Tony Hall

Tony Hall

Executive Director Emeritus, Ambassador and Former Member of Congress

Three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Ambassador Tony P. Hall is a leading advocate for hunger relief programs and improving human rights conditions in the world. In February 2002, President George W. Bush asked him to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in by Secretary of State Colin Powell in September 2002 and retired in April 2005.

He retired from official diplomatic service in April 2006 and is currently serving as the executive director of the Alliance to End Hunger which engages diverse institutions in building the public and political will to end hunger at home and abroad. The Alliance has more than 75 members — corporations, non-profit groups, universities, individuals, and Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious bodies. Prior to his diplomatic service, Ambassador Hall represented the Third District of Ohio in the U.S. Congress for almost twenty-four years, their longest serving representative in history. During his tenure, he was chairman of the House Select Committee on Hunger and the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Hunger. He founded the Congressional Friends of Human Rights and authored legislation that supported food aid, child survival, basic education, primary health care, micro-enterprise, and development assistance in the world’s poorest countries.

Ambassador Hall also founded and chaired the Congressional Hunger Center, a non-governmental organization committed to ending hunger through training and educational programs for emerging leaders. A founding member of the Select Committee on Hunger, Ambassador Hall served as its chairman from 1989 to 1993. During this time, he initiated legislation enacted into law to fight hunger-related diseases in developing nations, helped to establish a clearinghouse that provided food through gleaning, and has worked to promote micro-enterprise to reduce joblessness.

In response to the abolishment of the Hunger Committee in April 1993, he fasted for 22 days to draw attention to the needs of hungry people in the United States and around the world. In his efforts to witness the plight of the poor and hungry first-hand, he has visited poverty-stricken and war-torn regions in more than 100 countries. He was the first Member of Congress to visit Ethiopia during the great famine of 1984-5, has visited North Korea seven times since 1995, and was one of the first Western officials to see the famine outside of the capital, Pyongyang. In 2000, he became the first Member of Congress to visit Iraq to investigate the humanitarian situation.  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. In 2000, he introduced legislation to end the importation of conflict diamonds mined in regions of Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 1997 and 2000, Mr. Hall introduced legislation calling on Congress to apologize for slavery. He also has worked at promoting reconciliation among diverse peoples through a number of private initiatives.

In 1964 Ambassador Hall graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio where he was a Little All-American football player. During 1966 and 1967, Mr. Hall taught English in Thailand as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He returned to Dayton to work as a realtor and he was a small businessman for several years. Mr. Hall and his wife Janet raised two children. Ambassador Hall served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1969 to 1972, and in the Ohio Senate from 1973 to 1978. On November 7, 1978, Mr. Hall was elected to the 96th Congress. He served on the Foreign Affairs and Small Business Committees before being appointed to the Rules Committee at the beginning of the 97th Congress. Ambassador Hall was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 1998, 1999 and 2001 for his humanitarian and hunger-related work. For his hunger legislation and for his proposal for a Humanitarian Summit in the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Hall and the Hunger Committee received the 1992 Silver World Food Day Medal from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Ambassador Hall is a recipient of the United States Committee for UNICEF 1995 Children’s Legislative Advocate Award, U.S. AID Presidential End Hunger Award, 1992 Oxfam America Partners Award, Bread for the World Distinguished Service Against Hunger Award, and NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. He received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Asbury College, Antioch College and Eastern College and a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Loyola College in Baltimore. In 1994, President Clinton nominated Mr. Hall for the position of UNICEF Executive Director.