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Welcoming Juliette Majot as IATP’s new president

 Juliette Majot, IATP's new president

Dear Friends,

The Board of Directors of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy is very pleased to announce the selection of Juliette Majot as our new president. We are inspired and impressed by Juliette’s experience, knowledge and commitment to building a fair, just and sustainable world. She comes to IATP with a keen appreciation and understanding of the global challenges we face, and brings with her the optimism and energy that is needed to make the important changes that IATP has been working on for the last 28 years.

The search process that brought us to Juliette was extensive and rewarding. Along the way we were humbled by the amazing, smart and dedicated people who engaged with us during the process. So many of you helped identify candidates to whom we reached out. Many of those applied or had thoughtful conversations with us as they considered applying. While we can only have one president, the search reminded us that we have many wonderful friends who share IATP’s vision of making justice a reality. The board wants to sincerely thank everybody who participated in the process.

Juliette is an activist dedicated to movement building for social change. Her activism began in her teens as part of a successful grassroots effort to halt construction of a nuclear reactor along the shore of Lake Michigan near her home town. After earning a degree in management from Purdue University, she joined the staff of Friends of the Earth U.S. under David Brower, where she eventually served as deputy director. After five years with FoE U.S. she turned her attention to Friends of the Earth UK.

In 1989 she joined the staff of the fledgling San Francisco-based organization, International Rivers Network (now “International Rivers”). At IRN she worked with local, national and regional organizations worldwide to expose and bring an end to the poor economic performance, harm to society and environmental destructiveness of large-scale river projects, particularly large dams in the global south. In 1994, she co-founded “Fifty Years Is Enough,” an international campaign designed to shine a spotlight on the destructive policies and practices of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. She served as executive director of IRN from 2000 to 2005.

Since leaving IRN, Juliette has been an independent consultant to NGOs and foundations, designing and undertaking strategy, outcome, and developmental evaluations, and promoting the importance of international advocacy campaigning. Her clients included the Ford Foundation, Oxfam Novib, Friends of the Earth International, Pesticide Action Network, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and Oxfam America.

A native of Michigan City, Indiana, Juliette will be moving back to the Midwest, where she will dive into the world of food and agriculture policy and rural development issues, and tackle the persistent trade and global governance issues that define our era. We look forward to introducing you to her personally in the coming weeks and months. Upon accepting the position, Juliette left immediately for Brussels, where she joined IATP staff at a strategy meeting about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

We are confident that we, and you, will find Juliette’s leadership inspiring. Here is an excerpt from her response to an application question about advancing IATP’s agenda:

We are, and always will be, faced with a constellation of problems solved only by eliminating poverty and hunger, ending inequality and inequity, protecting human rights, and living with the planet in ways that nurture and sustain it. I use the term constellation intentionally—as the causes of human suffering and environmental degradation, do, indeed, form a complex system. Among IATP’s greatest strengths is its systems approach, internationalist in perspective, yet grounded in the real experience of U.S. farmers…

IATP must continue to be both tenacious and nimble, to spot opportunities, to provide excellent research and analysis, grounding itself in the real experience of farmers in the U.S. and abroad, leveraging and expanding movement capacity through true solidarity with those with whom we share our most treasured values. IATP’s work is, after all, not ultimately about grain reserves, or investor-state mechanisms, or renewable fuel standards. It is about the rights and duties of individuals and communities to shape the informed opinion necessary to water, feed, fuel and strengthen our societies in perpetuity.

We hope you will have the opportunity to meet and talk with Juliette as she starts her tenure at IATP. We are sure you will agree with us that she is the right woman to lead us in this crucial era. In the meantime, here is a very short video of Juliette talking about coming to IATP.

For the IATP Board of Directors,

Harriet Barlow
Board Chair