United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture
|Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture|
Seal of the United States Department of State
|Nominator||President of the United States|
|Inaugural holder||Millicent Fenwick
as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
|Formation||June 13, 1983|
|Website||United States Mission - UN Agencies in Rome|
The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture is the head of the United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome and thus is the United States ambassador to the three United Nations agencies for food and agriculture located in Rome, Italy: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Programme. One formal title of this position is United States Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service.
Originally, there had been a U.S. permanent representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization. However, this position had not held ambassador rank, but instead had been part of the Embassy of the United States of America to the Italian Republic and had reported to the United States Ambassador to Italy. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan created the United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome and split out this role to a separate, ambassador-rank position. (Due to its heritage, the new position has occasionally been known as the United States Ambassador to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.) As with regular ambassadorial posts, nominations are made by the President of the United States and confirmation by the United States Senate is required. As head of the mission, the ambassador sees over staff from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Agency for International Development.
The U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome is a part of the "Tri-Mission Community" in Rome, along with the Embassy of the United States of America to the Italian Republic (headed by the United States Ambassador to Italy) and the Embassy of the United States to the Holy See (the United States Ambassador to the Holy See position was also split out and elevated to ambassador rank at the same time as the UN Agencies one was). The three ambassadors sometimes engage in joint activities.
As of 2012, there have been ten Ambassadors to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, who are typically appointed for three-year terms. The position has attracted some well-known Americans: Millicent Fenwick, the first to hold it at the ambassador rank, was a nationally prominent former member of the U.S. House of Representatives; George McGovern was a former United States Senator and the 1972 Democratic Party presidential nominee; and Tony P. Hall was a long-time sitting member of the House who resigned his seat in order to take on the role. Several of the nominees, especially including McGovern and Hall, had long prior involvements with food, agriculture, and hunger issues.
The following is a chronological list of those who have held the position since its elevation in rank:
- Millicent Fenwick (June 13, 1983 – March 1987)
- Fred J. Eckert (1987 – 1988)
- George McGovern (April 1998 – October 2001)
- Tony P. Hall (September 2002 – April 2006)
- Gaddi Vasquez (September 7, 2006 – January 2009)
- Ertharin Cousin (August 17, 2009 – April 5, 2012)
- David J. Lane (July 19, 2012 – August 9, 2016)
- "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts" (Press release). The White House. June 19, 2009.
- Schapiro, Amy (2003). Millicent Fenwick: Her Way. Piscataway, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. p. 215. ISBN 0-8135-3231-0.
- "Remarks by Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman on Henry A. Wallace Lecture and Dedication of the Wallace Room" (Press release). United States Department of Agriculture. September 29, 1999.
- "Congressional Record Daily Digest". Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. February 24, 1998. p. D-38.
- "About the Mission: What We Do". United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "U.S. Tri-Mission Ambassadors participate in the 'Speak Up and Clean Up' initiative in Rome". United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome. April 17, 2010.
- "Student Internships to the Tri-Mission Rome". United States Diplomatic Mission to Italy. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
- "Biography: Gaddi H. Vasquez". United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
- "McGovern begins U.N. job". Lodi News-Sentinel. Associated Press. April 15, 1998. p. 11.
- "U.N. food agency job is offered to Ohioan". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. February 8, 2002. p. A7.
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress 1774–2005. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. 2006. p. 1045. ISBN 0-16-073176-3.
- "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress". Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "Ambassador Ertharin Cousin". United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
- "Arrival of Ambassador David J. Lane" (Press release). United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome. July 23, 2012.