December 16, 2019 Amb. Kenneth Quinn
In December 2019, at the end of his two decade long tenure of leading the World Food Prize, Ambassador Quinn published his President’s Report summarizing his achievements over this timeframe. When he assumed his position in 2000, the Ambassador had a one person staff and the World Food Prize was a one day event attracting only about 25 to 30 persons from outside Iowa.
As outlined in his Report, over the next 20 years, to fulfill the vision of Norman Borlaug and John Ruan, the Ambassador took actions to:
- -Elevate Norman Borlaug’s status as a global and national hero;
- -Create a ceremony in a setting that gives the World Food Prize the status of a Nobel Prize;
- -Shape the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium to be the “Davos of Global Food Security;”
- -Dramatically expand the Global Youth Institute and youth education programs;
- -Promote the theme of Peace Through Agriculture;
- -Make Central Iowa the “Hunger Fighting Capital of America;”
- -Integrate music and the arts into World Food Prize ceremonies and programs; and
- -Lead the $36 million project to transform the century old Des Moines Public Library Building into the Norman Borlaug Hall of Laureates.
In so doing, Ambassador Quinn truly fulfilled the vision of having the World Food Prize come to be seen as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.”