Susan Karimiha Presents Research on Food Security at the AIARD Conference


Susan Karimiha and other Fellows in front of the US Capitol building

AIARD Fellows pictured in front of the U.S. Capitol after meeting with a representative of the Congressional Hunger Center, an agency that trains and inspires leaders to work to end hunger and the importance of connecting research to policy.

Baton Rouge - In June, School of Leadership and Human Resource Development (SLHRD) doctoral candidate Susan Karimiha attended the 2018 Future Leaders Forum; part of the annual Association of International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) conference.

The purpose of the AIARD is to find cross disciplinary solutions to end hunger and malnutrition in the world. The group’s professional organization consists of academia, industry, government, think thanks and private sector partners who come together each year in Washington, D.C. to discuss, dissect, and try to address challenges in feeding an ever growing world population. This is where Susan was able to find a niche as a Fellow in a circle of researchers dedicated to fighting world hunger, as a doctoral candidate in the SLHRD. 

“Human Resource Development is critical to the success of global food security. Healthy human capital, organizations and systems enable productivity in the global value chain of food security.”

At the conference, Susan presented her dissertation research on HRD and food security, by studying farmers and their workplace. Her research in Kenya and Honduras, for example, examines ways that we can improve the workplace of farmers to increase their job performance. She described her research on understanding factors such as workplace motivation, psychological empowerment and social capital, in unique cultural environments, in farmers, to give us more information to make sure we are understanding the most critical component of food security, the farmers. She was able to share her research with influential people who are interested in food security and her research and also received feedback and shared ideas.

A critical and eye-opening part of the Fellowship was the ability to visit diverse international development agencies and to meet the leaders and tour their headquarters. Fellows toured and met with leaders of organizations including: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The World Bank, World Food Programme, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), Development Alternatives International (DAI), Chemonics, Fintrac, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC),  USDA Agricultural Research Service, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Forest Service International Programs, Lutheran World Relief, ACDI VOCA and the Congressional Hunger Center. The networking that took place on the tours, in addition to the conference, helped connect Fellows with future career opportunities. The visits to agencies also inspired and opened their eyes for the importance of HRD in fighting global hunger.


Susan Karimiha with other forum fellows

AIARD Fellows visit the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO), the specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and the World Food Programme (WFP), the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.

“Making close friendships with students from 11 other U.S. universities, including international students from Armenia, Ecuador, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania, who are all tackling global food security with their specific research areas, was powerful and inspiring. Doctoral research is very pin pointed and I felt very refreshed to be in a room of people whose research goals are in the same language.”

She was also selected to be on the Board of Directors of AIARD as a Future Fellow Leader Representative and will lead efforts in representing the Fellows during the 2018-2019 program.


“The fellowship has enhanced my education, grew me as a professional, and connected me with a network of individuals who have truly imprinted my vision and goals for my future.”

Susan recommends that SLHRD students apply for Fellowships and specifically AIARD if they are passionate about global food security. The LSU College of Human Sciences and Education and the LSU Graduate School are both are very supportive of students to attend conferences in their specific research interest area.



About the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development

The LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SLHRD) offers programs dedicated to producing world-class practitioners, leaders, and instructors in human resource and leadership development. The BS, MS, PhD, and certificate programs are designed to develop the leadership, planning, analytical, problem solving, and change management capabilities that today's globalized organizations need to be successful. SLHRD also offers a 100% online master’s program and is a school within the College of Human Sciences & Education.  

About the College of Human Sciences & Education

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree programs, enrolling more than 2,020 undergraduate and 879 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.