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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is happy to welcome Peggy Tsai Yih as the organization’s new Managing Director of the Global Food and Agriculture Program.

“The global food and agricultural enterprise will face formidable challenges in the future with feeding a growing global population and protecting an increasingly fragile natural resource base. I am delighted to join the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as the next managing director for the Global Food and Agriculture Program,” Yih said.  

Yih, who has more than 14 years of experience delivering evidence-based solutions for food and agricultural policy, comes to the Council from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C. 

“Peggy’s depth of experience and dedication to food and agriculture policy solutions makes her the ideal fit to continue the Council’s legacy and prepare us to address the challenges resulting from COVID-19, global instability, and climate change,” Council President Ivo Daalder said. 

Most recently, Yih served at the National Academies as a senior program officer with the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources working with the nation’s foremost experts to provide research, analysis, and policy advice on complex challenges in food and agriculture. In this capacity, she led an advisory panel that identified emerging technologies and developed an innovative strategy to advance food and agricultural research for the next decade. The strategy was incorporated into the 2018 Farm Bill, formed the basis for the 2020 USDA Agriculture Innovation Agenda, and led to the creation of the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority. Her portfolio of work also includes issues such as sustainable development in international agriculture, food systems, biotechnology, biosecurity, food security, food safety, animal health, public health and nutrition, worker safety and health, renewable fuels, climate change, natural resource management, conservation, and agricultural education.  

“I look forward to building on the past success of the program and leading the next phase of the program to advance the Council’s role in addressing critical global food and agricultural issues,” Yih said. 

Under the Global Food and Agriculture Program, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs has identified opportunities for US leadership in advancing global food security and nutrition and alleviating poverty through agricultural development. In 2009 it published a report that provided a blueprint for the Obama Administration’s USAID global food security initiative, Feed the Future. Since then, the Council has convened business, policy, scientific, and civil society leaders for task forces examining US farm policy; the nexus between nutrition, health, and the food system; the impact of climate change on food production; the role of research and technology; and food system transformations necessary to feed an urbanizing world.

Yih has a master’s degree from George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.