Emmy Simmons completed a career of nearly 30 years with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2005. In her last three years at USAID, she served as the Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade, a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed position. In addition to holding a number of positions overseas (regional West Africa, Mali, regional East and Southern Africa) with USAID, Simmons held supervisory positions in the Africa Bureau and the Global Bureau in USAID’s Washington headquarters.
Prior to joining USAID, Simmons worked in the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs in Monrovia, Liberia, and taught and conducted research at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria.
Simmons is currently an independent consultant on international development issues, with a focus on food, agriculture, and Africa. She serves on the boards or advisory panels for several organizations engaged in international agriculture and global development, including: the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, the World Vegetable Center, the CGIAR Research Program Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, and the Cornell-Tata Initiative in India. Simmons served as a co-chair for the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability at the National Academies of Science and continues to engage on projects with NAS. In addition, she is a member of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.
Simmons began her international career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1962 to 1964. She holds an M.S. in agricultural economics from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.