PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ambassador Tony Hall reflects on a life dedicated to ending world hunger

Ambassador Tony Hall
Ambassador Tony Hall

During his more than five decades in public service, Ambassador Tony Hallhas dedicated his life to alleviating world hunger.

Ambassador Hall served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand in 1966 and 1967 and upon returning to the U.S. was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and then the Ohio state senate. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978 and easily retained that position until 2002.

He was the first member of Congress to visit Ethiopia during its great famine of 1984-5. He’s visited North Korea seven times since 1995. And in 2000, he became the first Member of Congress to visit Iraq to investigate the humanitarian situation there.

In 2002 President George W. Bush nominated him as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture and he served in that position until 2006.

During his career Ambassador 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. And in Congress, Congressman Hall introduced legislation to end the importation of conflict diamonds mined in regions of Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and legislation calling on Congress to apologize for slavery.

Ambassador Hall was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998, 1999 and 2001 for his humanitarian and hunger-related work.

He was in town last week to give the Keynote Address at the Southwest Florida Model UN — which brought more than 200 students from high schools across the region to the Florida Gulf Coast University campus.

For Model UN conferences student delegates study in depth one of the United Nations member countries, research two topics of global interest, learn parliamentary procedure, practice specialized writing formats, practice role-playing, and learn the diplomatic art of negotiation and compromise. The Southwest Florida Model UN is sponsored by the Naples Council on World Affairs in partnership with FGCU.