Board of Advocates
U.S. Ambassador Eric Bost, retired, is the Deputy Director of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture effective Sept. 1. As Deputy Director, he works to continue the legacy of Norman Borlaug, Ph.D., often called the “Father of the Green Revolution.” Like its namesake, the Borlaug Institute seeks to elevate small-holder farmers out of poverty and hunger through agricultural science.
Bost has served as the deputy director for financial operations and external relations for the Borlaug Institute since 2012. He takes over the director role from Elsa Murano, Ph.D., who has held the role since 2012.
Bost brings many unique perspectives to the Borlaug Institute and the effort to improve lives through agriculture.
Beginning in 1997, he served Texas as the Commissioner and CEO of the Texas Department of Human Services, where he oversaw programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP. He served as the U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Service beginning in 2001. In that role, he managed nutritional programs that served one in every six Americans, including the Women, Infants and Children, WIC, program and the school lunch program.
In 2006, Bost was also appointed by then Pres. George W. Bush as Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. There he focused on improving childhood education and health conditions and implementing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This experience, plus Bost’s lifetime of world travels, has given him a unique perspective on agriculture’s role in diplomacy.
“As Dr. Borlaug said, peace can’t be built on empty stomachs,” he said. “Dissent and problems and violence and conflict in some places around the world occur because, or is exacerbated by, people’s inability to have enough to eat. So, agriculture is critically important.”
Abridged bio from AgriLife Today.