Lecture Title: "How a Goat Named Mugisa Transformed the Life of an African Girl"
About the Guest Speaker
A 2010 World Food Prize Laureate, Dr. Jo Luck is the former president of Heifer International. She served as the organization's president from 2010 to 2011, its president/CEO from 1992 to 2010, and its director of international programs from 1989 to 1992.
Prior to joining Heifer, Jo served as executive director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism for more than a decade as then Gov. Bill Clinton's first cabinet appointee. She also served as the first executive director of the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, an organization modeled after the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.
She has been appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. Agency for International Development's Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. The board advises USAID administrators on agricultural development priorities and issues as they relate to famine and hunger. She is also a member of the DuPont and Pioneer Advisory Committee on Agriculture Innovation and Productivity, the Chicago Council's Global Agricultural Development Initiative and the Farm Foundation's Dialogue on Food and Agriculture in the 21st Century Steering Committee.
Jo has received numerous awards including the Forbes Executive Women's Forum Trailblazer Award, the International Women's Forum Women Who Make a Difference Award and Rotary International's Service Above Self award. She is the recipient of several honorary humanitarian degrees.
She is also the former board chair of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations working to overcome poverty, exclusion and suffering.
Under Jo's leadership, Heifer Intl. was recognized with several awards including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission Salute to Greatness Award, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize (the largest financial award given to a non-profit each year) and Bon Appétit's Humanitarian Award.
Her business travels include a trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina on a fact-finding mission by invitation from the UN High Commission on Refugees. She was also a member of an evaluation team of nongovernment development specialists invited by UNICEF to review programs and services impacting children and families in Cuba. Jo's overseas travel in recent years includes visits to Nicaragua, Ukraine, Romania, Nepal, Kenya, China, South Africa, Honduras, Thailand, Russia, Rwanda, Vietnam, Cambodia and Ecuador for review and evaluation of sustainable development projects.