ANGELA ADRAR joined the Our Power Campaign and Climate Justice Alliance as executive director in 2016, bringing communities together to address the root causes of our climate catastrophe. Angela, a Latinx immigrant, proudly comes from a lineage of women farmers and labor activists in Colombia. She has been a leader and outspoken advocate for powerful and grounded social movements led by women for decades, including legacy organizations such as the Rural Coalition, La Via Campesina North America, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, and Ecohermanas. In 2015, she co-coordinated the Campesino to Campesino Agroecology Encounter in the southeast with the Farmworkers of Florida, focused on the just transition of farmworkers from a toxic working environment to community sustained agriculture production. This has seeded the development of the Farmacia Popular, a visionary herbal, art, and cultural center by and for farmworkers to connect to their ancestral roots and culture. The next year, Angela co-coordinated the Mid-Atlantic Agroecology Encounter at Black Dirt Farm focused on liberation through agroecology for black, brown, and queer intergenerational participants. Angela has worked with fishers and farmers in the U.S., Colombia, West Africa, and Vietnam on participatory and spiritual earth-based management at the intersection of agriculture, energy, and climate. She brings her collective leadership experience to complement Climate Justice Alliance’s already leader-full movement of more than 40+ grassroots organizations and its evolving food sovereignty and just transition work.
LAUREN BAKER, PhD has more than 20 years of experience working on food system issues. Her expertise ranges from research on maize agrobiodiversity in Mexico to negotiating and developing municipal food policy and programs. Lauren currently works as a consultant with the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, supporting their strategic initiatives and programs. Previously, Lauren was a food policy specialist with the Toronto Food Policy Council, leading a citizen advisory group embedded within the city of Toronto’s public health division. She has consulted on farm to fork initiatives and food policy development across Canada, and in Mexico, Cuba, France, and the Netherlands. Lauren’s past work includes serving as founding director of Sustain Ontario; board of director roles with Everdale Environmental Learning Centre and Food Secure Canada; and starting Canada’s first certified organic rooftop farm. Lauren teaches at the University of Toronto and is a research associate with Ryerson University’s Centre for Studies in Food Security. She is the author of Corn Meets Maize: Food Movements and Markets in Mexico (2013).
TERRELL T. “RED” BAKER has been director of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) since April 2017. The SFRC is comprised of three academic units, including fisheries and aquatic sciences, forest resources and conservation, and geomatics, and offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, minors and online courses, as well as research and Extension programs across all of these discipline areas. The SFRC supports 55 permanent and 30 grant-funded and joint faculty, 40 permanent staff, and nearly 750 students (undergraduate, graduate, and certificate-seeking). Before joining the SFRC, Red served as chair of the Department of Forestry in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky. From 1998 to 2010, Red served as riparian specialist (60% Extension, 40% research) with the Cooperative Extension Service at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and conducted educational and research programs in forested and streamside environments throughout the Southwest. During his last several years at NMSU, Red was the coordinator of the interdisciplinary Range Improvement Task Force in the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, where he and his colleagues helped mediate natural resource conflicts on public lands throughout the state. Dr. Baker currently serves as research chair for the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs (NAUFRP) and has previously served as chair of that organization’s southern region. He is the author of more than 100 scientific and educational publications and has a BA in economics (University of the South, Sewanee, TN), a MS in forestry (Clemson University, Clemson, SC), and a PhD in forest biology (Auburn University, Auburn, AL). In his spare time Red enjoys spending time with his family, camping, hunting, and fishing.
JIM BARHAM is an agricultural economist for USDA’s Rural Development agency. Jim obtained a MA in cultural anthropology and a PhD in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida. Before joining the USDA, Jim worked extensively in the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean with a number of nonprofit organizations and government agencies on agricultural development projects targeting smallholder producers. Jim joined USDA in 2007 where he has worked to improve marketing opportunities for small and mid-size producers through a combination of research, technical assistance, and grant support. Jim has presented research and published a number of articles on regional food hubs, food value chains, local food distribution, and food service procurement. He is also the program lead for the newly established Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which is housed in Rural Development.
SARAH BELL is program director for The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and directs the Foundation’s program in ecological agriculture and regional food systems. She sits on the boards of Pie Ranch in Pescadero, CA and the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and holds a BA in both English literature and French from the University of Colorado. An enthusiastic supporter of permaculture and former student at the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, Sarah lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.
CARLENE CHASE has a 20% teaching, 80% research appointment in the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). Her teaching responsibilities include instruction of undergraduate and graduate sections of the course, Weed Management for Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems. She is also responsible for Horticultural Sciences Seminar, during which graduate students present their research proposals. Carlene supervises graduate students in the horticultural sciences department and in the interdisciplinary ecology program of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. She also serves on graduate committees and hosts undergraduate interns. Her areas of research emphasis are ecological weed management, sustainable and organic horticultural cropping systems, and biology and ecology of weedy plants. In seeking to reduce the environmental footprint of weed management, much of Carlene’s work involves evaluating cover crops and living mulches for their utility in suppressing weeds. Current research areas include cover crops that suppress plant-parasitic nematodes in addition to weeds, cover crop polycultures, and sustainable and organic strawberry cropping systems. She has served as the project director of four multistate, multidisciplinary projects funded at more than $3 million with a focus on ecological approaches to pest management and sustainable crop production.
WHITNEY KIMBALL COE serves at the Center for Rural Strategies as director of national programs and coordinates the National Rural Assembly, a rural movement made up of activities and partnerships geared toward building better policy and more opportunity across the country. She also coordinates Congressional briefings for policymakers and funders on pressing rural issues. Before joining the Rural Strategies staff, Whitney served as assistant editor of Appalachian Journal, an academic regional journal based in Boone, North Carolina. She has a master’s degree in Appalachian studies from Appalachian State University in North Carolina and an undergraduate degree from Queens University of Charlotte. Whitney lives in her hometown of Athens, a small city in East Tennessee.
ALISON COHEN has worked with grassroots-led organizations in rural and urban farming communities in the United States and throughout the world for the past twenty-five years. Since 2009, she has been stewarding WhyHunger’s programmatic strategies which center on providing support to grassroots organizations in the U.S. and social movements globally that are working toward addressing the root causes of hunger and the deep inequities of poverty at the intersection of agriculture and food systems, racism, health, and climate change. Prior to joining WhyHunger, Alison worked with Heifer International organizing and accompanying farming communities throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions to build and advocate for sustainable food systems. Alison was born and raised in the rural mountainous region of Western North Carolina but has been living, gardening, and riding bikes in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two daughters for the past 16 years. Her studies as an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina were in English literature and French. As a graduate student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University her studies centered on gender, farming systems, and popular education. Alison’s work has led her to believe that grassroots-led social movements are the most effective means for dismantling inequitable systems and erecting new socially just ones.
JULIET COHEN has served as the executive director of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper since January 2015. Juliet was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There she grew up surrounded by and immersed in pristine tropical waters and rainforests, and developed a love and respect for the natural world. Juliet earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and political science from the University of Miami, Florida, in 1995, with an emphasis in marine biology. After earning her undergraduate degree, Juliet worked in Washington, D.C. for an environmental education organization, Earth Force. Later she moved to Charleston, South Carolina, to work for the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League as program manager for the South Carolina More Than a Port project, and volunteered as conservation chair for the local Sierra Club chapter. In 2001, Juliet began studying law at American UniversityÕs Washington College of Law where she served on the American University Law Review. She graduated in 2004 with honors magna cum laude and a member of Order of the Coif. From 2005 to 2007, Juliet worked as a staff attorney for the Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals. Juliet and her husband, Jeffrey, reside in Brookhaven, GA along with their three children.
