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The World Today: Global Food Security: COVID, Climate Change, Conflict

September 27, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

A confluence of events threatens food security around the world.

The risk of severe famine in some developing countries is growing ever greater. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has disrupted crucial supplies of grain and fertilizer, and while a deal to allow grain exports is now in place, its future is unclear. Extreme heat in India, Europe, and the US has stunted crops, with India banning wheat exports to assure its own needs are met. Oil prices have shot up, increasing costs for the global agricultural complex. Meanwhile, pandemic-related supply chain disruptions have roiled the global economy, making key staples harder to secure and more expensive to buy for consumers around the world.

In this edition of “The World Today,” Perry World House welcomes Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA, to examine the impacts of the pandemic, climate change, and conflict on global food security. How can these challenges be tackled? What can the global community do to support those most at-risk of famine, despite rising costs, decreased supplies, and complex logistics?


Barron Segar is the president and CEO of World Food Program USA, the nonprofit charged with inspiring and mobilizing people in the United States to support the mission of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to feed the world’s hungriest people. He has more than 20 years of experience growing philanthropic and cause marketing platforms for organizations spanning global humanitarian aid, public broadcasting, and finance. A leading voice on global food security, Segar has been featured in major media outlets including MSNBC, Forbes, The Hill, and The Guardian. He has also led visits to field operations in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and the Polish border of Ukraine to shine a light on the lifesaving work of the UN World Food Programme.

Prior to World Food Program USA, Segar served as the executive vice president and chief development officer at UNICEF USA, and as the director of development for Georgia Public Broadcasting. He is a founding and current board member at the Elton John AIDS Foundation and serves on the Advisory Board for Open Hand Atlanta. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Hampden-Sydney College.


Jennifer Pinto-Martin is the Viola MacInnes/Independence Professor in the Biobehavioral Health Sciences in the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing with a secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology in the Perelman School of Medicine. She currently serves as the ombuds for the University and the executive director of Penn’s Center for Public Health Initiatives. She has served as director of the Master of Public Health Program, department chair and chair of the University faculty senate. She has been part of Penn’s COVID Response Team since the start of the pandemic and continues to be involved in all public health decisions related to COVID and the campus community.

Pinto-Martin has had over 20 years of continuous National Institutes of Health support for a longitudinal study of neonatal brain injury in low birthweight infants. Her primary research focus is the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She served as the director and principal investigator of the Pennsylvania Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology, one of six centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the etiology of ASD. She holds an MPH and PhD from the University of California.


Perry World House is following the University of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 guidelines. In-person access to our hybrid events is now open to the public as well as the Penn community.

In keeping with the University’s latest update on COVID-19 protocols, masks are optional for all visitors to Perry World House. PennOpen Pass and PennOpen Campus screenings are no longer required for entry to our events.

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Please note that our current arrangements are subject to change as guidelines evolve, and other restrictions may be put in place. We will share an email ahead of each event with the latest information on how to take part. If you have any questions, please contact us at worldhouse@pwh.upenn.edu. If you are not already on our mailing list for news and updates, you can sign up here.


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3803 Locust Walk
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