Walnut Grove, California

Ms. Garamendi’s international work began in 1966 in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia. In 1993 Ms. Garamendi served as the associate director of the Peace Corps, where she led the charge to recruit 24,000 Peace Corps volunteers in 94 countries. Ms. Garamendi also served as the deputy administrator for the Foreign Agricultural Service’s International Cooperation and Development (FAS/ICD) program area. While at FAS, she led the $13 million recovery program following Hurricane Mitch and helped develop the Global Food for Education Program. She also served as the U.S. Government’s National Food Security coordinator and the vice chair of the Committee on World Food Security of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). In her role as National Food Security coordinator, Ms. Garamendi promoted global food security and ensured full participation of the U.S. government and civil society in implementing the U.S. Action Plan on Food Security. In 2000 Ms. Garamendi delivered the keynote address at the Global Summit of Women in South Africa, promoting the importance of women’s empowerment, broad-based educational opportunities, and economic policies geared toward job creation in the developing world. In 2007 Ms. Garamendi and her husband orchestrated the transfer of 40,000 pounds of rice donated by the Rice Farmers Cooperative to Honduras, then plagued by deadly floods. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Humphreys School of Law, she helped found the Joe Lurie Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Fellowship.