JEREMY COON is the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) representative for Bolivia and regional initiatives including the Gran Chaco. He is part of a team coordinating the Foundation’s work on agroecology and sustainable agriculture, and he has a long history of commitment to grassroots groups and economic and social development projects in Latin America. He has specialized in micro, small, and medium enterprise development; local economic development; value chain finance; strategic planning; and NGO capacity building. Before coming to the IAF, Jeremy worked with the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the SEEP Network, and Social Compact, providing expertise on developing strategies to construct local development initiatives that empower communities and small businesses in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the United States. He founded and supported the founding of several NGOs in enterprise development, health, culture, and education. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and has worked and lived in Brazil. Jeremy speaks Spanish and Portuguese as well as some Guarani, French, and German. Jeremy received his MA in international development and a PhD in international economic development from Tulane University, as well as a BA in economics and international relations from Boston University.
DARA COOPER is a national organizer with the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, an alliance of black-led organizations working towards national Black food and land justice. She is also an organizer with the HEAL (Health Environment Agriculture and Labor) Food Alliance and completed a southern tour interviewing Black farmers, co-ops, and food hubs throughout the south with the Center for Social Inclusion. Dara is the former director of the W.K. Kellogg-funded NYC Food and Fitness Partnership in Brooklyn, NY, where she worked on creating and strengthening Black farmers markets, developing a community based local food hub, and creating a farm to headstart program in Brooklyn in partnership with Corbin Hill Food Project, a local food hub. Prior to this work, Dara led the launch and expansion of Fresh Moves (Chicago), an award-winning mobile produce market with community health programming, which quickly became a nationally recognized model for healthy food distribution and community-based self-determination and empowerment. A former Uganda Bold Food Fellow (exchange program between professionals in the U.S. and East Africa), Kalamazoo Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Food Justice Fellow, National Alliance Against Racist Political Repression Human Rights Awardee, and a member of Black Farmers Urban Gardeners, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Friends of Cooperation Jackson (MS), she believes in the power of people organizing and investing in self-determining, sustainable communities worldwide. Dara is based in Philadelphia, PA.
TIM CROSBY leads the Thread Fund that focuses on business development and financing for healthy and sustainable food enterprises. Tim is coordinator of the Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project, steering committee member for the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders, participant in the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, founding board member for the Partners for Rural Washington, and a partner with Social Venture Partners. Previously, Tim was director of Slow Money Northwest and a professional photographer for 15 years. Tim lives in Edmonds, WA with his wife and two daughters, and coached club soccer for eleven years. He holds an MBA in sustainable business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute and a BA in anthropology from Kenyon College.
SCOTT CULLEN is the executive director at GRACE Communications Foundation. He is also an environmental attorney and previously worked on coastal and marine conservation issues with The Nature Conservancy and on energy issues with various nonprofits. Scott has also served on several county, state and federal advisory committees and is a member of the board of directors of the Environmental Grantmakers Association and the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders Network, as well as the Vermont Law School Environmental Advisory Board.
NETH DAÑO is the Asia director and a researcher at ETC Group. Neth has extensive experience in development and policy work on issues in agriculture, agricultural biodiversity, biosafety, climate change, and environmental governance in Southeast Asia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in development studies (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines, dabbled briefly with law, and ended up completing her master’s degree in community development. Neth lives with her daughter, Isabel, in beautiful Davao City in Mindanao–the most exciting part of the Philippines. When given the luxury of time, she loves to read, putter around the house, and do her crochet and sewing projects. When she has more time for leisure, Neth enjoys scuba diving, wall climbing, and exploring new places with family and friends.
NICKY DAVIES is the program director of the Plastic Solutions Fund, an international funder collaborative aimed at turning the tide on plastic pollution in the air, land, rivers, and oceans. Nicky is the former project coordinator of the Plastics Movement Alignment Project (2016-2017), a global effort to amp up impact and develop aligned strategy to end plastics pollution, and she previously served as the campaigns director for Greenpeace USA (2012-2016) and deputy head of Climate and Energy for Greenpeace International (2007-2012). Prior to her work with Greenpeace, Nicky ran a small NGO in her native Australia that addressed a range of local environmental issues, including climate change, waste management, and water conservation. Nicky is an environmental lawyer by training and currently serves on the board of directors of the Oil and Gas Action Network and PlugIn America.
MOLLY DE AGUIAR directs the Informed Communities program for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, fostering robust civic engagement through inclusive, people-powered news and information projects across the state. The Informed Communities program supports a range of projects, ideas, and relationships that explore the future of local journalism, with an emphasis on business models, collaborative reporting, community participation, and creative storytelling formats.
Molly also directs Dodge’s communications initiatives, which explore the intersections of philanthropy, communications, local journalism, and community building. She led the overhaul of the Dodge website and brand update, and continues to oversee special projects that shine a spotlight on Dodge grantees, as well as promote the value and impact of philanthropy in New Jersey.
Molly writes about philanthropy at Philanthropy Sketchbook, co-founded the Local News Lab, and sits on the board of Media Impact Funders. She is also a fellow at the Democracy Fund. Prior to joining the Dodge staff in 2005, Molly spent 10 years working for arts and education nonprofits in Philadelphia and was active in independent media issues. She has a BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
TRISHALA DEB is the regional director, Asia at Thousand Currents and has worked at the intersection of a variety of issues, including immigrant and refugee rights, gender justice, anti-violence and militarization, community organizing based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and supporting the capacity building efforts of emerging grassroots organizations. Previously, she worked the Caring Across Generations campaign bringing together home care workers, consumers, and families. She also coordinated a program for immigrants at the Audre Lorde Project, a community organizing center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, and trans people of color in New York City; and has worked with the Arcus Foundation and Public Interest Projects. Trishala has served on the advisory board of the National Network of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and worked with Migrant Rights International as well as the Steering Committee of Grassroots Global Justice to connect issues of migration, sustainable development, and economic justice with organizations in the Global South as well as the United States.
NIAZ DORRY is the coordinating director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. She and her dog, Hailey, live in Gloucester, Massachusetts–the oldest settled fishing port in the U.S. Her dog Hailey is one of the lucky dogs who survived Hurricane Katrina and is Niaz’ daily reminder of all the fishing communities that have yet to be rebuilt since the Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and other disasters. Niaz began working with small-scale, traditional, and indigenous fishing communities in the U.S. and from around the globe as a Greenpeace oceans and fisheries campaigner. She then went on to work on advancing the rights and ecological benefits of small-scale fishing communities as a means of protecting global marine biodiversity independently. Time Magazine named Niaz as a Hero For The Planet for this work. Her fisheries articles appear regularly in Fishermen’s Voice and SAMUDRA and a range of other publications. Niaz’ work and approach have been noted in a number of books including Against the Tide, Deeper Shade of Green, The Spirit’s Terrain, Vanishing Species, The Great Gulf, Swimming in Circles, A Troublemaker’s Teaparty, and The Doryman’s Reflection. She is a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Program’s Leading From Inside Out as well as Art of Leadership trainings. She serves on the executive committee of the National Family Farm Coalition and Granite State Fish as well as an advisor to the Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and Global Environment. Before joining NAMA, Niaz served as the interim chief operations officer for the Healthy Building Network.
