Tom Arnold (economist)

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Tom Arnold
OccupationDirector General of IIEA, former CEO of Concern Worldwide and special representative for hunger.

Tom Arnold is an Irish agricultural economist and public policy advisor who has worked in the Irish civil service and served on various non-governmental organisations and public forums, mainly in the area of food security.



Arnold has a degree in agricultural economics from University College Dublin, an MBA from the Université catholique de Louvain, and a master's in strategic management from Trinity College Dublin. [1]


In August 2014, Arnold accepted a request from the UN to coordinate the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement [2] (SUN Movement), which brings together governments, civil society and the private sector, to improve nutrition at national and international level. The request was made following the appointment by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of Dr David Nabarro, the current coordinator of the SUN Movement, to be the UN system's senior coordinator of the response to the Ebola virus disease. In Dr Nabarro's absence as SUN coordinator, Arnold was to provide strategic leadership to the SUN Movement, working closely with the existing SUN networks and the SUN secretariat, based in Geneva. The appointment was for a six-month period, starting 1 September 2014.

Arnold was director general of the Institute of International and European Affairs from 2013 to 2017. [3] From 2012 to 2014, Arnold was chairman of Ireland's Constitutional Convention. [3] Arnold served as chief executive officer of Concern Worldwide, Ireland's largest humanitarian aid agency, from October 2001 to February 2013. [1]

As a civil servant, he served as assistant secretary-general and chief economist with the Irish Department of Agriculture, (1988–2001) and senior economist with the Irish farm advisory service, ACOT. [3]

In May 2018, Arnold was appointed chair of Task Force Rural Africa, a joint effort of the EU and the African Union to improve Africa's food production. The body was tasked with producing recommendations by the end of the year. [4]

Boards and committees

Arnold has presided (as chair, coordinator, director-general, etc.) over:-

He has been a member of:-


Arnold received honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland in 2009 [16] and University College Dublin in 2010, [17] and a People of the Year Award in 2013. [18]

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  3. 1 2 3 "Tom Arnold Former Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs". Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
  4. Brussels, Patrick Smyth. "Africa can feed itself with a productive agricultural infrastructure". The Irish Times . Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  5. "The Irish Times Trust – History & Values". The Irish Times . Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  6. 1 2 "Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice – Tom Arnold". Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  7. "About". The Irish Times . Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  8. Justin Kilcullen, Trócaire & Tom Arnold, Concern, speak about the EU contribution to Development Aid
  9. European Food Security Group
  10. "2020 Africa Conference – Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020". Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  11. "UN Secretary-General Appoints 27Global Leaders to Head Worldwide Effort to Address Child Malnutrition" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  12. More on the Alliance
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  14. 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment
  15. "Sight and Life Team" . Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  16. Manning, John (16 December 2009). "Tom Arnold humbled by NUI degree". Fingal Independent. Archived from the original on 13 February 2015.
  17. "UCD President's Office: Tom Arnold". Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  18. "The 2013 People of the Year Award Winners". Irish Independent . 15 September 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2015.