Rick’s son, Brandon, is affected by mitochondrial disease. Currently, Rick serves as President and CEO of World Food Program USA, which proudly supports the mission of the World Food Programme, the leading agency fighting hunger worldwide. By mobilizing individuals, lawmakers and businesses in the United States to advance the global movement to end hunger, WFP USA bolsters an enduring U.S. legacy of feeding families in need around the world.
Over his career, Leach has tackled major social issues at a wide range of organizations across the public and private sectors, including the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has worked with Members of Congress, administration officials, international development agencies and corporate leaders to establish new organizations or adapt existing agencies that more effectively address social issues, from environmental protections to counterfeit drug trafficking to childhood immunizations.
In that time, Leach launched and directed successful global campaigns in collaboration with the World Health Organization at the request of Congress for the International Conference on Tobacco and Children, which identified policies that were later adopted by national governments and industry leaders. The Living Planet Campaign, which he led for the World Wildlife Fund, mobilized the planet’s largest private forest owner to adopt sustainable standards for harvesting timber. At the World Health Organization, Leach developed a plan to halt the production and trade of counterfeit drugs. At the Alliance for Representative Democracy, he expanded a campaign to ensure that civic education is included within the curriculum of all public schools in the U.S. In 1993, he was appointed by the Clinton Administration to create and direct the federal government’s childhood immunization campaign at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Within three years, the campaign helped boost the nation’s childhood immunization rate from 50 percent to 80 percent.
Leach’s passion to solve global hunger began nearly 25 years ago, when he served on the foreign policy staff of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Hunger. In 1997, Leach established WFP USA (formerly Friends of the World Food Program). Since then, he has traveled across the world to witness firsthand the effect of chronic hunger within communities struggling to survive poverty, conflict and natural disaster.