From Scarcity to Security:
Managing Water for a Nutritious Food Future

Global Food Security Symposium 2019

March 20-21 | Washington, DC

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How will we grow an adequate quantity—and quality—of food to feed and nourish a rapidly growing, urbanizing world in the face of increasing water insecurity?

By 2050, over one half of the world’s population could be at risk due to stress on water resources. How will we grow an adequate quantity—and quality—of food to feed and nourish a rapidly growing, urbanizing world in the face of increasing water insecurity?

Hear from government leaders, social innovators, and influencers at the Global Food Security Symposium on March 20-21, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Hurry, prices increase on Monday, February 25!
Register Now


The 2019 symposium will be a two-day event. 

Please note: timing and conversations are subject to change and will be updated regularly.

Wednesday, March 20

Solution Sessions

Location: The National Press Club
529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20045

Please note space at these sessions is limited.

9:00 a.m.

Solution Session #1: Where Are We Now on Farmer-Led Irrigation?

Most of the world’s farmers are smallholders working on less than five acres. While irrigation can dramatically increase yields, improve food security, and reduce poverty, adoption has lagged for smallholders. How can we help smallholder farmers’ needs lead the way in the financing, design, and support for distributed sustainable irrigation systems?

Speakers TBA


10:00 a.m.

Networking Break

10:30 a.m.

Solution Session #2:  Storytelling - What Makes Water Personal to You?

Each of us has a story of a time when a global and seemingly remote issue turned into something up-close and personal. As we consider the numerous ways water figures into global challenges, from water scarcity to food insecurity and poor sanitation, what do these issues mean to us individually? Which experiences and memories serve as meaningful reminders of how water touches our daily lives? This signature storytelling session provides a unique interactive opportunity for our in person and digital audience to share such narratives.

Interested in sharing a story? Go and click on this year’s story prompt, What Makes Water Personal To You? Deadline for submission is Friday, March 15.

Julie Bourlaug, Vice President, Communications and PR, Inari

Speakers: TBA


Thursday, March 21

Main Symposium Report Release

Location: Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20004


7:30 a.m.

Registration Open and Networking Session

8:30 a.m.


10:35 a.m.

Mid-morning Networking Coffee Break

12 noon

Networking Lunch

4:00 p.m.

Symposium Adjourns and Networking Reception Begins

5:00 p.m.

Networking Reception Adjournment

Content and Key Themes

Report Presentation and Reflections

We’re at a critical point in history given growing populations, growing demand for food, and an increasingly more variable climate. Water touches every corner of our lives: food, health, environment, consumer goods, and leisure. How do we protect this essential and shared resource, while nourishing a global population?

Water Stewardship in the Agrifood System

Everyone is complicit in the necessary act of water consumption by virtue of the food and water we drink each day. However, attention is often placed on the farm sector and global supply chains where concentrated and large-scale water use occurs. How are farmers and food companies responding to the challenge of rising water scarcity and how are nonprofits and academics working with them to preserve this precious resource for the future?


Connecting the Dots: Agriculture, Climate Resilience and the Private Sector

Agriculture production and profit are heavily dependent on climate. Climate change is projected to impact water and temperature, therefore reducing food production and slowing food security progress. The economic impact of this will be immense with projected price increases ranging from 10 to 30 percent, hunger rate projected increases rates of about 10 to 20 percent by 2050. Extreme climate events, such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes, are also expected to increase, damaging crops, hurting livelihoods, threatening public health, and hindering economic growth. How deeply are agriculture and climate change interconnected? How is the private sector mobilizing to create resilience and sustainable access to water?


Shared Interest, Shared Responsibility: Building WASH and Agriculture Collaboration

Growing water scarcity, increasing environmental degradation, and water quality constraints impose major threats to future WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) initiatives as well as food security. While water is essential to both sectors’ objectives, intensifying sectoral competition could create problems in achieving them. Are there new ways to think about both agricultural water and sanitation systems where both encourage health, good nutrition, and well-being? What are the innovations already being considered and how can we continue to build trust and collaboration for the decades ahead?


Dietary Diversity and Nutritious Foods

Growing global populations, rising incomes, and rapid rates of urbanization are causing massive shifts in dietary diversity and nutrition. More people are consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, and meat than ever before, changing demands for water in the agricultural sector. Can we afford the diet we want, and do we have the water and natural resources to produce it?


Way Forward

Water impacts all of us—farmers, scientists, advocates, architects, businesspeople, emergency responders, policy-makers—because water is for all of us. In order to protect this essential and shared resource, we must implement collaborative, proactive approaches to improve water quality, reduce water scarcity, and create more resilient and efficient food systems through new technologies and innovations as well as through transformative new policies. How can everyone play a part in protecting water in a way that ensures benefits across sectors?


