Jo Luck at Bumpers Distinguished Lecture Series on Thursday

Jo Luck, the former president and CEO of Heifer International, will be the featured speaker at the Dale and Betty Bumpers Distinguished Lecture Series this week.

Luck, who served as the Little Rock-based nonprofit organization's president and CEO from 1992 to 2010, will give a speech titled "From Hunger to Hope to Human Dignity."

Under Luck, Heifer International's budget grew from $7 million to more than $130 million, and its programs and projects were expanded into numerous countries.

Before being president and CEO, Luck was director of international programs from 1989 to 1992.

Luck was the co-recipient of the World Food Prize in 2010, which was earned for her work to ensure availability and sustainability of food to people in need around the world. Among other awards, she garnered the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission's "Salute to Greatness" in 2003, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2004, the Sierra Club of Arkansas Conservation Award in 2005, the Copernican Award in 2006, the Arkansas Press Association Headliner of the Year in 2006, and the Humanitarian Award from Bon Appétit in 2008.

Since her retirement, Luck works as a consultant on global food security issues and the empowerment of smallholder farmers in developing countries.

The third annual lecture series, co-hosted by the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, is set for 2 p.m. Thursday in Old Main's Giffels Auditorium. The event is free, but seating is on a first come, first serve basis.