He will consult widely with our partners nationally and internationally, including partner governments, the private sector, academia, researchers, international organizations, civil society, and Congress.”
Fowler’s career in the conservation and use of crop diversity spans more than 30 years, and he is best known as the “father” of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, which houses seeds from gene banks around the world as insurance against the loss of seeds during natural or man-made disasters. He was executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust from 2005 through 2012.
Fowler has served on the Rhodes Board of Trustees since 2013. He was vice-chair 2015-2017 and began his tenure as chair in 2017. He also has served as a visiting scholar at Stanford University and professor and director of research at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.