Kenneth M. Quinn Receives DMACC President's Medal of Honor

Posted 10/22/2019

Quinn retiring as Ambassador and President of the World Food Prize

DMACC is pleased to announce Dr. Kenneth M. Quinn, the retiring Ambassador and President of the World Food Prize, as the 2019 recipient of the DMACC President’s Medal of Honor. DMACC President Rob Denson presented Ambassador Quinn with the award during the 13th Annual DMACC World Food Prize Gourmet Dinner held Oct. 18 at the The Iowa Culinary Institute™ at DMACC.

Previous recipients of the award were Kosovo Consul General to Iowa Xhavit Gashi and Adjutant General and DMACC graduate Tim Orr of the Iowa National Guard. Nearly 120 laureates, international and local guests attended this year’s dinner, including the children of the 2019 World Food Prize Laureate Simon Groot, the daughter of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, and Dr. Simon Estes who – along with Ambassador Quinn – sang the Iowa Corn Song to those assembled.

“It was an honor to recognize Ambassador Quinn for his years of service to the World Food Prize, as well as for his partnerships with DMACC,” Denson said. “It was a truly historic evening and a wonderful way to celebrate a remarkable career spent in service to others.”

During the event, Denson also announced the creation of the "Kenneth M. and Le Son Quinn International Lecture at DMACC" after Ambassador Quinn and his wife. The couple will return to DMACC for a gourmet dinner each year and talk about international issues of their choice, advising as to America's role in the World.

Ambassador Quinn, who grew up in Dubuque, joined the World Food Prize in 1999 following his retirement from the State Department after a 32-year career in the Foreign Service. Inspired by the vision of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, the founder of the World Food Prize, Ambassador Quinn worked to build the annual $250,000 award into the "Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.”

In addition to growing the reach and global profile of the World Food Prize during his tenure, Ambassador Quinn advocated for more youth education initiatives. When he became World Food Prize president, youth programs at the organization attracted about two dozen high school students from Iowa. Last year, the World Food Prize worked with 10,000 students from around the world.

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