George McGovern was a United States Congressman, Senator, and the Democratic nominee for the 1972 presidential election. After leaving the Senate in 1980 he was a visiting professor at a number of institutions, including Columbia University, Northwestern University, Duke University, Cornell University and the University of Berlin. He served as President of the Middle East Policy Council from 1991-1998, when President Bill Clinton appointed him U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. In 2001, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan named him honorary United Nations Global Ambassador on World Hunger.
A cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues began in 1988 as part of a mission to promote better understanding of world events and issues by Nebraskans. The Forum seeks out forceful speakers who are committed to the issues they address, seeking balance over the range of its programs rather than in each presentation. The Forum does not endorse the views of the individual speakers nor limit their freedom to express their points of view.