The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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November 30, 2013

Retired Bond still working on public issues

COLUMBIA, Mo. — When U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond retired at the end of 2010, his career in public service could have ended.

Bond could have left the long hours, the grueling travel schedule, the public light and the high-stakes debates.

Instead, the former U.S. senator and governor, now 74, has doubled down — traveling to and from Washington, taking part in international trade missions and continuing his work on his issues of interest.

One of those is international food security, which was the focus of this year’s annual Kit Bond Lecture Series at the University of Missouri-Columbia. This year’s summit, which took place in an agricultural sciences building for which he is the namesake, featured Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, who called for further investments in math and science education, which he said in turn could help build on the agricultural research that has already happened in Missouri.

Bond — who launched a Washington-based business development, government relations and strategic communications consulting firm upon his retirement — has been a part of trade delegations in recent years, promoting Missouri agriculture and plant science to international markets. Missouri agriculture exports have risen by more than $1 billion since 2009, part of some $28 billion in exports from the state between 2011 and 2012.

Last year, he was part of a delegation from the World Trade Center in St. Louis to southwest Asia. Earlier this year, Bond went back, this time leading a delegation to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s annual meeting. U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat who served as the state’s junior senator during Bond’s final four years in office, praised her former colleague’s work ethic since leaving the Senate.

“Kit could have easily retired and stopped working if he wanted, but instead he continues to invest in projects that leave a lasting impact on Missouri businesses and communities,” McCaskill said. “We may not have agreed on everything, but he’s a fighter who at his core has a great love for the state we both call home.”

In addition to his corporate work, Bond is also a partner at the Thompson Coburn law firm and is co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission.

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