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. From 1991 to 1994, she served in USAID’s regional office for east and southern Africa as Supervisory Program Economist. Simmons also served as Supervisory Agricultural Officer for Mali and as Regional Agricultural Advisor for West Africa, in addition to holding a number of supervisory positions in the Africa 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 of several organizations engaged in international agriculture and global development, including: the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, the International Livestock Research Institute, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, the Washington chapter of the Society for International Development, and the Africa Center for Health and Human Security at George Washington University. Simmons co-chairs the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability at the National Academies of Science and leads a Roundtable working group on Partnerships for Sustainability.
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.