Phillip C. Karsting is a Senior Policy Advisor specializing in agriculture, nutrition, and food security.
Phil provides legislative and strategic advice to industry leaders to address policy, its application and implementation, and regulatory matters relevant to client interests.
Prior to joining OFW, Phil was the Vice President of Public Policy, and later the Interim President and CEO, at World Food Program USA. At WFP USA, Phil helped grow congressional support for key programs that allowed WFP to deliver life-saving assistance across the globe.
From 2013 to 2017, Phil served as Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. Appointed during the second term of the Obama Administration, he came to the position having worked more than 22 years on agricultural policy in the United States Senate.
He served as Chief of Staff to Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), then Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies. Phil also served as Senior Analyst on the Democratic Staff of the Senate Budget Committee where he handled issues relating to agriculture, rural development, housing, telecommunications, energy, and the environment. He began his Capitol Hill service as Legislative Assistant to Senator Jim Exon (D-NE) where he handled agriculture and natural resource matters.
Phil’s association with American agriculture began in his family's farm supply business in rural Nebraska. He received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1985. Phil also studied culinary arts at New York’s French Culinary Institute in 2003 and was later honored with a distinguished alumni award.