UH-Hilo Political Science celebrates a Nobel Laureate in its ranks

The University of Hawaii graduate of the Hilo Department of Political Science is a member of the United Nations World Food Program that was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

Colin Hourihan graduated from UH-Hilo in 2001 with a BA in Political Science, with a focus in international relations.

Horihan now lives in Rome and is the Director of the Military-Humanitarian Interaction Unit for the Emergency Operations Division of the United Nations World Food Programme. He joined the agency in 2008 and has served as Emergency Preparedness Officer and Military-Civil Coordination Coordinator in Rome since 2012.

The World Food Program was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October for its efforts to combat hunger, its contribution to improving conditions for peace in conflict-affected regions, and for its work as a driving force in efforts to prevent hunger from being used as a weapon of mass destruction. war and conflict. Founded in 1961, the World Food Program is the world’s largest humanitarian organization that tackles hunger and promotes food security. In 2019, it provided assistance to nearly 100 million people in 88 countries, all of whom are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.

“Most of the rationale for the award was our efforts during the early days of the COVID pandemic and how we helped move vital medical supplies around the world,” Hourihane said. “A team of about 100 of us worked tirelessly to make sure that the most vulnerable did not succumb to the virus or the knockout effects of the pandemic. We are now expanding our work to feed more people than ever before in what is likely to be the largest humanitarian crisis since ( World War II).

Reflecting on his days as a student at UH-Hilo, Hourihan remembers that he “always found inspiration for what others did before me when I was in school, and I hope he does something similar to someone else.”

“We are very honored to join in applauding Colin’s Nobel Prize-winning work with the United Nations World Food Program, and mahalo nui loa for the inspiration it provides to our students!” said Sarah Marosek, professor of public law at UH-Hilo.

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