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Diplomatic Immunity

Frank and candid conversations about diplomacy and foreign affairs

Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

Georgetown University

May 31, 2023

Season 5, episode 7. The United Nations Security Council tends to capture the headlines, but throughout the United Nations system are dozens of organizations and agencies that make a substantial difference in our everyday lives. From standardizing rules around flight to providing data that shape global policy, these institutions are often the unsung heroes of the UN. Given ISD's work on food security, we wanted to highlight the work of one such organization - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). So, for this episode, we chatted with Deputy Director General of the FAO Beth Bechdol. Beth talked about the role the FAO plays in collecting crucial data and providing programmatic expertise, how innovation and partnerships enhance their work, and how Russia's invasion of Ukraine affects their efforts to end hunger.


Beth is responsible for FAO’s partnership and outreach work, including UN collaboration, resource mobilization, private sector engagement, and South-South and triangular cooperation. She oversees plant production and protection programs, FAO’s technical advisory committee on agriculture and the International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat. Before joining FAO, Beth was President and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. Prior to this, she served as a Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as an Economist on the Senate Agriculture Committee.


For more on global food security and policy recommendations to enhance it, check out ISD's working group and related publications and research on the topic here. (


Episode recorded: May 17, 2023

Produced by Daniel Henderson

Episode Image: A view of the FAO office taken from the Circus Maximus. Photo Beto on iStock

Diplomatic Immunity, a podcast from the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, brings you frank and candid conversations with experts on the issues facing diplomats and national security decision-makers around the world. 

Funding support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 

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