The Foreign Service Journal - October 2017

32 OCTOBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL In this unusual example of the value of soft power, the often-divisive issue of biotechnology enabled the United States and Iran to find common ground. Norman Borlaug and Biotechnology O nMarch 25, 2014, long after I retired from the Foreign Service, I had the oppor- tunity to address the joint leadership of the Congress as part of a ceremony in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. As chairman of the Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Statue Committee, I was there to unveil the magnificent bronze likeness of Borlaug, an Iowa farmboy whose miracle wheat saved hundreds of millions from famine, starvation and likely death in India, Pakistan and the Middle East during the 1960s. It was truly a magical moment to speak to an overflow audience in the heart of our democracy as we installed Dr. Borlaug’s statue in the pantheon of great Americans in history. That this ceremony took place on the 100th anniversary of his birth added to the sense of grandeur that surrounds his extraordinary legacy. Little did I know that within just months, at a time when U.S.-Iranian relations were full of tension over Tehran's nuclear program and behind-the-scenes negotiations on the matter had yet to reach fruition, I would have the opportunity to take the extraordinary Borlaug legacy to Iran. It was an unusual diplomatic experience, one of the most memorable inmy post-Foreign Service career. Who Was Norman Borlaug? Dubbed the “Father of the Green Revolution,” Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, and subsequently was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional GoldMedal, our country’s highest civilian honor—making himone of only three Americans to receive all three of those honors. (The other two were Martin Luther King Jr. and Elie Wiesel.) During his 32-year career in the Foreign Service, Kenneth Quinn served as a rural development of- ficer in Vietnam, on the National Security Council staff at the White House, as refugee and narcotics counselor at the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna and as ambassador to Cambodia. Since 2000, he has been president of The World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. Amb. Quinn is the only civilian ever to receive the Army Air Medal, and the only three-time recipient of an AFSA award for constructive dissent. He has also received the Secretary of State’s Award for Heroism. BY KENNETH QU I NN FOCUS ON DEALING WITH IRAN Lead a U.S. Ambassador to IRAN ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/RUSKPP