CRYSTAL ECHO HAWK (Pawnee) is president and CEO of Echo Hawk Consulting. Echo Hawk Consulting advises a number of philanthropic clients on grantmaking, program development, research, communications, strategic partnerships and policy change strategies. Areas of expertise include Native American food sovereignty, nutrition, health, early childhood development, revitalization of Native languages, and issues related to the protection of tribal sovereignty, spiritual and cultural life ways and Native American youth. Echo Hawk Consulting is also co-leading an unprecedented national initiative, Reclaiming Native Truth: A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions. The project will develop public opinion research and a national strategy to tackle misconceptions, stereotypes, and the invisibility and false narratives about Native peoples within mainstream media, government, and American society. Native Americans will be empowered to begin to change the hearts and minds of policymakers, institutions, and society to achieve policy changes and increase equity and inclusion that will improve the lives of Native peoples. Ultimately, the project will drive a multi-year strategy and campaign that will catalyze key federal and state policy changes ranging from health care, education disparity, food justice, and criminal justice reform to issues of sovereignty and natural resource exploitation. Before leading Echo Hawk Consulting, Crystal served as the executive director for the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation from 2009-2014. During her tenure, Crystal helped grow the NB3 Foundation from a small grassroots organization to an organization that reinvested more than $9.7 million to fight the health epidemic facing Native children through strategic grantmaking, health and wellness programming, technical assistance, research and advocacy that benefitted more than 50 Native American communities, tribes, and 24,000 Native children.
JEANNIE ECONOMOS is the pesticide safety and environmental health project coordinator for the Farmworker Association of Florida. Jeannie has worked for more than 30 years on issues of the environment, environmental justice, indigenous and immigrants’ rights, labor, peace, and social justice. From 1996-2001, she worked for the Farmworker Association of Florida as the Lake Apopka project coordinator, addressing issues of job loss, displacement, and health problems for the farmworkers who worked on the farm lands on Lake Apopka prior to the closing of the farms in 1998. From 2007 through the present, she has been the coordinator of the pesticide health and safety program of the organization, which includes annually training more than 500 farmworkers in Florida on their rights and protections in the workplace and how to protect themselves and their families from pesticide exposure. Jeannie is also engaged in local, state, national, and international coalitions and collaborations related to farmworker rights and health and safety, pesticide reduction, sustainable agriculture, and food sovereignty. She is currently co-coordinator of the Lake Apopka Farmworkers Memorial Quilt Project, whose purpose is to raise awareness about the impacts of pesticides on the former farmworkers on Lake Apopka.
ERIN EISENBERG is director of philanthropy at TomKat Foundation, Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor’s family foundation, which supports the conditions for healthy human and natural life by making grants to good money, good food, and good energy systems. TomKat Foundation emphasizes nonprofits that make the environmental case for sustainable animal agriculture, shift large demand towards healthy food, bolster access to beneficial banking, and enable the advanced energy economy. Grants strategies are informed by TomKat Ranch and Beneficial State Bank. TomKat Ranch is a learning laboratory for animal agriculture focused on climate stability, nature’s benefits, healthy food, biodiversity, and healthy community. Erin recently helped TomKat Ranch to use available scientific literature and modeling to assess the Ranch’s practice of blending conservation and production ranching to optimize carbon sequestration, water quality and availability, biodiversity, nutrition, animal welfare, and profit. Beneficial State Bank brings beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Erin previously served as executive director of CitySeed, a nonprofit building an equitable, local food system, and began her career at the Boston Children’s Museum. Erin earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. She and her family live in San Francisco.
JOE EVANS is portfolio manager for The Kresge Foundation’s Social Investment Practice, and is responsible for managing loans, guarantees, deposits, and equity investments that support Kresge’s mission. He also works to originate, structure, and close new investments in accordance with prudent social investment practices, relevant regulations, and foundation priorities. He joined the foundation in 2014.
Prior to joining Kresge, Joe worked for more than 10 years as a generalist with a nationally recognized consulting firm practicing in the areas of organizational development, nonprofit business planning, social investing, and multi-funder initiatives. Joe also served as an executive at a community action agency, and most recently was the director of lending for a specialty community development financial institution focused on expanding housing and educational choices for persons living with disabilities and their families.
Joe earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT.
JOHN FISK, PhD is the director of the Wallace Center at Winrock International. He has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable food and agricultural systems development, including training and application in research, program design, project management, philanthropy, and evaluation. Under his leadership, the Wallace Center has emerged as an innovative and national force in sustainable and regional food systems. Before joining the Wallace Center, John supported the work of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on Food and Agriculture Systems, helping to develop and implement strategies and grantmaking in sustainable, local, and equitable food and farming systems. He was a founding board member of the Food Routes Network, which developed the Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign that is now active in more than 50 regions of the U.S., and currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and on the Advisory Board of ReFED, an organization focused on food waste reduction. John holds a PhD from Michigan State University in crop and soil sciences, where he was a C.S Mott Fellow in sustainable agriculture.
DAVID FLEISCHER is the Inter-American Foundation’s (IAF) representative for Brazil. His portfolio of grassroots development grants focuses on supporting indigenous peoples, quilombola communities, and land reform. Most of his projects focus on agroecology, agroforestry systems, and consumer-producer linkages. Several recent projects have also focused on the environment and food security. Before joining the IAF, David worked as the coordinator of the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and as the executive director of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA). He has also worked as a consultant for the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and held several posts at UNDP Brazil program. David holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University at Albany (State University of New York) and a MA and a BA in social anthropology from the University of Brasilia. He has conducted research in environmental conservation and community development projects in Brazil and Mexico. David also teaches graduate courses on community development and climate change as an adjunct professor at the Elliot School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.
KERRI FORREST joined the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation in February 2015 as the director of the arts, land conservation, and collections programs in the Lowcountry region.
A Charleston native, Kerri returned to the Holy City in 2010 after a 16-year career covering politics with national broadcast outlets MSNBC, NBC News, and CBS News. For four years, she was the director of Institutional Advancement with the American College of the Building Arts, the only institution of higher education in the U.S. offering a liberal arts degree in traditional building crafts. There she was responsible for all fundraising, marketing, and alumni relations for the College as well as for creating community partnerships.
Kerri is heavily involved in the arts and civic communities and has served with a number of local and regional organizations, as a board member of the YWCA Greater Charleston and the Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline; chair of the speaker selection committee for TEDxCharleston; advisory board member of the South Carolina Arts Commission Leo Twigg Scholars; and volunteer for the Charleston Carifest. In addition, she has been an adjunct professor of professional communications and public speaking at the Art Institute of Charleston and of fundraising at the College of Charleston.
Kerri graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in biological sciences from Clemson University in 1994 and received a master of arts degree in interactive journalism from American University in 2001. In 2013, she became a DLI Riley Fellow.
JODI A. GILLETTE (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota) currently serves as a policy advisor for the Sonosky firm, after serving as a political appointee under the administration of President Barack Obama from 2009-2015. During her tenure under the administration, Jodi played an integral role in multiple capacities. Most recently, she served as the special assistant to the president for Native American Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Subsequent to this, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Assistant-Secretary Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Additionally, as the associate director of intergovernmental affairs at the White House, she implemented and institutionalized the President’s interactions with tribes and his administration. Previously, Ms. Gillette served as the executive director of the Native American Training Institute in Bismarck. She is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and sister of its tribal chairman.
DEVON HALL, SR. is the co-founder and current program manager of Rural Empowerment Association for Community Health (REACH). Devon is a native of Duplin County, North Carolina and lives there today, personally exposed to the impacts of swine and poultry operations concentrated in his community. Over the last decade, Devon has assisted in REACH’s collaboration with UNCÐChapel Hill and John Hopkins University on four water research projects, three air research projects, two pediatric health research projects, and four occupational health research projects. These projects include Community Health Effects of Hog Operations (CHIEHO) (with UNC-CH and Concerned Citizens of Tillery, NC, 2005; Duplin Environmental Health Awareness Project (with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and an environmental justice small grant, 2005-2006); Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving grant (with the EPA, 2007-2010); Rural Air Pollutants and Children’s Health Education (with UNC-CH, 2007-2009); Community Environmental Awareness Project (with United Food And Commercial Workers, 2008-2009); Water Sampling Project (with UNIH, 2010-2011); Exposure to Bacteria and Viruses Among Livestock Workers (educating and testing livestock workers for the presence of methacillin resistant staphylococcus aureous (MRSA), with UNC-CH, 2011-2012); Exposure to MRSA and other viruses among household members (with UNC-CH and John Hopkins, 2013-2014); and Preventing Community Association MRSA in infants and young children (with UNC-CH and John Hopkins, 2013-2014).
