USDA Undersecretary Ted McKinney Joins the Lugar Diplomacy Series

Meridian Institute
November 28, 2018

Bringing light to issues as diverse as international trade, global nutrition, and biotechnology, USDA’s Undersecretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney spoke with 17 diplomatic representatives from four continents at a Lugar Diplomacy Series event on November 28, held at the Meridian Institute’s Washington, DC, offices.

Following a welcome by The Lugar Center’s Director of Global Food Security and Foreign Aid Effectiveness Programs Lori Rowley, former Senator Richard Lugar introduced Undersecretary McKinney, drawing parallels between their rural Indiana upbringings and farming backgrounds. After Undersecretary McKinney provided opening remarks on his background and areas of expertise, members of foreign diplomatic corps had the opportunity to ask Undersecretary McKinney questions and discuss issues relevant to their countries.

Undersecretary McKinney, who is the first to serve in his position since its creation in 2014, was appointed by the President and confirmed in 2017. Since then, he has logged more than 385,000 miles of travel for trade missions and treaty negotiations.

The Undersecretary is the 12th guest of the Lugar Diplomacy Series, as well as the final speaker of 2018. Like all LDS events, the discussion was off-the-record, encouraging frank and candid discourse on pressing issues of trade and agriculture.

The Lugar Diplomacy Series was launched in October 2016 to strengthen diplomatic relationships and to provide diplomats with important insights into the U.S. government and policy from leading American figures in both domestic and international affairs. Other speakers have included Sen. Susan Collins (R, Maine), Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan, former White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten, former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, and former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills.

Undersecretary McKinney’s appearance was sponsored by Meridian Institute and DuPont.