Statement by Administrator Shah on the Passing of Senator George McGovern

For Immediate Release

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Senator George McGovern was a tremendous leader in the global movement to end hunger and malnutrition, and his partnership and friendship to the U.S. Agency for International Development will be irreplaceable. Senator McGovern’s ties to our Agency date back to his appointment by President John F. Kennedy as the first Director of Food for Peace in 1961. He noted that this time at USAID was key to making him a lifelong champion of combating hunger, a commitment that has shaped global institutions and impacted millions of people around the world.   

In his 18 years in the U.S. Senate, he sponsored numerous health and nutrition programs and served as chair of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. In addition to fighting hunger in the United States, he also teamed up with Senator Robert Dole to successfully pass the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which provides school meals to millions of children around the world each year. He played an instrumental role in helping establish the UN World Food Programme and was appointed as the UN's first Global Ambassador on World Hunger in 2001. He was recognized for his great leadership as co-Laureate of the World Food Prize in 2008.   

Senator McGovern’s tireless dedication to ending hunger and malnutrition helped encourage a renewed focus on food security around the world, including President Obama’s global initiative Feed the Future. Across more than six decades of public service, he inspired countless others with his leadership, friendship, and commitment, always taking the time to mentor and coach young people.

Senator McGovern will be greatly missed, but his legacy has left us inspired and reenergized to carry his mission forward. 

Last updated: October 18, 2017

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