Josette Sheeran is the seventh President and CEO of Asia Society. She is responsible for advancing the organization’s global work in the fields of arts and culture, policy and business, and education. Ms. Sheeran also serves as the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, representing the UN Secretary General in advancing Haiti’s 2030 vision and in securing an end to the transmission of cholera in the country.
Ms. Sheeran is former Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum, known for its annual Davos convening and Davos in China. She helped advance global initiatives encompassing global, regional, and industry agendas such as Grow Africa, which has attracted $10 billion to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa.
Prior to the World Economic Forum, Sheeran was Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), appointed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2006. Sheeran’s TED Talk on ending world hunger has been viewed more than 1 million times and has been used in schools to teach children about hunger. She led the world’s largest humanitarian organization, serving up to 100 million of the world’s hungriest people each year. Under Sheeran’s leadership, the WFP increased its donor base to more than 100 nations, and became the first UN program to include the so-called BRIC countries and the Gulf States among its top 10 donors.
Prior to this, Ms. Sheeran served as a diplomat and negotiator for the United States, including as U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, handling Asia, Africa, Labor, Environment, Intellectual Property and trade capacity building portfolios.
In 2011, Forbes named Sheeran the world’s 30th most powerful woman; Foreign Policy listed her among its top 100 global ‘Twitterati’. She was a Fisher Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center in 2013.
Sheeran is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. She was awarded Japan’s Nigata International Food Award, Commandeur de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the government of France, Brazil`s highest civilian award, the Grand Official Order of the “Rio Branco,” and the “Game Changer” award by the Huffington Post.