WILL HARRIS is a fourth-generation cattleman who tends the same land that his great-grandfather settled in 1866. Born and raised at White Oak Pastures, Will left home to attend the University of Georgia’s School of Agriculture, where he was trained in the industrial farming methods that had taken hold after World War II. Will graduated in 1976 and returned to Bluffton, where he and his father continued to raise cattle using pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and antibiotics. They also fed their herd a high-carbohydrate diet of corn and soy. These tools did a fantastic job of taking the cost out of the system, but in the mid-1990’s Will became disenchanted with the excesses of these industrialized methods. They had created a monoculture for their cattle, and, as Will says, “nature abhors a monoculture.” In 1995, Will made the audacious decision to return to the farming methods his great-grandfather had used 130 years before. Since Will has successfully implemented these changes, he has been recognized all over the world as a leader in humane animal husbandry and environmental sustainability. Will is the immediate past president of the board of directors of Georgia Organics. He is the Beef Director of the American Grassfed Association, and was selected 2011 Business Person of the Year for Georgia by the Small Business Administration. Will lives in his family home on the property with his wife, Yvonne. He is the proud father of three daughters, Jessi, Jenni, and Jodi. His favorite place in the world to be is out in pastures, where he likes to have a big coffee at sunrise and a 750ml glass of wine at sunset.
LESLIE HATFIELD is the senior partnership and outreach advisor at GRACE Communications Foundation, where she advises on communications matters and collaborates with like-minded organizations on the development and refinement of external communications. Leslie has contributed to The Huffington Post, EcoWatch, Alternet, Edible Hudson Valley, Acres USA and others, and served as lead author of the publication Cultivating the Web: High Tech Tools for the Sustainable Food Movement. Leslie earned her BA from The Evergreen State College, and her MA in public communication from American University. Every few years, she teaches a masters level food policy elective at The Evergreen State College. Leslie loves to travel but hates her carbon footprint.
CALVIN HEAD is the director of, and a farmer with, the Mileston Cooperative AssociationÐa network of farmers and youth who specialize in the growing and (modest) processing of fresh, locally grown produce. Calvin is a graduate of Mileston Elementary School and Tchula Att. Center. He graduated with honors from Mississippi Valley State University with a BS in social science. He completed his graduate studies in public administration at Jackson State University. He served as an AmeriCorps Vista has worked as a field tech soil conservation service consultant and as a program specialist for the Community Student Learning Center. Calvin is also a farmer, specializing in corn, peas, okra, squash, cabbages, peppers, melons, greens, broccoli, kale, and cauliflowers.
ROB HEDBERG is the National Director for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and the National Program Leader for the Minor Use and Specialty Crop Pesticides Program (IR-4). Both of these programs utilize systems of regional administration that actively engage national and regional partners to guide highly relevant science targeted to solving growers’ needs and concerns.
PATRICIA HILLIARD-NUNN is a writer, artist, media producer, and community volunteer. She is a lecturer of African American Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida. She has also taught in the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research and worked as a community organizer and director of Special Projects for the Community Outreach Partnership Center of the University of Florida. She owns Makare Publishing Company. Dr. Hilliard-Nunn’s research addresses African and African American history and culture, intercultural communications, and media studies. She has produced videos for individuals and institutions and is currently raising funds to complete the editing of a documentary which addresses the history of African Americans in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Hilliard-Nunn holds a bachelor of arts degree in mass media arts and a minor in journalism from Hampton University and a master’s of fine arts degree in film production from Howard University. She earned her doctorate in mass communication from Florida State University. She is an active member of several boards and civic organizations which address history, culture, and other community based initiatives.
JANIE SIMMS HIPP, J.D., LL.M. is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma and serves as the founding director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Before launching the Initiative, she served in the Obama Administration as the senior advisor for Tribal relations to Secretary Tom Vilsack, and prior to her appointment within the Office of the Secretary she served in the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, as the National Program Leader for farm financial management, risk management education, trade adjustment assistance, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. She also served at USDA Risk Management Agency as the Risk Management Education Director. Before her work in Washington, DC, at the national level, she experienced a domestic and international career spanning more than thirty-five years in the field of agriculture and food law and has worked alongside the Intertribal Agriculture Council for more than twenty years. She has managed more than $500m in grant portfolios to date and has been a licensed attorney in Oklahoma since 1984; she specializes in the intersection of food and agriculture law and Indian law. She has been recognized as distinguished alumni at her LL.M. alma mater, University of Arkansas; as distinguished alumni at her J.D. alma mater, Oklahoma City University; received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from former President Barack Obama for her national commitment to volunteer service; and most recently received the National Center for American Indian Economic Development’s 2017 Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year Award.
WILLIE JOHNS, Seminole Tribe of Florida citizen, is a Tribal Historian as well as Chief Justice for the Seminole Tribe of Florida (STOF). As a Tribal Historian, Johns uses academic research as well as Tribal oral history to relate the story of the Seminole. Johns has acquired a bachelor of science degree in history from Palm Beach Atlantic College. His duties as Chief Justice have led him to successfully pursue a degree in law. His education, as well as his experience as STOF Chief Justice, STOF director of education, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum cultural specialist, an active member of the Seminole Wars Historic Foundation, Inc., and a member of Florida Cattlemen’s Association, has allotted Johns the background to portray an accurate depiction of the Seminole past as well as relate the modern culture of the Seminole.
TAMARA JONES draws on more than 20 years of experience providing strategic leadership that helps her clients overcome barriers to unlocking the full power of their mission. Her skill at leading organizations through effective planning and implementation led to her being honored as a 2011 White House Champion of Change. Her past leadership experience includes being a member of the executive committee for the Social Enterprise Alliance Greater Atlanta Chapter and Board Chair of The Common Market Georgia (which connects small and mid-sized farmers with large institutional buyers). In addition to running her firm Evident Impact LLC (a strategic management consultancy), she also currently serves as interim Executive Director of the Southeast African American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON).
REVEREND RICHARD JOYNER is the pastor of Conetoe (pronounced ‘Con-ee-tah’) Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and the director of Conetoe Family Life Center in Conetoe, NC. He is a graduate of East Carolina University and served in the United States Army. Rev. Joyner also serves as chaplain at Nash Health Care Systems and is a certified clinical pastoral counselor. As the youngest son of a sharecropper, Reverend Joyner gained knowledge of agriculture in North Carolina and the value of hard work. Through his love of farming and children, he helped establish two community gardens that train children how to farm and instill in them the value of family, service and stewardship. Reverend Joyner is a recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award, and of a Purpose Prize honoring social entrepreneurs over the age of 60; he was also one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes for 2015.
ANDREW KANG BARTLETT has worked as the national associate with the Presbyterian Church (USA) Hunger Program in Louisville, KY since 2001, after leaving San Francisco in foggy gentrification. In Louisville, Andrew is active on the Food in Neighborhoods Community Coalition, the steering committee for the future Louisville Food Co-op, Black Lives Matter Police Accountability Team, Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice, and the West Louisville Community Council. The Hunger Program’s work revolves around building economically and racially just and sustainable local food economies in the U.S. and globally through collaborative work with partners, coalitions, and social movements that address the systems and structures perpetuating poverty, exploitation, and oppression. Andrew coordinates the U.S.-based grantmaking program, and serves on the National Farm Worker Ministry board and the steering committee of SAFSF.
