Biographical Brief of the Minister


Sinkor (Zone 3) Monrovia, Liberia



EXECUTIVE –LEVEL MANAGEMENT: Program Planning, Policy Development.


Influential global agriculture development and human rights expert with more than 35 years of experience in developing policies and programs, training/educating on agricultural conservation, reforms and rural development, collaborating across political organizations at the local, state and international level.  Expert at synthesizing agricultural and human rights disciplines in analyzing basic requirements against government/individual condition and developing/impacting human rights and basic care-focused solutions to development.  Highly awarded/commended for service excellence, quality services and services performed.  Areas of expertise.


Procedure Development – Presentations – Efficiency Improvement – Relationship Management – Agricultural Reforms – Conservation –Rural Development – Land Tenure and Resource Access Rights – Gender Development – Governmental Collaboration Policy Development – Program Development – Strategic Planning – Leadership – Hunger and Food Security


                                      PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

University of Wisconsin-Madison – 2007 – present

Distinguished International Visitor, recognized internationally in the field of agriculture, development, food security, and human rights, Managing Director of the Wisconsin Human Rights Initiative.


UNITED NATIONS, New York, New York – 2001 - 2007

Director of the Food And Agricultural Organization (FAO) Liaison Officer, and Representative to the UN (2001-April 2007).  Collaborated across international organizations, and other on all aspects of policy development and decision-making, and about FAO’s activities in support of sustainable agricultural development.  Executed strategies focused on agriculture, rural development, gender development, and hunger and food security.


Operational Highlights:

  • Influenced intergovernmental meetings of the United Nations Bodies including the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Gender and Development, served as senior representative.       
  • Played a significant role in collaborative meetings with civil society, focused on global issues and reforms – especially those related to agriculture, rural development, land conservation and tenure access and rights, gender development, hunger and food security.




FLORENCE  A. CHENOWETH, Ph.D.     page 2

Sinkor (Zone 3) Monrovia, Liberia




Representative UN Food and Agricultural Organization, Republic of South Africa (1998-2001)

Spearheaded the mission to open the first office in the Republic of South Africa and headed it for five years.


Operational Highlights:

  • Charged with a mission to set up the first ever office of the FAO in South Africa, and to implement a program that would aid the country’s agricultural sector, collaborated across the country to reform the agricultural sector, utilized the country’s expertise and drove new growth and development, benefiting other countries simultaneously.
  • Drove the FAO’s technical assistant programs, collaborated across South African institutions to bring about change and to integrate and further develop the commercial and small farming industries.  Spearheaded the development of special food security, rural information systems programs, and school garden development trainings and strategies supported by FAO.
  • Co-led relief efforts after heavy rains and cyclones devastated the area with floods, took the lives of 800 and impacted 2.5 million, co-led and collaborated across teams from FAO and with South Africa to restore the affected areas.
  • Introduced several breakthrough agricultural conservation programs and initiatives, including an integrated nutrition program and a 14 –nation animal genetics program, which was hosted by the Republic of South Africa.
  • Worked across organizations collaboratively, integrating efforts, initiatives and programs with UNDP, WFP, UNFPA, UNICEF, ILO, WHO and international financial institutions.


Representative UN Food and Agricultural Organization, Republic of The Gambia (1995-1998)

Led efforts to bring assistance in the area of agricultural development and natural resources management, facilitating growth/development.


Operational Highlights:

  • Developed partnerships with donors to provide assistance to promote agricultural growth and natural resources development in the country.
  • Co-led the integration of assistance from the FAO, the UNDP, WFP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, and international financial institutions in the development of special food security, emergency assistance and agricultural/rural development training and rural development, trained women rice farmers abroad to serve as farming trainers, facilitated side by side work of local farmers/technical advisors,
  • Drove the expansion of fisheries, biodiversity, specialized programs for women and school gardens.


UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISON, Madison, Wisconsin-1993-1995, 2007-Present

An institution known worldwide for rigorous academic programs and academic excellence.


Managing Director, Human Rights Initiative – Division of International Studies

Part of a team that coordinates the diverse human rights activities across campus, promotes new research, enhances existing studies and fosters the intellectual stimulation necessary to raise the teaching and studies of human rights and the establishment of a Human Rights Center.


Senior Scientist/Program Coordinator, International Agricultural Programs

Led the coordination efforts across multi/bilateral donors to create international opportunities in Africa for College of Agriculture faculty and staff.


Operational Highlights:

  • Spearheaded the overall operations of the Summer Institute for African Agricultural Research; selected participants, scheduled programs, wrote grants, course materials and worked on short projects in Africa.
  • Played a significant role in the development of donor-funded projects in Africa, facilitated with training opportunities for faculty, staff and graduate students.
  • Development relationships with international institutions and bilateral donors, sought/discovered new avenues for development projects in Africa for the University.



A team of experts driving the Zambia Agricultural Training, Planning and Institutional Development Project (ZATPID) II.


Chief of Party/Sectoral Planning Advisor

Led a ten person’s expert advisory team in meeting the USAID/Government of the Republic of Zambia objectives of enhancement in national planning and implementation capacity, policy analysis, training and analytical support and management, serving a liaisons and coordinators.


