April 1, 2014 Amb. Kenneth Quinn
In August 2014, Ambassador Quinn and his wife traveled to Iran at the invitation of the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), which was holding a special one day symposium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Norman Borlaug. Dr. Borlaug was considered an agricultural hero by the ABRII, which had awarded him a gold medal in 2000 for his research breakthroughs in wheat which had so greatly helped Iran in the 1960s. Ambassador Quinn is the only former Senior U.S. Government Official ever invited to speak at a conference in Iran. His keynote address was heard by over 400 Iranian scientists who gathered on the campus of ABRII in Karaj for the event. Also present were the Iranian Minister of Agriculture and a Mullah representing the Grand Ayatollah, the Supreme Leader of the country. At the conclusion of his remarks, Ambassador Quinn was given a standing ovation for outlining how working together in agriculture could help build peace between the U.S. and Iran. he also invited a Senior Iranian Agricultural Scientist to take part in the Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines later that year. In addition, Ambassador Quinn arranged for two World Food Prize Laureates to travel to Iran in 2015 an 2016 to speak at international symposiums hosted by the Iranian Ministry of Agriculture. A special artistic weaving of Dr. Borlaug was presented to Ambassador Quinn and it hung in his office for the next five years.