TRISHA KEHAULANI WATSON, JD, PhD, is the vice president of ‘Āina Momona, a nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving environmental health and sustainability through restoring social justice. She founded Honua Consulting in 2003 following the birth of her son. Fourteen years later, the company has flourished into a unique Hawaiian owned small business that specializes in environmental planning and cultural resource management. In 2014, she was awarded the Young Community Leader of the Year by Pacific Business News and American Savings Bank. Dr. Watson is qualified under the Secretary of Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for Archeology and History Preservation and holds a law degree with a specialization in environmental law. Much of her research has focused on traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous epistemologies, particularly as applied to cultural landscapes and ethnographic histories. She also has an extensive background in conservation, protected areas, and endangered species, and particularly enjoys working on complex and sensitive issues that focus on protecting threatened resources. She has worked with hundreds of community organizations across Hawai‘i and the Pacific, helping a diversity of partners find successful solutions that honor our collective pasts while planning for our sustainable futures.
WARREN KING has thirty years work and experience in the food and agricultural industry, including development of local and regional food businesses. He has served as the project manager of Fresno FoodLINC, creating working groups of food buyers, farmers, and landowners to expand local food markets; initiatives manager of the Wallace CenterÕs Pasture Project, focused on expanding grass-fed beef supply chain and sustainable land management in the Upper Midwest; interim general manager of Food Commons Fresno, a proof of concept business model for food enterprises that uses community ownership to promote economic development and wealth creation; and farm business advisor to Serosun Farms, an Ôagri-hoodÕ in NW Illinois that integrates sustainable farming into eco-friendly housing community. He has conducted feasibility studies and business-marketing plans to successfully implement multiple projects related to food hubs and values-based supply chains. This work includes leading ChicagoÕs Englewood community to develop an urban agriculture plan and serving as a member of a consulting team that developed the Washington Park Urban Agriculture plan, which led to the development of the Perry Street Urban Farm. Warren spent the majority of his professional career with Cargill, Inc., where he served as an assistant vice-president. He currently serves as the principal of WellSpring Ltd, a company that promotes the stewardship of natural resources by providing services to communities, government, not-for-profits and businesses, with an emphasis on the development of local and regional food systems. He is also currently involved in projects to develop community food enterprises and promote regenerative agricultural in the Midwest and California and assist family farms to participate in wholesale and retail value chains, including The Pasture Project, a collaborative effort to increase grass-based agriculture in the Upper Midwest. He serves on the boards of Kidz Express, Seven Generations Ahead, and The Food Commons. Warren has an MBA from DePaul University and a bachelorÕs in economics and international relations from the University of California-Davis.
TRICIA KOVACS is the local and regional food systems policy advisor at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), based in Agricultural Marketing Service. She coordinates efforts across USDA to support the local and regional food sector. Prior to joining USDA, Tricia managed Regional Markets programs at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, where she was founding program manager for the state Farm to School Program and also led the Small Farm Direct Marketing Program. Tricia was lead author on publications that help farmers and buyers understand complex market requirements, including “Bridging the GAPs Farm Guide: Good Agricultural Practices and On-Farm Food Safety for Small, Mid-Sized and Diversified Fruit and Vegetable Farms,” and “A School’s Guide to Buying Washington-Grown Food.” Tricia holds a MS in sustainability, planning, and environmental policy from Cardiff University in Wales and a BA from the University of Virginia. Originally from rural Appalachian Virginia, she lives with her husband and two children in Washington, D.C.
KAREN LEHMAN directs Fresh Taste, a funder initiative dedicated to relocalizing the food system in the Chicago foodshed and improving equity of access to good food. Karen’s food system work spans three decades, beginning with an award-winning PBS documentary on women’s leadership in farm movements. She directed the local food and regional economy programs at The Minnesota Project; co-founded Youth Farm, located in Minneapolis and St. Paul; and directed the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Food and Agriculture Program. Karen also held an endowed chair in agricultural systems at the University of Minnesota, consulted with the Ford Foundation on rural development in Mexico, and received a masters of public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. Prior to her work with Fresh Taste, she was a senior associate with Cambridge Leadership Associates.
ADAM MASON is the state policy organizing director at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI). He directs the Farming and Environmental Organizing Project at Iowa CCI, working with staff and members on grassroots organizing campaigns to support family farmers and rural and urban Iowans in confronting the impacts of corporate agriculture and factory farms, ensuring the enforcement of environmental rules and regulations, and pushing for better policies that put people and planet first. Adam grew up on a small family farm in northwest Iowa, and graduated with a degree in political science and German from Central College in Pella, IA.
KAREN McSWAIN is director of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s (CFSA) farm services and food systems programs. She received her BS in crop and soil science from Cornell University and her MS in horticulture and sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University. Mrs. McSwain directs CFSA’s technical assistance and direct consulting programs for: 1) start-up food projects; 2) conventional growers transitioning to certified organic production, beginning farmers interested in organic certification, and farmers interested in using organic production practices through our Organic Transition program; 3) farmers using Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) programs to take advantage of federal funding for conservation projects through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program-Organic Initiative (EQIP-OI); and 4) assistance to farmers who want to become GAPs certified by offering trainings. She also co-directs the Elma C. Lomax Farm, an incubator and research farm in Concord, NC. Current research projects include an evaluation of grafted versus non-grafted heirloom tomatoes grown in high tunnels, and the utility of the Haney Soil Nutrient Tool to accurately access soil nutrient availability on organic farms. She is currently supervising the development of an on-farm infrastructure toolkit, a high tunnel micro-irrigation guide, and an organic grain elevator feasibility study. She has supervised the development of additional resources for organic production, including the Organic Transition Handbook, the Organic Produce Marketing Survey, and Organic Enterprise Budgets for High-demand Organic Commodities.
LEE MEYER is a professor in sustainable agriculture and agricultural economics at the University of Kentucky, with a PhD from Purdue. His professional work has been targeted toward farmer-focused marketing, including beginning farmer training, direct marketing of meat products, farm transitions and organic corn. Lee taught Global Food Issues until 2015, and guest lectures on world food issues and the role of livestock systems in sustainability. He has worked on long-term projects in Thailand and Poland and shorter projects in several other countries. Lee chairs UK’s undergrad Sustainable Ag major, and at the university level, chairs the Faculty Sustainability Committee and co-chairs the UK President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee. He has served as Southern SARE’s (USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grants program) liaison to the Land Grant Universities since 2006, chairs the Lexington Parks Board, and serves on the boards of Seedleaf (community gardening) and WildOnes (native plants). Lee is married, with three adult children and five grandchildren all living in Kentucky. He enjoys gardening, running, playing with grandkids, biking, cooking, and eating good food with friends.
MONICA MOORE is program director for Emerging Technologies at the CS Fund. This program supports civil society and social movements’ assessments of new technologies, including synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and geoengineering, with an equal focus on exposing false solutions and building genuine alternatives. Monica also works closely with CS Fund’s Food Sovereignty program, and sees increasing overlap between these two fields. Both support agroecological practices and advocacy and are collaborating to support new, socially inclusive forums for pre-market technology assessments in Latin America and Asia. Prior to joining CS Fund, Monica co-founded and was active with the Pesticide Action Network for many years. She earned her BS and MS at the University of California at Berkeley, and has collaborated on many books, articles, and projects related to agriculture, pesticides, health, and food justice.
