Chris has over 35 years of rural development experience in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United States. Before joining Freedom from Hunger, Chris worked for the U.N. Environment Program in Nairobi, Kenya and then for USAID contractors in Tanzania, Botswana, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Sudan. He was also a Research Associate in the Office of Arid Lands Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Chris joined Freedom from Hunger (then the Meals for Millions/Freedom from Hunger Foundation) in 1984 as Director, Arizona Programs in Tucson. He moved to Davis,California in 1986 to become Regional Director, U.S. Programs, then Director, International Operations, then Vice President for Programs prior to becoming President in 1991. Chris was co-creator of the Credit with Education strategy with Ellen Vor der Bruegge and Kathleen Stack and provided organizational leadership for 20 years. In 2011, he stepped down as President, but for another two years, he continued to speak and write for international audiences on the impacts of microfinance for the chronically hungry poor, on measurement and management toward social objectives, and on integration of microfinance with lifeskills education and health protection.
Chris has a PhD in ecology (University of Arizona in Tucson) and a BS in biological sciences (Cornell University). He trained as an academic research scientist focused on the ecology of animal and human social systems; his dissertation research made a name for Chris in the 1970s as an expert on ground squirrels and chipmunks! He has written two books on topics unrelated to international development – Programmed to Learn: An Essay on the Evolution of Culture with H. Ronald Pulliam (Columbia University Press, 1980) and Life List: A Birder’s Spiritual Awakening (Novalis, 2006 – available on Amazon still but Chris will be glad to send you a free copy). Chris continues to pursue birding as a citizen scientist in association with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He is also slowly but surely pursuing an intellectual passion for reconciliation of science and religion through his other blog, DarwinWatch ( www.darwinwatch.wordpress.com ).