The World Food Prize Foundation has named Terry Branstad, a former Iowa governor and U.S. ambassador to China, as its next president.

Branstad holds the title of longest-serving governor in U.S. history, leading Iowa from 1983-1999 and again from 2011-2017. In 2017, former President Donald Trump appointed him ambassador to China, a position he held until September 2020. Aside from his various roles in government, Branstad is also credited with playing an integral role in creating the Iowa Hunger Summit and for his support of the foundation's Iowa Youth Institute.

In a statement, foundation Chair Paul Schickler said Branstad “has been a champion of our mission from its earliest days."

"We are excited to bring on a leader with both global vision and strong roots in agriculture," Schinckler said.

Branstad said  he is honored to lead an organization “bringing together the world’s greatest agricultural scientists and fostering the next generation of innovators.” 

Among other things, the foundation presents the World Food Prize at a gathering every year in Des Moines, Iowa. The prize was established by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 and is considered the most distinguished award for global agriculture by celebrating innovative achievements to combat hunger and enhance global food security.  

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During the transition, Ambassador and former World Food Prize Foundation President Kenneth Quinn has rejoined the organization as a special consultant and Mashal Husain has been promoted to chief operating officer. Husain has been with the foundation for nearly 15 years, most recently as its senior vice president.

Branstad will succeed Barbara Stinson, who stepped down earlier this month after completing a "three-year commitment to the organization," the foundation said in a release

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