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In 2009, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs 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. The resulting reports of task force findings and recommendations provide guidance for how stakeholders from the public, private, and NGO sectors can work together to implement innovative solutions to global food security challenges.

The reports are released each year at the Council's Global Food Security Symposium in Washington DC. The 2012 symposium served as the launching platform for the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, and featured speakers such as President Barack Obama; former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Bono; heads of state from Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, and Benin; and numerous business leaders. Other past symposium speakers include Bill Gates of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides generous support for the Council’s Global Food and Agriculture Program; US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; Cargill Chairman Greg Page; and Nobel Laureate and President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. In addition to annual thematic reports, the Council on Global Affairs also publishes shorter briefs on topics such as US-Africa trade relations; US public opinion on current food system issues, including applications of science in food production; and links between civil unrest and high food prices.