Our team represents decades of high-impact investing, entrepreneurship, leadership, and climate science.
Ann M. Veneman has a distinguished career in public service, serving as the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) from 2005 to 2010 and as the United States Secretary of Agriculture from 2001 to 2005. Veneman’s leadership and vision has been recognized both nationally and internationally. In 2009 she was named to the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Women Making History Award from the National Women’s History Museum.
The only woman to ever serve as Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Veneman directed one of most diverse federal agencies with a budget of $113 billion and 110,000 employees. She also served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture from 1995 to 1999, overseeing the state agency responsible for nation’s largest agricultural producing region. From 1986 to 1993, she served in various positions in the USDA, including Deputy Secretary, Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs, and Associate Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service.
Veneman currently serves on the boards of directors for Nestlé S.A., Full Harvest, the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and the Washington Institute for Business, Government and Society. She is a member of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a frequent speaker on a range of topics including poverty alleviation, empowering women and girls, food security and nutrition, and global health.
Throughout her career Veneman has served on a number of advisory councils and committees. Currently she serves on the advisory boards of Sunridge Partners, CitiRock Partners, BRAC, KDC Ag, Just Capital, the National 4-H Council, Resolution Project, Terra Vesco, the Close Up Foundation, Living Goods, Perfect Day, Ukko, Memphis Meats, and the Stanislaus County Community Foundation. She has also a worked with the Bipartisan Policy Center on nutrition and political reform issues and with the Chicago Council on agricultural development. She also served as a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and the U.C. Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy.
A lawyer by training, Veneman has practiced law in both California and in Washington DC. Veneman holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California, Davis; a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley; and a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from several universities and colleges.