Sunday, October 18, 2015

Farewell to our Friend and Mentor, David Lambert

I awoke yesterday morning to the sad news that our friend, David Lambert, had passed away.

David was recognized internationally as an expert in global food security, and he was a passionate advocate in the fight against world hunger. A native Arkansan, David was principal of Lambert Associates, a Washington, D.C., public affairs consulting firm providing strategic policy advice to United Nation’s agencies, land-grant universities and the U.S. private sector on issues related to global food security, child nutrition, food safety and agricultural biotechnology. He served as a Distinguished Fellow at Iowa State University’s Seed Science Center and as Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Catholic University of America.  He was very proud to have served as Foreign Agricultural Service Counselor to the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies during the Clinton Administration.

David's message on Ending World Hunger is available on the Clinton School of Public Service website.  Two of his recent articles appeared in the University of Arkansas School of Law's Journal of Food Law & Policy, The Quest to End Hunger in Our Time: Can Political Will Catch up with our Core Values? and Global Food Security: In Our National Interest.  Our LL.M. students were pleased to assist him with his Journal publications, offering our students the opportunity to work with him on issues of such great importance. He was scheduled to be in Iowa this past week as part of the World Food Prize Lecture Series, delivering an address, A Closer Look at Global Food Security: Why Science Matters.

Whenever attending a conference or meeting in Washington D.C., David would delight in introducing me and our work in the LL.M. Program to everyone he knew.  He encouraged us to develop our global food security curriculum and to address world hunger in our studies, and both are now core aspects of our Program.  I was looking forward to seeing him this Spring and telling him about our new Right to Food class and our hopes for a Global Food Security and the Rule of Law Initiative. I knew he would be so pleased.  His absence will be felt when I attend the National Food Policy Conference -  my usual venue to see him.

Through his lectures, his writings, and his personal commitment, David was an inspiration. We were honored to have him in our classroom and as our friend.  We will miss him. As we continue to develop our Program with global food security issues in sharp focus, we will continue to dedicate our work to his leadership.

Please note that an earlier version of this post indicated that David suffered a massive heart attack. I have since learned that this was not the case. His heart simply stopped beating, and as the Washington Post reported, in his Legacy post, he "died of a heart incident in his sleep early on the morning of October 16, 2015 while attending the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa."  Our sympathies are extended to all of David's family and friends. 

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