Senior Liaison Officer, UN Food and Agriculture Organization
Barbara Ekwall is Senior Liaison Officer in the FAO Liaison Office for North America in Washington, DC, where she leads work on partnerships, communication and outreach. She represents FAO in conferences and speaks at numerous events in the U.S. and Canada.
Barbara joined FAO in January 2007 as Coordinator of the Right to Food Unit at its Headquarters in Rome, Italy. She set up and led FAO’s work on the right to food, mobilized funds, managed a number of projects and represented FAO in international conferences and UN-wide efforts to promote a human rights-based approach to food security and nutrition.
Prior to this, Barbara was Programme Manager in the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berne, Switzerland, responsible for FAO, ECOSOC and UN development. She has furthermore served as Secretary-General of the Swiss Fund for Needy Victims of the Holocaust/Shoa in Berne and also coordinated international affairs and human rights at the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva, Switzerland. As researcher at UNIDIR, Geneva, Barbara developed a case study on the UN peace forces in the former Yugoslavia. She has worked in a number of countries, including Brazil, Ivory Coast, Sweden, France and Viet Nam.
Barbara holds an Advanced Master in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, a BA from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, and several certificates in socio-economic disciplines from the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
In her work, Barbara focuses on the potential that lies in collaboration among stakeholders and across frontiers. She recognizes the transformative power of governance and human rights in improving people’s lives.
Rather than focusing on the quantity of foodstuffs that can be produced, attention has shifted to the nutritional value of the available food, specifically how well it fosters healthy human growth during early childhood. Nutrition security has expanded the view of the agricultural system by involving the health system to identify those most at risk, […]