Kimberly Reed - International Food Information Council Foundation
Kimberly Reed is Executive Director of the International Food Information Council Foundation. Previously, she served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and John Snow; Director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund; Counsel to the U.S. Congress; and Vice President at Lehman Brothers. Kimberly earned a law degree from WV University College of Law and dual undergraduate degree in biology and government with a minor in chemistry from WV Wesleyan College. She currently serves on the Alzheimer’s Association National Board of Directors and WV Wesleyan College Board of Trustees.
Why do you believe STEM Education and Workforce are important to our nation?
STEM, especially in the agriculture, health, and nutrition areas, is vital to feeding our world. Between now and 2050, our planet’s population will increase by 2 billion people – from 7 billion to 9 billion – and, according to the United Nations, we will need 100 percent more food and 70 percent of it must come from efficiency-enhancing technologies. In my current position, I enjoy sharing this message with young people through an IFIC Foundation initiative, “Understanding Our Food,” and the Alliance to Feed the Future. We need to encourage our future leaders to focus on STEM and become a part of the solution that will nourish our ever-growing planet.
Who is your STEM role model and why?
My STEM role model is U.S.Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. She, like me, comes from rural America. Dr. Benjamin’s life has been one of service. She founded a rural health clinic in Alabama and, through determination, kept it in operation despite the damage of Hurricanes George and Katrina and a massive fire. She now shares this passion as “America’s Doctor.” She provides the best scientific information available to improve the health of our nation, especially as we address the problem of non-communicable diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Of what one initiative you are most proud?
In my personal capacity, I am a National Board Member of the Alzheimer’s Association. I served as Co-chair of the 2012 Alzheimer’s Advocacy Forum, which set a new record as the world’s largest gathering of advocates – nearly 800 from all 50 states – who are devoted to ending Alzheimer’s Disease and traveled to Washington, D.C. to share this message with the U.S. Congress. Not only is this “disease without a cure” affecting 5 million Americans, like my grandmother, and 15 million family members and friends who are providing unpaid care, it will cost the nation $200 billion in 2012. I am doing all that I can to build support for research to find treatments that cure, delay, or prevent this disease.
Which woman leader do you most admire, and why?
I most admire Margaret Thatcher, who was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century, and the only woman ever to have held the position. One of my favorite Thatcher quotes is: "I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near." Baroness Thatcher’s life embodies this hard work and her foundation was in STEM, as she graduated from Oxford University with a B.S. in Chemistry. She specialized in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dorothy Hodgkin, worked as research chemist at British Xylonite Plastics and Lyons & Company focusing on ice cream preservatives, studied law in her free time, and became a barrister before embarking on her remarkable political career. Above all, the number one reason why I admire and am inspired by the “Iron Lady” is her steadfast commitment to the cause of freedom around the world.