STEVEN C. MOORE is a 1979 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law. He began his legal career as a Vista volunteer helping to establish the Indian Law Unit of Idaho Legal Services. Moore joined the Native American Rights Fund in 1983 as a staff attorney, where he has represented Indian tribes in litigating federal Indian reserved water rights in federal and state courts in Idaho, California, and Kansas; in the Congressional approval of the settlement of reserved water rights; in the protection of Native American sacred lands in Montana, Hawaii, Wyoming, Texas, and California; in the repatriation of human remains from museums in Colorado and Nebraska; in the possession of and religious use of peyote by members of the Native American Church; in the rights of Native prisoners in Utah, Idaho, and California to wear traditional long hair, possess religious articles, and have access to sweat lodges and Native spiritual leaders; in the right of Native students to wear eagle feathers at public high school graduations in California, North Dakota, and North Carolina, and to wear long hair in public schools in Louisiana; in the enforcement of the federal trust responsibility in the areas of oil and gas production on Indian lands in Oklahoma and in the delivery of Indian health care in Montana; and in the right of reindeer herders in Alaska to sell reindeer products free of federal income taxation. In May 2016 Moore received an Honorary Order of the Coif award from his alma mater, Colorado Law. Moore is also the 2008 recipient of the Pierce-Hickerson Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association of Washington, D.C. Moore established the Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative at NARF a decade ago. Moore also has been appointed by the last three lieutenant governors to serve on the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, and proudly served on the advisory committee to the Indian Law Clinic at Colorado Law.
MALINI MORAGHAN is a principal at DAISA Enterprises, managing the Kresge Foundation’s National Program Office. Malini has spent years balancing margin and mission, working at the intersection of impact investments and food and agriculture. She is the former Managing Director of Investments at Wholesome Wave, where she launched and led an impact investments team that structured millions in patient, flexible investment into regional food enterprises and successfully exited an experimental PRI. She has worked with a variety of businesses and across a range of investor types focused on integrating financial viability and social impact. Malini also closely advises family funds, national foundations, and USDA career leaders. She has been nationally recognized as an expert, speaking at the White House Rural Council ROI Summits, USDA’s AgOutlook, SSAWG, SAFSF, OFN, and SARL conferences. Malini serves on the Joint Federal Reserve-USDA Publication Advisory Committee. She is a founding Board member of Red Hills Small Farm Alliance and a past Board Member of a Feeding America food bank. Before she owned farm-grade rubber boots, Malini spent a decade in the private sector. She was an engagement manager with McKinsey & Co., served her community as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and cut her teeth as an investment banker at JPMorgan in New York. She has an MBA from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cooper Union. She is a CFA Level II Candidate and she is based in Chicago.
RYAN MORINI began his work with the Samuel Procter Oral History Program (SPOHP) in 2010 as a graduate research coordinator for the African American History Project (AAHP). Ryan received his PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Florida (UF) in May 2014. His dissertation research focused on the politics of heritage management among the Duckwater and Ely Shoshone Tribes in central Nevada, and he continues to do heritage and social memory research with Nevada Shoshone communities. His research has been supported by the Sven and Astrid Liljeblad Fund, the Jacobs Fund, the Southwest Oral History Association, the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, and the Great Basin National Heritage Area Partnership. He was a 2013 recipient of the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences O. Ruth McQuown Scholarship Award.
His current Nevada research is historic ethnography of cultural and social dimensions of Shoshone land use and ownership in the 19th and early 20th centuries–-or, in a different turn of phrase, a heritage ethnography of Newe survivance. A significant focus of the project will also be the re-examination of the field notes of anthropologist Julian Steward, whose work with Western Shoshones has long been canonical not only for students of the Great Basin, but social scientists throughout the world. This project is intended to demonstrate the ways in which Western Shoshone culture, rather than being a remnant from a prior era or a hindrance in “adapting” to the colonized landscape, is in fact a resource that Shoshones throughout the years have used in diverse ways to empower their communities and build up opportunities for future generations.
Ryan has also continued working with AAHP; in addition to continued interviewing efforts in Alachua, Marion, Levy, Hamilton, and Gadsden counties, among others, he is helping to coordinate the upload of 500 AAHP transcripts and audio to the UF Digital Collections by the close of 2018 so that they will be more readily available to the general public.
He has also been coordinating SPOHP’s podcasting efforts along with the staff and students comprising the Podcasting Working Group. While publishing written documents that cite or quote transcripts is an important form of scholarship, digital humanities media such as podcasts are uniquely situated to share the power of narrators’ recorded voices, and force scholars to make theories and analytical concepts intelligible by communicating them in a conversational manner.
ARTHUR NEAL, JR. serves as the deputy administrator of the Transportation and Marketing (TM) Program under the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) in Washington, DC.
To help accomplish the agency’s mission of facilitating the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products, Arthur provides leadership and direction for the agency’s multi-million dollar grant programs that support the development and growth of local and regional food systems, as well as fund research that addresses marketing challenges for agriculture industries. He leads a talented team that is responsible for providing economic analysis on bulk agricultural transportation from farm to market and improving market access for local and regional agricultural producers.
Arthur, a native of Louisiana, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Southern University and A&M College, and earned a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and the Scottish Agricultural College in Aberdeen, Scotland (UK). Arthur and his wife reside in the Washington, DC metro area.
OSCAR OTZOY is a senior staff member and farmworker leader of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Originally from Guatemala, Mr. Otzoy worked in the agricultural industry across the East Coast. Mr. Otzoy and his colleagues at the CIW conduct worker-to-worker rights education in the fields on all farms participating in the Presidential Medal-winning Fair Food Program. Mr. Otzoy’s work at the CIW includes hosting daily radio shows on the CIW’s low-power community FM radio station, leading the weekly worker membership group meetings, receiving complaints of abuses in the fields, managing wage theft claims, and investigating cases of modern-day slavery. Mr. Otzoy also regularly represents the CIW at a national level throughout the year, speaking publicly at conferences, presentations, and major actions with thousands of consumers on the challenges faced by farmworkers in Florida and the solution that the CIW has forged through the development of the Fair Food Program.
STEPHANIE PENG collects and interprets data for the National Committee of Responsive Philanthropy’s research projects, including As the South Grows. Prior to being a research associate with NCRP, Stephanie was a graduate research fellow for NCRP’s Philamplify initiative, assisting with assessments of the New York Community Trust and the Oregon Community Foundation. A native of New Jersey, Stephanie holds a BA in international affairs from American University and a MA in comparative and regional studies from American University.
LEAH PENNIMAN is an educator, farmer, writer, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She is committed to dismantling the oppressive structures that misguide our food system, reconnecting marginalized communities to land, and upholding our responsibility to steward the land the nourishes us. Leah coordinates a subsidized farm share program that provides life-giving food for families in food apartheid neighborhoods. She also runs training programs for aspiring Black and Latino activist-farmers, an on-farm restorative justice program that is an alternative to incarceration for area teens, and uprooting racism training for intersectional activists. Leah holds an MA in science education and BA in environmental science and international development from Clark University. She has been farming since 1996 and teaching since 2002. Leah’s work as a farmer and educator has been recognized by the Fulbright Program, Presidential Award for Science Teaching, NYS Health Emerging Innovator Awards, Andrew Goodman Foundation, and others.
DANA PERLS is the senior food and technology campaigner with Friends of the Earth. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth, she was the Northern California community organizer with Pesticide Watch, where she ran regional campaigns in agricultural counties to ban cancer-causing, unregulated strawberry pesticides from the market; to label GMOs in California; and to help reform the corporate control of our food systems with non-toxic, localized, and regulated practices. Victories included mobilizing agricultural regions to pressure Arysta Lifesciences, an international agribusiness, to remove a carcinogenic pesticide from the national market. Dana brings a strong background in grassroots campaign organizing and environmental policy and combines them with her commitment to environmental justice. She has also worked on water contamination issues throughout California’s agricultural valleys and on campaigns focused on issues ranging from human rights to water in Panama, where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer. She holds a master’s in city planning from UC Berkeley in CA and a BA from Cornell University.
