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2019 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award


Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

The Global Child Nutrition Foundation is proud to announce that U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern will receive the 2019 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition.

The award recognizes Representative McGovern’s longstanding and extraordinary contributions in helping to end hunger and improve nutrition at home and around the world. Rep. McGovern’s leadership for vital anti-hunger programs and his authorship of the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Act of 2001 serve as inspiration for us all.

The luncheon event to honor Rep. McGovern will be held Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Award ceremony tickets

Individual tickets to the Award Luncheon are available at the link below. Refreshments and a lunch buffet are included with ticket purchase.

Sponsorship opportunities

With your support, GCNF is able to connect more partners with the resources they need to help children learn and thrive at school. Sponsorship benefits are available at the link below.

About the Honoree: Congressman Jim McGovern

Jim McGovern was elected to the House of Representatives in 1996, and through his work in Washington and at home in Massachusetts, he has been a voice for the most vulnerable and a strong advocate for working families.  As co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, Rep. McGovern is an advocate for expanding child nutrition programs both domestically and internationally.

Rep. McGovern has received several global awards for his leadership and work in agriculture and nutrition. In 2016, Chairman McGovern received the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award. Chairman McGovern received the World Food Program USA’s McGovern-Dole Leadership Award in 2008 alongside Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.

Rep. Jim McGovern speaks at the 2017 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony honoring Akin Adesina
Featured Speakers:

Award Presenter: Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee

As Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Roberts has been a strong supporter of child nutrition programs that ensure the next generation has access to nutrition that allows them to learn and thrive in school. Chairman Roberts is dedicated to maintaining the bipartisan tradition that has been key to the success of national child nutrition programs in the United States. Chairman Roberts supports global food security programs, like the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition or Food for Progress, that help countries become more food secure, improve living conditions, and expand markets for farmers.


Master of Ceremonies: Kate Houston, Global Head of Public Policy & Issues Management, Cargill; Member of the GCNF Board of Directors

Kate Houston is the Global Head of Public Policy & Issues Management for Cargill. She advises Cargill’s global business on policy matters and leads strategic initiatives to advance the Company’s purpose to “nourish the world.”  Her career includes nearly a decade in public service working on Capitol Hill and as Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Houston is a passionate advocate for the development of collaborative, innovative approaches to improve nutrition and health. She has testified before Congress on topics including food safety, food costs, and disaster food aid, and been interviewed by major media outlets including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, NPR, and CNN. Houston holds degrees in public policy and communication from Tulane University and in nutrition from The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University  She proudly serves on the Boards of several national and international non-profit organizations, including the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, Congressional Hunger Center, and Common Threads DC.

kleinman_ronald head shot 2016

Dr. Ronald Kleinman, President of GCNF; Physician in Chief, MassGeneral Hospital for Children; Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital; Charles Wilder Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Kleinman’s major areas of research interest include gastrointestinal immunology, nutrition support of infants and children, and nutrition and public health policy. Dr. Kleinman’s professional affiliations include the American Gastroenterological Association, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), and American Pediatric Society/Society for Pediatric Research. He is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, chapters, monographs and 4 textbooks. Dr. Kleinman became President of GCNF in 2018.

Jean McMurray WCFB_Staff-33small

Jean G. McMurray, Executive Director, Worcester County Food Bank

Since 1998, Jean has served as executive director of Worcester County Food Bank, providing leadership and a comprehensive vision to all areas of WCFB’s advocacy and operations. Prior to becoming executive director, she was the agency outreach coordinator from 1995 to 1997.

Since assuming the role as director, Jean has guided the organization and its network of 118 food pantries and community meal programs to tremendous successes. Under her leadership, WCFB has expanded in number of staff, increased the size and scope of its food distribution programs, deepened community partnerships, and built an impressive advocacy program, all focused on WCFB’s goal of continuing to feed people today while working towards creating hunger-free and healthy communities for tomorrow.

Jean is a recognized leader in the anti-hunger arena and Worcester County and serves as a member of the board of directors of Project Bread, the state’s leading anti-hunger organization.   


Mamta Gurung Nyangmi, Global Survey of School Meals Coordinator: Asia and Oceania;
Learning Exchange Project Development Consultant, Global Child Nutrition Foundation

Mamta Gurung Nyangmi is an independent consultant based in Nepal. She’s currently working with GCNF as the Regional Coordinator for Asia and Oceania on the Global Survey of School Meals Programs and as the Project Development Consultant for the Learning Exchange program in India. Prior to this Mamta was the Head of Education Support at World Food Programme in Nepal where she spearheaded a holistic school health and nutrition operations, creating convergence of school meals programs with literacy, health and hygiene initiatives to enhance learning in rural public schools of Nepal. Mamta has over 20 years of programme, policy and advocacy experience in social development with focus on gender and social inclusion in Asia and in the US. 

Representative McGovern joins the ranks of previous award recipients and champions of child nutrition such as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Senator Pat Roberts; African Development Bank President Dr. Akin AdesinaHoward G. Buffett; former U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretaries Tom Vilsackand Dan Glickman; former U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah; Senators George McGovern and Bob Dole; and former World Food Programme Executive Director Catherine Bertini.

The Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition was created in 2004 to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worldwide dream of ending childhood hunger. This prestigious award is given in the name of Gene White who has dedicated her life to the nutrition and well-being of children. Gene has worked tirelessly over many decades to improve the lives, health, and educational options of children in our country and around the world. Gene was the first to receive this award.
High-level government officials, corporate executives, and non-profit leaders gather each year to honor the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and to celebrate the achievements in the related realms of school meal programs, nutrition, and agriculture. The GCNF Annual Awards Ceremony is in its 16th year.
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