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M. Peter

M. Peter McPherson has a distinguished career in international development, a companion and critical component to U.S. diplomacy. International work has been integral to his career.

It started when he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru in the 1960s, organizing credit unions and working in the school feeding program ( Title IV food).

After law school, he was an international tax lawyer and headed the Washington office of a large Ohio law firm. In 1980 he was the General Council to the Reagan-Bush Transition and was White House Legal Council in the early weeks of the Reagan Administration.

He then became Administrator of the U.S. Agency of International Development, where he served for over six years. They were eventful years. McPherson, with his team, was responsible for the U.S. work on the Great Famine in Africa in 1984-1985, in which more than two million tons of food was delivered to Africa over a 12-month period. At USAID, he led the worldwide effort with UNICEF to help address diarrhea and dehydration, then the biggest killer of children in the developing world, saving millions of lives. In a very difficult political environment, he drove the U.S. family planning effort. Ultimately, the Reagan Administration provided more international family planning than all previous administrations combined.

In the last 18 months of the Reagan administration, McPherson was the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury when he was a member of the three-person team that negotiated the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, the precursor to NAFTA.

After Treasury, he was Executive Vice President of Bank of America responsible for the B of A’s role in the “Brady bonds” agreements and for B of A’s Latin America and Canadian Banks.

He then served for 11+ years as president of Michigan State University, where he and his team drove the study abroad numbers from 700 to over 2000 students a year and expanded an already strong internationalization of the university.

In 2003, he took a leave of absence from Michigan State and, for five months, was the Director of Economic Policy at the Coalition Provision Authority of Iraq. There he and his team were responsible for working with the Iraqi Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Iraq, and the banks of the country. This included work to open up the banks in the country, create the new Iraqi currency, the creation of the Trade Credit Bank of Iraq, and working on drafting new banking and investment laws.

After Michigan State, McPherson served for 16+ years as President of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Washington association of most of the large public universities in the county. There he worked to increase U.S. university work with USAID, and he expanded the membership of the organization to include major Canadian and Mexican public universities.

He was a founding chair of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa. He was also the founding chair of HarvestPlus Advisory Board, whose work was plant breeding to enrich crops grown and eaten in developing countries with iron, zinc, and Vitamin A. He was the chair of the Board of IFDC, whose work is with fertilizer, soil health and policy in developing countries.

He is the former chair of the Board of Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

He is the former Chair of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). The Board advised the Secretary on issues concerning science policy, non-defense related national laboratories, and energy policy.

McPherson was the chair of the Board of International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD). This presidential appointed Board advises A.I.D. on agriculture and university matters.

He is a board member and budget and Finance Committee chair of Inter-American Dialog

Awards include:

U.S Presidential Certificate of Outstanding Achievement for “continued demonstrated vision, initiative, and leadership in efforts to achieve a world without hunger” (President Reagan)

Secretary of State Distinguished Leadership Award (Sec. Schulz)

Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton Award (highest award of the U.S. Department of Treasury) ( Sec. Baker)

Banker of the Year Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2005, given by the U.S. Bankers Association for Finance and Trade.

UNICEF award for “Outstanding Contributions to Child Survival”

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