ROBERT J. POTTS is president and CEO of the Dixon Water Foundation. From 2004 through the summer of 2007, Potts was the general manager of the Edwards Aquifer Authority, a regional regulatory agency created by the Texas Legislature to manage, enhance, and protect the Edwards Aquifer, which spans eight counties in south central Texas, serves as the primary water source for more than one and a half million people, and supports numerous springs in the area, including the two largest springs west of the Mississippi River. From 1993 to 2004, Mr. Potts worked at the Nature Conservancy where he held several positions, including state director of Texas and vice president for the South Central Division, managing the conservation work in Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Mr. Potts previously practiced law with the firm of Baker and Botts in Houston, where he focused on international and corporate issues. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Columbia University in 1984 and a BA degree from Baylor University in 1980.
CLAIRE REGINA AMEYO QUENUM is representing the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA). She is based in Lomé, the capital town of the small West African country of Togo. Claire is a human rights defender, working particularly on economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) with focuses on the right to adequate food and women’s rights. She is very active in civil society actions in Togo and has been awarded distinctions for the promotion of gender. Claire is active in networks promoting and defending ESCR. Her work includes activities such as information sharing, training, and advocacy for a progressive realization of the right to adequate food and food sovereignty for people and communities. Claire’s organization, Floraison, is a member of the national branch of the African Network on the Right to Food (ANoRF). This network, known as RAPDA-Togo in French, is a member of AFSA. AFSA is a platform of African networks that provides a common voice to promote agroecological farming practices based on African solutions to African problems and principles. AFSA works to achieve food sovereignty by raising awareness and supporting actions in three main domains: agroecology, promotion and protection of community seeds, and control and appropriate use and management of land and natural resources.
SANJAY RAWAL has more than a decade’s experience in developing strategy for a diverse array of projects in over forty nations, involving dozens of luminaries, Heads of States, business leaders, government officials, entertainers, and community representatives, crafting specialized initiatives focused on making a measurable impact. Sanjay has assisted in the development, launch, and management of a number of high-profile philanthropic endeavors both domestically and abroad. He has a BA in molecular and cell biology and neurobiology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is also an award-winning filmmaker (Food Chains) and has been quoted by major media outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, and MSNBC. Sanjay is currently finishing a film on ultradistance running with a focus on the Navajo and San bushmen. He is beginning a new film this summer on Native American food sovereignty.
CHRISTINE REEVES STRIGARO is the executive director of The Sapelo Foundation, a private family foundation with a mission to Òpromote progressive social change affecting vulnerable populations, rural communities, and the natural environment in the state of Georgia.Ó Christine is dedicated to the strength and vibrancy of vulnerable communities and the protection of their environments. In doing so, the laboratory of philanthropy has become her medium. She aligns all philanthropic resources to build partnerships, weave networks, share stories, spark ideas, discover solutions for root causes of problems, and identify those who are most affected by problems as protagonists, not recipients. With equal conviction, she believes philanthropy is a team sport that champions grantee partners and other stakeholders. Previously, she served as director of Foundation Programs at Alliance for Justice and as senior field associate at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. Currently, she serves as a board member for Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and Alliance for Nonprofit Management. Christine graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She received her masterÕs degree from Duke UniversityÕs Terry Sanford School of Public Policy in Durham, NC.
KRISTEN RICHARDSON-FRICK joined The Duke Endowment’s Rural Church program area in 2012. An ordained elder in the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, she had previously served as associate and senior pastor at several United Methodist churches in South Carolina as well as a certified ministry coach. As a program officer at the Endowment, she helps resource-thriving rural United Methodist congregations in North Carolina perform greater service to their communities. In that role, she also works with the two United Methodist conferences in the state and Duke University’s Divinity School to enhance ministry in rural places.
TOBY RITTNER is the president and CEO of the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA). CDFA is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation’s leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing hundreds of public, private, and nonprofit development entities. Members are state, county, and municipal development finance agencies and authorities that provide or otherwise support economic development financing programs. Mr. Rittner runs the day-to-day operations of the Council, which includes management of a 32-member board of directors and the organization’s various educational, advocacy, research, resources, and networking initiatives.
Mr. Rittner is a frequent speaker at local, state, and national conferences and events focused on economic development finance. He has been featured extensively in The Bond Buyer, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, NPR, and other national media publications concerning the advancement of development finance tools. He is the author of CDFA’s highly acclaimed Practitioner’s Guide to Economic Development Finance and an adjunct faculty member at The Ohio State University and Carnegie Mellon University, where he teaches planning for sustainable economic development finance. Mr. Rittner is a Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) through CDFA and a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) through the National Development Council (NDC). He has also advised state and federal government leaders, including President Obama’s Administration Transition Team, on economic development finance policy.
Prior to joining CDFA, Mr. Rittner was the director of legislative affairs and former director of training for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Mr. Rittner has also worked for the Franklin County, OH Board of Commissioners Community and Economic Development Department as a senior program coordinator and as an associate planner for the City of Gahanna, OH. Mr. Rittner previously served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Community Fund I, LLC and the Advisory Board for Heritage Ohio. Mr. Rittner holds a bachelor of arts in political science and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from The Ohio State University. Mr. Rittner was awarded the Ohio State College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2016.
SARA RUMMEL is the Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative’s (AARC) key connector, organizing leaders from a wide-range of perspectives around a shared vision, and architecting the collaborative platform where members work together to develop campaigns and strategy, share knowledge and learn from each other, and weave a network of genuine trust-based relationships. Her leadership with AARC grows out of her previous work in advocacy in the labor and environmental movements, where she organized formal and informal coalitions on a variety of environmental, health, and economic justice issues. As the legislative director for the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) Minnesota State Council, Sara organized formal and informal coalitions to successfully win health care policy reform at the state level, and connected environmental leaders into the campaign for good and green jobs for janitors. At Clean Water Action Alliance of Minnesota, she organized voter education to help elect environmental champions, and supported coalition work on a range of issues from climate change and renewable energy to increased funding for water protection and toxic chemical policy reform. She holds an MPA in environmental science and policy from Columbia University, and a BA from Mount Holyoke College.
DAVID RUNSTEN is the policy director at the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) in Davis, California, a California statewide organization that works to develop sustainable agriculture and local food systems. In addition to his policy advocacy for family farmers, he has created and manages outreach programs at CAFF on water use, food safety, and climate smart agriculture, and he serves on the executive committee of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. He was previously the associate director of the North American Integration and Development Center in the School of Public Affairs at UCLA from 1995 to 2006, where his research focused on NAFTA, rural development in Mexico, immigration, and economic development in Los Angeles. He studied economics at Stanford University and agricultural and resource economics at the University of California at Berkeley.
MIKKI SAGER is a vice president and director of the Resourceful Communities program at The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving our nation’s working lands and advancing sustainable economic development. In her work with the Fund’s Resourceful Communities Program (RCP), Mikki helps communities across North Carolina and the South implement triple bottom line efforts that promote sustainable economic development, social justice, and environmental stewardship. The Resourceful Communities Program provides capacity-building (including a small re-grant program) to help communities implement triple bottom line efforts; helps more than 300 partner grassroots groups and 200 resource groups connect with each other; and helps communities implement place-based economic development projectsÐincluding sustainable agriculture, community gardening, youth development, ecotourism, community forestry, and conservation-based affordable housingÐthat leverage environmental techniques and resources. RCP has distributed more than $3.1 million in small grants, and helped partner organizations create or retain over 1,000 jobs in urban and rural communities alike. Mikki is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education.
STEVE SALTZMAN is the director for Commercial Lending at the Self-Help Credit Union and leads its Food System Finance Initiative, from lending to organizational strategy, as well as the organization’s Charter School Loan Fund. He is responsible for more than $200 million in community development financing for projects supporting healthy food systems, education, commercial real estate, and downtown redevelopment, twinning Self-Help’s funding with public and private financing, equity, and credit enhancement ranging from New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits to USDA loan guarantees. Prior to Self-Help, Steve helped found two venture capital backed technology companies. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University.
