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The Honorable Ertharin Cousin

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Information about The Honorable Ertharin Cousin

Profile image of The Honorable Ertharin Cousin

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Food Service Executive
Foreign Ambassador

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Sweets
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer, Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Keep Moving Forward.

Birthplace

Born:
5/12/1957
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Food Service Executive
Foreign Ambassador

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Sweets
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer, Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Keep Moving Forward.

Birthplace

Born:
5/12/1957
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how The Honorable Ertharin Cousin is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Foreign ambassador, food service executive, and public affairs director Ertharin Cousin was born in 1957, in Chicago, Illinois. She received her B.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1979, and went on to receive her J.D. degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1982. In 1993, Cousin moved to Washington D.C. and began working as the deputy chief of staff for the Democratic National Committee. In 1994, she began serving as the U.S. State Department’s liaison to the White House, in which capacity she received a Meritorious Service Award.

In 1996, Cousin stopped her work for the State Department in order to run the Illinois portion of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Albert Gore’s reelection campaign and in 1997, Cousin was appointed to the board for International Food and Agricultural Development and began serving as vice president for government and community Affairs for Jewel Food Stores. Two years later, when Albertsons Foods bought Jewel, Cousin began serving as group vice president of public affairs for Albertsons and was later promoted to senior vice president of public affairs. In 2002, Cousin joined the board of directors for food bank and food relief distribution nonprofit Feeding America and in 2004, she became its executive vice president and chief operating officer. In this capacity, she led food relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina which helped to deliver over 62 million pounds of food to the devastated Gulf Coast of the U.S.

In 2006, Cousin left Feeding America to found and serve as president of the Polk Street Group, a public affairs consulting firm based in Chicago, Illinois. After serving in that capacity for three years, Cousin left the company in the hands of her son, Maurice Cousin, in order to accept President Barack Obama’s appointment as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy. During her time with the U.N. agencies, she has worked to help set up several new country-led aid programs and has also worked to bring food relief to Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, after the massive earthquake there in 2010.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Ertharin Cousin's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers her paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her likeness to her parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin lists her siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes the changes in the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her early activism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls her influences at the Presentation School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers her early aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her family's conversion to Catholicism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers Albert Grannis Lane Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her experiences at Albert Grannis Lane Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her relationship with her sister
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about attending college as a single mother
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her early exposure to civil rights activism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls her decision to attend the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her activism during law school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers working for E. Duke McNeil
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls her work at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about the Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers her campaign for the commissionership of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers the death of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers working on Neil Hartigan's gubernatorial campaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her involvement in Illinois politics in the late 1980s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls volunteering for William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's first presidential campaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls serving as the White House liaison to the U.S. Department of State Department, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls serving as the White House liaison to the U.S. Department of State, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers her involvement in President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's reelection campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls directing President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's reelection campaign in Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her vice presidency of government and community affairs at Jewel Food Stores
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her start in the field of food security
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her tenure as the COO of America's Second Harvest
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers the hunger relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers the hunger relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers founding the Polk Street Group, LLC
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers working on Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers working on Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ertharin Cousin remembers President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls her appointment as a U.S. ambassador
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her U.S. ambassadorship to the United Nations agencies in Rome, Italy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes the World Food Programme's work in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes how she would like to be remembered and her advice to young people
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin reflects upon her legacy