Douglas Bereuter

Former Member, United States House of Representatives (R-NE)
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Alesha Black

Managing Director, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
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Khalid Bomba

CEO, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency
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Julie Borlaug

Vice President, Communications and PR, Inari
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Ertharin Cousin

Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
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Ivo H. Daalder

President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
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Jessica Fanzo

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Global Food and Agriculture, Johns Hopkins University
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Pierre Ferrari

President and CEO, Heifer International
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Greg Garrett

Director, Food Policy and Financing, GAIN
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Dan Glickman

Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
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Ashok Gulati

Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture, India Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)
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Kalyan Guntuboyina

Senior Researcher, Wageningen University, Netherlands
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Krysta Harden

Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™
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David Hertz

Founder, Studio of Environmental Architecture and
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Melissa Ho

Senior Vice President of Water and Food, World Wildlife Fund United States
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Gilbert F. Houngbo

President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
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Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

Executive Director, The Smallholders Foundation
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Trupti Jain

Founder and Director, Bhungroo
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Nathanael Johnson

Senior Writer, Grist
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A.G. Kawamura

Founding Cochair, Solutions from the Land Dialogue
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Annah Latane

Food Security and Agriculture Specialist, RTI
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Peter McCornick

Executive Director, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, University of Nebraska
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Mamta Mehra

Senior Research Fellow, Biosequesteration Modeling, Project Drawdown
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David Nabarro

Strategic Director, 4SD
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Femi Oke

International Journalist and Moderator, NABJ
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Roric Paulman

Owner, Paulman Farms
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Pearl Gaone Ranna

Inaugural Obama Foundation Scholar, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago
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Mark Rosegrant

Research Fellow Emeritus, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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Will Sarni

Founder and CEO, Water Foundry
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Steven Schonberger

Director, Water Global Practice, The World Bank
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Roy Steiner

Managing Director, Food, Rockefeller Foundation
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Michael Tiboris

Fellow, Global Water, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
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Roger Thurow

Senior Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
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Chuck Warta

President, Cargill Premix & Nutrition (CPN), Cargill
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Estelle Youssouffa

International Affairs Consultant
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Winston Yu

Principal Researcher and Senior Advisor, International Water Management Institute
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  • Registration Costs

  • Location

Please note the registration fee covers the entire two-day symposium and includes breakfast and lunch on March 21.

Early bird rate (before February 25): $200
Regular rate (after February 25): $300
Early bird member rate: $150

Register before February 25.

Register Now

Solution Sessions
March 20, 2019

The National Press Club
529 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20045

Main Symposium
March 21, 2019

Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20004






Baker McKenzie
The Becker Group at Morgan Stanley



  • Next Generation Delegates

  • Rapporteurs

  • Social Media Ambassadors

We are pleased to announce the Next Generation Delegation 2019, comprised of 20 exceptional students from universities throughout the United States and across the globe studying agriculture, food, health, and related disciplines. In addition, we are also pleased to announce our outstanding rapporteurs and social media ambassadors.

Garima Anand
Central Institute of Fisheries Education
PhD, Fish Nutrition and Biochemistry
Caroline Andridge
United States
University of Notre Dame
MA, Global Affairs and Sustainable Development
John Awiel chol Diing
South Sudan
Earth University
BA, Agricultural Science
Jill Baggerman
United States
University of Texas at Austin
MS, Global Policy Studies
Mauricio Federico Britez Burró
Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos
BS, Agronomical Engineering 
Hattie Brown
United States
Friedman School at Tufts University
MS, Food Policy and Nutrition
Jay Cammon Jr.
United States
University of Pennsylvania
BA, Environmental Science
Cheyenne Edmundson
United States
Oklahoma State University
MS, Animal and Food Sciences
Vicky Espinoza
United States
University of California - Merced
Phd, Enviornmental Engineering
Aina Folahanmi
King’s College London
PhD, Leadership Studies (Security and Development)
Eli Hugghis
United States
Michigan State University
MS, Plant Breeding and Genetics
Disann Katende
University of British Columbia
Masters of Public Health
Kalkidan Lakew Yihun
Duke University
MA, International Development
Chirstine Lepine
United States
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MSc, Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Shen Ming Lee
Cornell University
BS, Hospitality Management and Business Administration
Jellie Molino
University of Turin
PhD, Law and Institution
Kristopher Nicholas
Trinidad and Tobago
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
PhD, Nutrition Science
Garrett Onstot
United States
Iowa State University
BS, Global Resource Systems and Animal Science
Cara Pratt
United States
Cornell University
MPA, Science Tech Infrastructure Policy 
Luisa Samayoa Figueroa
McGill University
PhD, Human Nutrition
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Rapporteurs play an important role by attending pre-symposium "Solution Sessions" in Washington, DC, and capturing key themes and outcomes discussed.

List of rapporteurs coming soon. 

Social Media Ambassadors play an integral role in supporting the symposium via digital platforms and driving engagement, outreach, and dissemination in the lead-up to the event. Ambassadors will also help to fuel online discussion by live-tweeting throughout the event.

