Great Decisions | Global Famine

WED, MAR 22, 2023

Fears of global food shortages have followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain shipments from the major grain producer. But what about countries and regions that were suffering before this impending shortage? How is famine defined, and how is it different from simple food shortages? What if any remedies are there?

Join us to learn more about global famine and hunger when we host a virtual discussion with Kimberly Flowers, international development consultant and former Director of Global Food Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Alex de Waal, Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation.

+ BIO: Kimberly Flowers

Kimberly Flowers has nearly 25 years of experience in international development, public policy, and strategic communications. She is currently consulting on USAID programs in Africa that are working to improve food security through private trade and investments. Previously she served as the executive director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby College. In 2015 she was named the first director of the Global Food Security Program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), where she also founded and directed the Humanitarian Agenda program. Her work at CSIS predominately addressed the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance programs and policies that impact global poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. While at CSIS, she led a high-level congressional task force on humanitarian access, conducted field research in more than a dozen countries, and led multiple U.S. congressional staff delegations overseas. Prior to joining CSIS, Flowers was the communications director for Fintrac, an international development company focusing on hunger eradication and poverty alleviation through agricultural solutions.

From 2005 to 2011, she worked for USAID, serving overseas as a development, outreach, and communications officer in Ethiopia and Jamaica; supporting public affairs in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake; and leading strategic communications for the U.S. government’s global hunger and nutrition initiative Feed the Future. Flowers began her international development career in 1999 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria, where she founded a young women’s leadership camp that continues today. She frequently speaks and moderates on food and nutrition security, including moderating the 2019 World Food Summit in Copenhagen and delivering the 2016 McGovern Lecture at FAO in Rome. She graduated magna cum laude from William Jewell College and studied at Oxford University.

+ BIO: Alex de Waal

Alex de Waal is the Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation. Considered one of the foremost experts on Sudan and the Horn of Africa, his scholarly work and practice has also probed humanitarian crisis and response, human rights, HIV/AIDS and governance in Africa, and conflict and peace-building. His latest book is Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine (Polity Press 2017). He is also the author of The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa (Polity Press, 2015). Following a fellowship with the Global Equity Initiative at Harvard (2004-06), he worked with the Social Science Research Council as Director of the program on HIV/AIDS and Social Transformation, and led projects on conflict and humanitarian crises in Africa (2006-09). During 2005-06, de Waal was seconded to the African Union mediation team for Darfur and from 2009-11 served as senior adviser to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan, where he took on a number of roles in the negotiations leading to the independence of South Sudan. He was on the list of Foreign Policy’s 100 most influential public intellectuals in 2008 and Atlantic Monthly’s 27 “brave thinkers” in 2009.

Great Decisions