Operational Highlights

  • Researched and analyzed data, facilitated policy planning and formation and advised on agricultural issues.
  • Led the coordination of Executive Committee for the project and ZATPID II team work;  studied fertilizer, crop, milling, maize sub sector and credit issues, presented options to the Zambian Government.  This led to major policy reform by the Zambian Government.
  • Researched urban and rural incomes, expenditures and provided information to government to bring about policies protecting residents.
  • Played a role in changes in staff training, coordination between Zambian Ministries and assisted the Ministries across other agencies in the development of government, foreign donors and private sector entities.


Ministry of Agriculture, Lusaka, Zambia – 1983 – 1986

A team of experts under a World Bank Technical Assistance Program covering key Agencies of the Zambian Government.


Expert Agricultural Economist/Technical Assistance Team, Ministry of Agriculture

Member of a team of four experts that worked with officials and staff of the Ministries of Agriculture, Finance, National Planning and Commerce to meet the Government of Zambia/World Bank objectives of training and analytical support.


Operational Highlights:

  • In collaboration with staff in the Ministry and the Central Statistics Office, prepared training material and conducted training of staff at national and field levels in the areas of marketing, management, data collection and service delivery.
  • Assessed training needs and assisted with evaluation of candidates for advanced training in institutions outside of Zambia.
  • Worked with other member of the Technical Advisory team and professionals in Zambian Ministries to promote cooperation between them.


Employment in Liberia


Government of Liberia, Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs – 1967 – 1969


Senior Agricultural Officer – Ministry of Planning and Coordination

Part of a team that coordinated the diverse activities related to agricultural planning and implementation in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture which did not have a planning unit at the time.  On study leave mid 1968 to end of 1969


Operational Highlights:

  • Served as the only national agriculturist on the team and as such, provide the local knowledge for policy analysis, formulation, need assessment and training of local staff.
  • Played key role in a study that led to the transfer of the full responsibility for national planning from the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs to the Ministry of Agriculture in January 1970.


Government of Liberia, Ministry of Agriculture-1970 – 1974


Director of Economic Planning and Evaluation

Led a small team of the three and built it into a highly professional unit that drove national planning and development for the agricultural sector.


Operational Highlights:

  • Develop a national plan for national planning and evaluation.
  • Developed partnerships with donors to provide assistance and training of national staff locally and with provision for advanced training.
  • Developed a proposal for the conduct of a national Agricultural Census.
  • Supervised the implementation of the census.
  • Led the integration of assistance from the FAO and USAID for the census – the first ever to be conducted in Liberia.


Government of Liberia, Ministry of Agriculture-1974 – 1977


Assistant Minister of Planning and Evaluation

With enhance manpower capacity, led national planning and evaluation for the entire agriculture with all national officers.


Operational Highlights

  • Supervised the completion of data analysis of the National Agricultural Census and the packaging of the reports for various users.
  • Equipped with reliable data from the national agricultural census, provided information to all parts of the Ministry of Agriculture and to other Agencies of government, especially the Ministries of Planning and Economic Affairs, Finance and Commerce for use.
  • Used partnerships already developed with donors and developed new ones to provide assistance and training of national staff.


Government of Liberia, Ministry of Finance – January – April 1977


Assistant Minister and Special Assistant to the Minister

Served as the government of Liberia focal point for relationship with development partners – especially for the EEC, FAO, World Bank, and the African Regional Commissions.


Government of Liberia, Ministry of Agriculture – 1977 – 1979


Ministry of Agriculture

National Agency charged  with responsibility for all aspects of development for the agricultural sector.


Operational Highlights

  • Provided oversight for program development and implementation
  • Developed partnerships with donors to provide assistance when needed in the various sub-sectors.
  • Provided oversight for the generation and dissemination of data fro the sector.



                    Doctor of Philosophy in Land Resources 1986

                 Master of Science in Agriculture Economics 1979

           Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Human Letters 2006

                  University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, University of Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia 1967

Diplomas from various specialized courses run by the World Bank, UN, ECA, etc.





  • Government of Zambia, Excellence Services Performed, Zambia Agricultural Training , Planning and Institutional Development Project
  • Government of The Gambia, Excellence Services Performed, Representative for the UN food and Agricultural Organization
  • Government of the Republic of South Africa, Outstanding Services, First Representative for the UN Food and Agricultural Organization
  • Government of the Republic of Liberia, Distinguished Service



                                    AFFILIATIONS (SAMPLING)


  • Member, Board of directors, International Laboratory, Research on Present Animal Diseases (ILRAD);  African Timber Organization; African Coffee Organization; African Cocoa Organization; West African Rice Development Association (WARDA)
  • Governor, Board of International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD);                                        

5-year term

  • Member, Board of Trustee, University of Liberia;  Member, Board of Director, Zambia International School.
  • Member, Board of Directors, Sirleaf Market Women Fund (SMWF)
Dr. Florence A. Chenoweth

Minister of Agriculture


The President
The President of Liberia
Minister of Agriculture
Minister of Agriculture