2022 Keynote Speaker 


Congressman Tony P. Hall

After graduating from Dennison University in 1964, Tony Hall served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand for two years, returning to his home state of Ohio in 1967 where he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and then the Ohio State Senate.  He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, a position he easily retained until 2002 after being re-elected 11 times.

During his time in Thailand, alleviating world hunger became a passion and his efforts to that end were both plentiful and notable. In his efforts to witness the plight of the poor and hungry first-hand, he has visited poverty-stricken and war-torn regions in more than 100 countries. He was the first Member of Congress to visit Ethiopia during the great famine of 1984-5, has visited North Korea seven times since 1995, and was one of the first Western officials to see the famine outside of the capital, Pyongyang. In 2000, he became the first Member of Congress to visit Iraq to investigate the humanitarian situation. Congressman Hall has worked actively to improve human rights conditions around the world, especially in the Philippines, East Timor, Paraguay, South Korea, Romania, and the former Soviet Union. In 2000, he introduced legislation to end the importation of conflict diamonds mined in regions of Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 1997 and 2000, he introduced legislation calling on Congress to apologize for slavery.  He has also worked to promote reconciliation among diverse peoples through many private initiatives.

​No one who knew Congressman Hall was surprised when President George W. Bush nominated him to succeed George McGovern as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.  He served in this position until 2006. As the chief of the U.S. Mission to the U.N. Agencies in Rome - the World Food Program (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Ambassador Hall was responsible for "putting into action America's commitment to alleviate hunger and build hope in the world."

Honors and Awards

Congressman Hall was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 1998, 1999 and 2001 for his humanitarian and hunger-related work. For his hunger legislation and for his proposal for a Humanitarian Summit in the Horn of Africa, Congressman Hall and the Hunger Committee received the 1992 Silver World Food Day Medal from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He is a recipient of the United States Committee for UNICEF 1995 Children's Legislative Advocate Award, USAID Presidential End Hunger Award, 1992 Oxfam America Partners Award, Bread for the World Distinguished Service Against Hunger Award, and NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. He received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Asbury College, Antioch College and Eastern College and a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Loyola College in Baltimore. In 1994, President Clinton nominated Congressman Hall for the position of UNICEF Executive Director.