Home Finance specialist Forbes Senior Contributor Daphne Ewing-Chow writes about food systems and sustainability in the Caribbean

Forbes Senior Contributor Daphne Ewing-Chow writes about food systems and sustainability in the Caribbean

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Decades before she became an award-winning Caribbean journalist and senior Forbes contributor, Daphne Ewing-Chow, like many little girls, loved playing with Barbie dolls.

She and her sister, Ady, snuggled up in the modest but cozy playroom of their home in Christ Church, Barbados, and created imaginary lives for their dolls. Not surprisingly, when crafting a career for plastic figures, Ewing-Chow would always choose journalism.

“I’ll make them little newspapers,” she said to herself. “Journalism has always been part of me, in one way or another.”

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Daphne Ewing-Chow was born in Puerto Rico to Eastern European parents, Joseph and Judy Burgida. Her father, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, and her Hungarian mother who was several years her junior, moved the family to Barbados when she was three. From then on, Barbados would be their home.

Now a successful journalist and food systems expert, Ewing-Chow has spent most of his career advocating for the Caribbean and its people.

Passionate about the environment, her journey as a writer began as a hobby. She wrote articles on topical issues and submitted them to global and regional publications. These pieces would lead her to a position as communications officer for a project on climate change and fisheries in the Caribbean at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Barbados.

Eventually, Ewing-Chow landed what would become a longtime position as a writer at Forbes. His thought-provoking column in the renowned publication focuses on food systems and the environment.

Although writing for Forbes is a major win for any journalist, Ewing-Chow’s professional portfolio transcends his journalistic endeavors. His career is multi-pronged and filled with many other notable achievements of global significance.

For example, in 2020, she was a judge for the Rockefeller Foundation’s $2 million Food System Vision Prize. She was a judge for the $3 million Zayed Prize for Sustainability in the United Arab Emirates in 2019 and 2021. And, also in 2021, she received awards from the Caribbean Development Bank, the Pan American Organization for Health and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union for his contributions to journalism.

Ewing-Chow has spoken at events for the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. She has also interviewed world leaders, celebrities and some of the biggest names in food systems and the environment, including renowned English primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall.

In addition to his journalism, Ewing-Chow currently works in strategic communications for a number of global NGOs. She is a communications specialist at the Caribbean Cluster Office of the World Food Program and travels the world on assignments, telling the stories of marginalized people struggling with food insecurity, as well as the people and organizations working to create change.

“These people and organizations see me as an expert and a specialist, as opposed to someone who reports on these issues,” she says proudly. “That means everything to me, because that’s definitely my goal and my passion.”

Ewing-Chow believes his dedication to social and environmental issues began in Barbados.

Ewing-Chow believes his dedication to social and environmental issues began in Barbados.

The picturesque island she’s called home since she was little is located between the calm Caribbean Sea and the stormy, stormy Atlantic Ocean. It is little; very small. Zoom in too far on Google Maps and the whole island ceases to exist. Amid golden beaches and tight-knit communities, Ewing-Chow, his parents, and his sister added to their clan.

“With no blood relatives, the Bajans have become our family,” she shares. “I grew up in the homes of the most beautiful and wonderful people, many of whom had strong opinions about things going on in the world and in our community.”

And, despite her young age, she has always been attentive.

Their thoughts set Ewing-Chow on a path. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and African studies. She then earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University with a specialization in development and international economic policy.

For a time, however, Ewing-Chow put aside the little girl within her who yearned to write and explore the many issues affecting her region. She followed another career path: finance. Admittedly, this did not fulfill her personally or professionally.

“I was missing something,” she recalls.

She would find that missing piece among her Caribbean people, writing and advocating on food and environmental issues around the world. She found it in journalism and advocacy.

“The Caribbean will always be my first love. It will always be the region that will touch me the most,” says Daphne Ewing-Chow with conviction. “I will always feel compelled to serve.”