GREGORY SCHELL is an attorney who has represented migrant farmworkers in employment-related matters for over 37 years. Many of his cases have been brought on behalf of Mexican or Caribbean nationals imported to the United States under the H-2A agricultural guestworker program. He has also successfully represented nonagricultural workers admitted to the United States as guestworkers in the hospitality, seafood, and carnival industries. Schell currently serves as deputy director of Southern Migrant Legal Services, which provides free legal assistance to farmworkers in six Southeastern states.
SHEFALI SHARMA is the director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade policy (IATP) European office. From the global production of feed grains to meat processing and retail, her current work and publications focus on the economic, social, and environmental impacts of the global meat industry. She continues to examine how international trade rules and global governance on food security and climate intersect with the sector. Shefali established IATP’s Geneva office in 2000 and led its Trade Information Project for several years. She has worked with and consulted for several other civil society organizations, such as ActionAid and the Malaysia-based Third World Network, and served as the South Asia coordinator of the Bank Information Center, based in Delhi. She has an PhM in development studies from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in Sussex and a bachelor of arts in anthropology from the College of William and Mary.
JIM SLAMA is a leader in promoting the good food movement. In 1996 Jim launched Sustain on the heels of a successful multimedia campaign that shut down an incinerator that released 150,000 pounds of lead annually. Sustain continued to become one of the country’s leading environmental communication groups. A major victory included the Keep Organic Organic campaign, developed with the Organic Trade Association. Other victories included stopping the state of Michigan from drilling for oil on the shores of Lake Michigan and forcing Congress’ adoption of a true recycling program. FamilyFarmed’s work earned the Yahoo! for Good Green Award. In 1999 Jim was named to Crain’s Chicago Business annual ‘Forty Under Forty’ list of leading young business and civic leaders. Jim also received the Chicago Tribune Good Eating Award for contributions to the Chicago food and beverage world. Jim was the founding publisher and editor of Conscious Choice magazine. During his tenure, Conscious Choice was named nine times by Utne Reader as a member of the Best of the Alternative Press. He most recently founded The Good Food Business Accelerator, which readies farm and food businesses for prime time, giving them skills to launch or scale up. Fellows are paired with industry-leading mentors and connected to potential customers and investors. This is the nation’s first business accelerator focused on building supply chains for sustainable local food.
BRIAN SNYDER is executive director of the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) at The Ohio State University in Columbus, where he has served since June 1, 2016. InFACT is an innovative and multidisciplinary program initiated by Ohio StateÐone of its new ‘Discovery Themes’ projectsÐthat aims to assure food security in the future for all citizens of Ohio and beyond. Previously, Brian was executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), a position he held since 2001, and also, since 2012, the FoodRoutes Network LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PASA that runs the Buy Fresh Buy Local program nationally. Previous to PASA he served as executive director of Gould Farm, a community-based residential mental health treatment program operating since 1913 on a 700-acre working farm in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Brian holds two master’s degrees, from Harvard (theological studies) and UMass/Amherst (business administration), and serves on a variety of boards and other task forces both regionally and nationally. His after-hours passions are fly fishing, gardening, cooking and writing, and he maintains a personal blog called Write to Farm, which can be found at http://writetofarm.com.
ELANOR STARMER is a senior fellow at George Washington University, where she is helping launch a new food policy leadership institute to train the next generation of sustainable agriculture leaders to impact farm and food policy. Until January 20, 2017, she served for seven years as an Obama Administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, first as a senior advisor to the Secretary and then as administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, an agency with over 4,000 employees and an operating budget of $2.75 billion. In both roles, she focused on strengthening USDA’s support for local and regional food systems, sustainable and organic agriculture, and wealth-building opportunities in rural communities, working across USDA’s 17 agencies, with other federal departments, and with the White House Rural Council. Prior to joining USDA, she worked in the nonprofit sector on rural and agriculture policy issues with a focus on economic justice. She holds an MS from Tufts University’s Friedman School, an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a BA from Brown University. Originally from a rural farming community of 700 in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, she lives with her husband and son in Washington, D.C.
HILDE STEFFEY is Farm Aid’s program director, where she works to guide and integrate Farm Aid’s farmer service, resource network, and grant programs, and serves as the liaison to the broader food systems funding community. Hilde joined Farm Aid in 2008 after spending close to a decade gaining perspective at various levels of the food system, from the halls of Congress to school cafeterias, and even on the seat of a tractor. Hilde has a master’s degree in agricultural science and policy from Tufts Friedman School and spent a number of years teaching about agriculture, nutrition, and environmental science. Some of Hilde’s earliest memories are on her Grandpa Pete’s farm just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, and trawling for vine-ripened tomatoes in her mom’s backyard salsa garden in Salt Lake City, UtahÐboth experiences inspiring a life-long passion for food, farms, and the outdoors.
JENNIE L. STEPHENS has served as executive director of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation since its inception in 2005. At the Center, she is responsible for overall strategic planning, revenue generation, financial management, organizational development, staff management, and program operations. She has worked more than 25 years in the nonprofit field in such positions as fiscal director at a community action agency, sponsored programs director at a historically black college, and senior program director at Coastal Community Foundation. She also has several years of experience in consulting as a program reviewer, strategic plan facilitator, and grants writer. Most recently, Jennie had the pleasure of being a speaker at TedXCharleston with a talk titled, “Heirs Discover Money Does Grow on Trees.”
Jennie received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of Charleston, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Charleston/University of SC, and a PhD in organizational leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA.
Jennie’s passion in life is to help people help themselves.
HILARY SWAIN has been the executive director of Archbold Expeditions since 1995, directing activities at Archbold Biological Station and the MacArthur Agroecology Research Center (MAERC). She works with a staff of 50 involved in long-term research, environmental monitoring, science education for K-12, undergraduate and graduate students and the public, as well as land management and conservation programs. Dr. Swain’s research interests are in the application of conservation biology to preserve design, land management, and planning for natural communities and endangered species. Her research at MAERC has focused on the relationships among agroecology, economic, and physical factors in grazing lands and how these change over time. She plays a key role in extensive liaison with local, state, and federal agencies, and private landowners on the Lake Wales Ridge and in the Northern Everglades region, helping to build a bridge between government agencies, private landowners, and the environmental communities in Florida. Dr. Swain is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is past president of the Organization of Biological Field Stations. Among other appointments, she currently serves as board member for the National Ecological Observation Network, Inc. (NEON); board member for NatureServe; chairperson of the board of directors for Babcock Ranch, Inc.; and member of the Natural Resources Advisory Commission (NRAC) for Highlands County, Florida.
M.E. “MICKIE” SWISHER is a faculty member in the Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida She serves as the director of the University of Florida’s Center for Sustainable and Organic Food Systems and co-coordinator of the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program in Florida, with Dr. Cassell Gardner at Florida A&M University. Much of her research is multi-disciplinary with colleagues in the agricultural and life sciences. Dr. Swisher develops and uses participatory and empowerment approaches to research methods to improve the reliability and validity of agricultural research results, particularly research with disenfranchised populations and groups. She collaborates extensively with faculty members from several colleges and departments at the University of Florida and other universities in research and outreach programs that address the social components of sustainability. This work includes collaboration with farmers, farmer organizations, nonprofit organizations, and community-based organizations to conduct research, teaching and extension programs in sustainable agriculture and food system development. She is an associate editor for Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, a Cambridge University Press journal.
KELLIE TERRY is a program officer on The Sustainable Environments Team at the Surdna Foundation. She began her career in 2002 at THE POINT CDC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the South Bronx through arts and culture, youth development, and community development, and rose to executive director in 2004. Terry is a graduate of Holy Cross and currently a candidate for a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at Pratt Institute. She served as the board chair of The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance and is currently a board director of The Bronx River Alliance and The Norcross Foundation.