Contact: Allison Matthews
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum recently has been named to the Feed the Future Evaluation Oversight Committee to help oversee the global performance evaluation of the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.
Led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the initiative works in 19 focus countries, primarily in Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, which were selected based on five criteria—level of need, opportunity for partnership, potential for agricultural growth, opportunity for regional synergy and resource availability. Since its inception, Feed the Future has included strategic planning and implementation steps. Review also is integral, and progress on Feed the Future objectives is measured against an established results framework. For more, see www.feedthefuture.gov.
The Evaluation Oversight Committee is an external body that will provide oversight on the evaluation of Feed the Future to ensure objectivity, transparency, balance and relevance. The evaluation will assess how well the initiative has performed toward its key principles and its progress to date on targeted outcomes and impacts.
In addition to Keenum, four other committee members are experts from the private sector and nongovernmental organizations. They include Steve Joehl of the National Association of Wheat Growers; Donald Kaberuka of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the former president of the African Development Bank; Carolyn Miles of Save the Children; and Gregory Page of Cargill Incorporated.
Keenum’s significant experience related to international food and nutrition security includes his current service as vice chairman of the board of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR), to which he was appointed to a three-year term by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack. Keenum also has been part of a historic global hunger initiative called Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH) which was created as the result of a gathering between leaders of more than 30 universities in the U.S., Canada and Central America in 2014.
Keenum is a graduate of MSU with degrees in agricultural economics, and he began his career at MSU as a faculty member with the Extension Service and the Department of Agricultural Economics, where his primary research and extension work focused on the marketing and economics of aquaculture, specialty crops and forestry. He went on to serve as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in Washington, D.C., and was Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prior to returning home to Mississippi State.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.