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On January 14, 2022, Kathy Spahn, CEO of Helen Keller Intl, was appointed by President Joe Biden to USAID’s Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). This prestigious nomination is the only presidentially appointed advisory board to USAID.

The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development advises USAID on agriculture and higher education issues pertinent to food insecurity in developing countries in an effort to build system resilience and combat the root causes of hunger and malnutrition. Kathy joins the seven-member primarily academic board as its sole nonprofit organization representative.

Helen Keller is thrilled for Kathy to be included in this influential group, at this important moment in human history. Around the world, children and families are facing unprecedented hunger, malnutrition, and food shortages, while, at the same time health clinics are strained due to COVID-19. Having food and nutrition “on the agenda” as a priority for global citizens is crucial at this very crucial time in our world.

“I am honored and humbled to be included among such a prestigious group of leaders,” noted Kathy. “Working toward a solution to end hunger, so that all children and families have the critical foundation of sound nutrition and good health, is one of the most important things we can do, for this generation and for the next.”

Kathy has traveled much of the world with Helen Keller to support children and families who are working to overcome hunger, malnutrition, and threats to their sight and survival. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Access to Nutrition Initiative, on the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Leadership Council Compact of 2025, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Kathy previously served on the boards of InterAction, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and the Bernadotte Foundation for Children’s Eyecare; was a founding board member of the Association of Nutrition Services Agencies; and a founding partner of the former Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control.

Read the full White House press release here.