Susan Schram is a consultant in global food security policy, analysis and advocacy, and developing private sector strategic partnerships necessary to facilitate success in international agricultural development efforts. Her experience includes senior leadership positions in government, universities, associations, NGOs, research and development firms, and consulting organizations. She is author or co-author of numerous publications, policy analysis papers and related articles.
Most recently she served as Vice President of ACDI/VOCA, a large Washington-based global development NGO. At ACDI/VOCA she was responsible for Congressional and federal agency relations, outreach and cooperative programs, university and private sector partnership strategy, global cooperative development, event fund raising, and working with the President on matters related to the Board of Directors.
Susan is Past President of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) and currently chairs its Education and Advocacy Committee and manages the organization’s international e-news network. The network connects professionals worldwide in universities, NGOs and private sector companies working on agricultural development and hunger alleviation. In 2014 the Association honored her service with its 50th Anniversary President’s Award for service to the global agricultural community; the only time in the organization’s 50-year history that it had granted such an award. She is co-author of Food: the Whole World’s Business, an AIARD publication that defines the mutual benefits of the US investment in global agricultural development to both developing countries and the US. While serving on the Board of Directors of the US Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) and, in the role of chair of its Development Committee, she completed the report “Cooperatives: Pathways to Economic, Democratic and Social Development in the Global Economy.” The report is recognized as a leading global reference and has helped drive greater cooperation among, and increased funding for, US-based providers of overseas cooperative development assistance.
Dr. Schram recently concluded a six year term as a Trustee on the Board of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon. ICARDA is one of 15 global research centers in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The Center is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring sustainable management of natural resources, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. The CGIAR system works globally in collaboration with national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector. In 2015 Susan facilitated the U.S. advocacy effort to restore the Word Bank’s $30 mil. commitment to the CGIAR.
Susan began her career working with Michigan State University in County and State Extension Administration. She moved to Washington, DC to work for the Assistant Secretary for Science and Education at the US Department of Agriculture. After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland she represented the National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges (NASULGC) on Capitol Hill as Assistant Director for Federal Relations for International Programs. She directed the Food and Agriculture Program for Columbia University’s Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), and served as Deputy Director of CIESIN’s Washington Operations. She was the founding Executive Director of The Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, a US-Africa public/private partnership. She has chaired the NGO Support Group for the US replenishment of the budget of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). United States resources for IFAD nearly doubled during this time period. She founded and served as co-chair of the Coalition for Agricultural Development (CFAD) which includes US businesses, universities, non-government organizations, faith-based groups and associations in support of increasing Foreign Operations Appropriations for international agriculture. She has served for many years on the Advisory Board of the Congressional Hunger Center’s Mickey Leland Fellows Program. Susan has Bachelor and Masters degrees from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.