As an undergraduate student in college, I watched television coverage of the 1985 Ethiopian famine at two o’clock in the morning as my roommate slept. The footage of malnourished children is devastating. The thoughts that followed in my mind many years later, eventually shaped my life’s purpose. The unabated and widening scale of abject poverty is much of an American problem as it is for the world. Having grown up in Harlem, New York City and raised with very modest resources, it’s hard to imagine not having access to safe shelter, food, clean water and electricity. The root causes of global poverty can range from political instability to fragile agriculture production and weak environmental ecosystems. Without a reliable supply of food, there is very little, if anything that a nation can do to educate and protect its citizens. And the idea of sovereignty is virtually impossible. The word agriculture has a combined meaning: agri – involves the cultivation of soil, plants, and animals. And the word culture is the sum practice of human behavior which includes characteristics such as language, religion, beliefs, customs, values and way of thinking. Through my travels around the world, it’s easier to understand people once you are exposed to their food and how it influence their culture. As one example, think about the people that live in Russia, India, Germany, Tajikistan, France, Italy, Mongolia, Brazil, Japan, China, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Israel, Senegal, Korea and Guyana. The food systems and cultures among the people in each country gives them a unique identification of distinction. Most importantly, their respective views of the world is not the same. My international journey began in 1989. I spent a year in Zimbabwe working with a youth organization that managed multiple agricultural projects. At the encouragement of my department chair, I completed my master thesis research and traveled extensively to five different agro-ecological regions. My curiosity for learning beyond America’s borders lead me to studying poverty alleviation theory and practice from leading development assistance agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Africare, Inc. And the opportunity to teach at the Lesotho Agricultural College was invaluable. An enclaved landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa imports 98% of its food. I carried out my doctoral dissertation research and studied their rural agricultural extension system. Coordinated travel to Swaziland, Zambia and Botswana also gave me a wider perspective of the people and their cultures that live in the region. My position as the first Africare Country Representative in Uganda afforded me the opportunity to lead a collaborative implementation of a USAID funded food security initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local Government that impacted the lives of 10,000 farm families. Our development interventions helped farmers improve their agronomic practices from subsistence level of production to small scale market suppliers. My understanding of US foreign policy was broadened with a fellowship appointment at the United States Department of State. On a team of Foreign Service Officers in the Bureau of African Affairs, Office of Economic Policy Staff, I served as a subject matter specialist on food security and agricultural issues ranging from commodity prices, drought, use of biotechnology, and local prices on food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. I was also a member of the US Department of State’ Negotiation Team where US and foreign government officials, diplomats and delegates from more One hundred and ninety countries convened for the Commission on Sustainable Development at the United Nations. Much of this experience positioned me well as I transitioned into higher education administration. As Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences and Assistant Vice President for International Affairs, I helped to broaden the curriculum in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources by developing study abroad programs for all students at Delaware State University. Also, as a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy in the Global Societies Program and working in collaboration with faculty in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, we were able to create a campus culture led by students that studied abroad and received credit towards their degree. Faculty-led study abroad programs included: China, South Africa, France, Ghana, Spain, Mauritania, Belize, Senegal, United Kingdom and Namibia. Through forty-five international higher education partnerships on five continents, coordination of study abroad programs, Fulbright Scholars Program, international student services and the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) where research scholars and professors from around world would engage in collaborative research that was locally important and globally significant helped the institution to pivot to unimagined levels of quality. Current and prospective students support the idea of “Making our mark on the world.” International relations and diplomacy undoubtedly is a significant part of my personal and professional identity. Similarly to the way physicists are attracted to the phenomena of matter or musicians at Berklee College of Music or The Julliard School. As America continues to engage in international commerce, peace-making and help to stabilize sensitive regions around the world, a new generation of problems solvers are needed to effectively understand and deal with the growing complexity of people with deference to their food system, language, culture and religion. Among other regions, Asia and the Middle East is where reframed and new opportunities for global alliance and mutual understanding must be harnessed.