List of Social Media Ambassadors coming soon. 



Global Food Security Symposium 2018

Youth for Growth

By 2050, Africa’s population will double, with 1 billion projected to be under 18 years old, and many others regions are experiencing similar trends. How can we harness the potential of this promising demographic to secure economic growth and stability? The 2018 Global Food Security Symposium Showcased how global leaders, innovators, disruptors, and trailblazers are shaping the future of food and agriculture. 



Youth for Growth: Transforming Economies Through Agriculture

» Explore the interactive
» Read the report

Global Food Security Symposium 2017

Stability in the 21st Century

The 2017 symposium showcased the best of business, social, and policy innovation. Top visionaries from every sector gathered to generate the productive dialogue and actions necessary to ensure strides in global food security and agricultural development. At the symposium, the Council released its recommendations in a report on how US efforts to fight food insecurity around the world can provide increased security and economic vitality at home.



Stability in the 21st Century: Global Food Security for Peace and Prosperity


» Explore the interactive
» Read the report

Global Food Security Symposium 2016

Growing Food for Growing Cities

The 2016 symposium brought together key multidisciplinary stakeholders to discuss transformations to the global food system necessary to feed growing cities. Participants explored ideas to facilitate business investments and economic opportunities that can benefit small-scale farmers and urban consumers alike. At the symposium, the Council released a major report recommending specific actions that the US government can take to advance food security in an urban world.


Growing Food for Growing Cities: Transforming Food Systems in an Urbanizing World

» Explore the interactive
» Read the report

Global Food Security Symposium 2015

Healthy Food for a Healthy World: Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition

The 2015 symposium addressed food systems for improved health. At the symposium, the Council also released a study recommending ways the US can leverage its research institutions, deploy development and trade tools, and engage with business to improve health and nutrition globally.


Healthy Food for a Healthy World: Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition

» Read the report

Global Food Security Symposium 2014

Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of Weather Volatility and Climate Change

Global leaders convened at the 2014 symposium to chart a course for how the US government—in partnership with business, civil society, and international organizations—can advance global food security in the face of weather volatility and climate change. The Council also released a report urging US government to integrate climate change adaptation into its global food security strategy.



Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of a Changing Climate

» Read the report

Global Food Security Symposium 2013

Capitalizing on the Power of Science, Trade, and Business to End Hunger and Poverty: A New Agenda for Food Security

The 2013 symposium convened senior leaders from across sectors to chart a course for how science, trade, and business can be mobilized to advance food and nutrition security. The event featured the release of a new study endorsed by the Global Agricultural Development Advisory Group that defined next steps for the United States on global agricultural development.


Advancing Global Food Security: The Power of Science, Trade, and Business

» Read the report

Global Food Security Symposium 2012

Advancing Food and Nutrition Security at the 2012 G8 Summit

The 2012 symposium brought together senior global leaders to discuss new G8 efforts on food security and the opportunity and benefits of private sector investment in African agriculture and food sectors. President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, His Excellency Dr. Boni Yayi, His Excellency Meles Zenawi, Bono, and other dignitaries addressed over 700 attendees.



2012 Progress Report on US Leadership in Global Agricultural Development

» Read the report

Global Food Security Symposium 2011

Progress to Date and Strategies for Success 2011

The 2011 symposium evaluated progress on the US government’s global food security strategy and examined how best to overcome potential obstacles to success.


2011 Progress Report on US Leadership in Global Agricultural Development

» Read the report

Global Food Security Symposium 2010

Progress to Date and Strategies for Success 2010

The 2010 symposium sought to build and sustain the gathering momentum for change in US food security and agricultural development policy. The event featured the release of the Feed the Future Guide, the implementation strategy for the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative.


Feed the Future Guide

» Read the report

Global Food Security Symposium 2009

Chicago Council's Global Agriculture Development Report Release

The 2009 symposium saw the release of a Council report that assessed the risks posed by rural poverty and food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It endorsed a call to action for the United States government to work with governments and other institutions in those regions to increase agricultural productivity, market access, and incomes for smallholder farmers. The report was developed and endorsed by a bipartisan group of national leaders with experience and expertise on food and agriculture, development, foreign policy, and international organizations.


Renewing American Leadership in the Fight Against Global Hunger and Poverty

» Read the report


Climate change is real and the effects are real...Africa has contributed the least to the warming of the planet..but is suffering the most extreme effects of climate change.

—  John Dramani Mahama, Former President, Republic of Ghana

The people who stay at home, those hardest hit by poverty and climate change, are young women...and they reinvest 90% of their money in their community.

— Alaa Murabit, High-Level Commissioner, SDG Global Advocate, United Nations

We need to have a long term point of view about how we eliminate hunger in the world, and we need to have an immediate ability to respond to crises.

— Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Agricultural development and financial product development have gone hand in hand and been inextricably linked to economic development.

— Aubrey Hruby, Cofounder, Africa Expert Network