UN World Food Programme

Farewell, And Thank You

Josette Sheeran served as Executive Director of WFP from April 2007 to April 2012. She leaves to assume her new role as Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum. Copyright: WFP/Rein Skullerud

As her term at the head of the world's largest humanitarian agency draws to a close, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran thanks the many thousands of supporters online and around the world for taking a stand in the fight against hunger.

There are no words to describe the respect, admiration, and affection I have for the WFP online community. It has been my honour to have worked alongside you for the past 4 ½ years, fighting hunger in increasingly innovative and effective ways.

Today I wanted to write to each of you to tell you personally that I will be departing the World Food Programme at the end of my term this month to assume Vice-Chairmanship of the World Economic Forum.

I have long believed that solving hunger and helping countries achieve food security is the work of our time. What has struck me during my tenure with WFP is just how many people like you share this vision. Our online community has grown by leaps and bounds, with more than 800,000 individuals now committed to taking action against hunger.

The impact of this commitment has never been more evident. Last year, when we brought to your attention the life and death situation unfolding in the Horn of Africa, you responded – and responded in a big way. In the first two months, you contributed enough to ensure more than 340,000 women and children had the food they needed to survive the coming month.

We have seen the power of the internet in galvanizing people from across the globe to take action. Please never forget that every action you take, no matter how small it may seem to you, will make a lasting difference in the life of someone on the frontlines of hunger. 

What a privilege it has been to have made that difference with you these past few years.

Leaving something we love is always difficult. But I truly believe that WFP has never been stronger in its strategic path. And I look forward to watching this community continue saving lives in emergencies, ensuring more children receive a nutritious meal at school, and giving more families a way out of hunger. 

Working together, we are a beacon of hope for the world’s hungry who look to us to help break the cycle of hunger and malnutrition. 

I will continue to fight for the vulnerable people throughout the world, and I hope you will continue to keep these men, women, and children in your hearts and minds. 

With deepest gratitude,

Josette Sheeran
Executive Director
World Food Programme