Tom Arnold

Tom Arnold

Chair, Task Force on Rural Africa, European Commission

Tom Arnold is Chair of a Task Force on Rural Africa established by the European Commission in May 2018. He is also former Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA).

From August 2014 to February 2016 he was Interim Coordinator, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement; he was also Chairman of the Irish Constitutional Convention (2012-14) and Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide (2001-13).

He has served on a number of governmental and non-governmental bodies at national, European and international level including the UN Millennium Project's Hunger Task Force, the Irish Hunger Task Force, the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the Irish Government's Commission on Taxation, the Consortium Board of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, the International Advisory Board of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the NGO European Food Security Group, the Montpellier Panel and the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice.  He is Chairman of the Irish Times Trust and a member of the Board of the Irish Times, Ireland's leading newspaper.

In his earlier career, he was Chief Economist and Assistant Secretary General with the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food, Chairman of the OECD Committee for Agriculture (1993-98), Chairman of the OECD Working Group on Agricultural Policies and Market, Senior Economist with ACOT, the Irish farm advisory service.  He worked as an administrator for the European Commission (1973-83) in agriculture and development, serving in Brussels and in Africa.

He has a degree in agricultural economics from University College Dublin and has Masters degrees from Leuven University and from Trinity College, Dublin.  He was the recipient of the 2014 Helen Keller International Humanitarian Award.

"Agriculture and food systems are at the heart of having a better nutritional outcome for all."