Top 100 Women of Impact: Katherine Pickus

Katherine Pickus

Vice President of Sustainability & Global Impact, Tyson Foods

About me: I oversee sustainability and global impact for Tyson Foods and am a recognized leader for pioneering innovative shared value strategies that deliver value for both business and society. I began my career in Washington, D.C., where I served in positions at the White House and the State Department. I advanced global initiatives that strengthened democratic institutions worldwide. In 1993, I was selected by the United Nations to monitor the presidential elections in South Africa.

I have leveraged this global experience to advance inclusive strategies for business in the areas of global health and access to nutrition. In 2012, I was selected to travel to Myanmar with the first-ever Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State.

Lives in: Fayetteville • Works in: Springdale

Lesson Learned the Hard Way: Trust your instincts, always.

Proudest Moment of Impact: One of the greatest honors of my life was to work with Dr. Paul Farmer, the co-founder of Partners in Health. In Haiti, we improved the local peanut agricultural sector with TechnoServe and built a production facility, staffed 100% by Haitians, to produce a ready-to-use therapeutic food called Nourimanba. This project convinced me that when people work together — really collaborate — intractable problems like hunger can be solved.

Call to Action: There is such a need to address hunger in our communities. Every year, Tyson Foods donates millions of pounds of protein to people in need, and we couldn’t do it alone. There are wonderful and expert partners across the state of Arkansas and the nation working in local food banks that are creating new ways to bring sustainable solutions to meet the needs of families experiencing hunger. 

What Keeps Me Motivated: The next generation of passionate and committed advocates (a few of them my children!) who are showing up with bold new ideas for how businesses, not-for-profit organizations and governments can together realize the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

A Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Initiative

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