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On June 19, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Ertharin Cousin as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture with the rank of Ambassador during her tenure of service. Official bio released by the WH below:
Ertharin Cousin currently serves as President of The Polk Street Group, a national public affairs firm located in Chicago, Illinois. Cousin is a national leader in the domestic hunger relief community, and served as one of the leading African American corporate executives in the retail food community.
She has served as the Executive Vice-President and COO of America’ Second Harvest, now known as Feeding America (2004-2006), board member for America’s Second Harvest (2002-2004), and a member of Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (1997-2000). Her professional experiences in retail food have included assignments as Senior Vice President Public Affairs, Albertsons Foods (2001-2004); Group Vice President Public Affairs, Albertsons Foods (1999-2001); Vice-President Government and Community Affairs, Jewel Food stores (1997-1999).
During her service as White House Liaison at the State Department (1994-1996), Cousin was awarded the Meritorious Service Award. Before coming to Washington, she served as Assistant Illinois Attorney General, Deputy Director of the Chicago Ethics Board and a member of the affirmative action enforcement team at the Water Reclamation District.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Cousin is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Georgia School of Law.
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If confirmed, Ms. Cousin would replace Gaddi Vasquez, a former Peace Corps Director appointed as the 8th US Representative to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in 2006 during George W. Bush’s second.
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