The inaugural class of Food Leaders Fellows will form lifelong bonds to change the food landscape in the service of sustainability, food justice, equity, and health
CONTACT: Emily Rubenstein
Washington, DC, July 14, 2022—Food & Society at the Aspen Institute is excited to announce today the 18 inaugural members of its new Food Leaders Fellowship, which unites the country’s most promising emerging food leaders to ignite personal transformation, promote cross-sector collaboration, and create scalable change. Drawing on the Aspen Institute’s standard-setting leadership programs, the Food Leaders Fellowship will become the foremost community of values-based leaders dedicated to changing the food landscape in the service of sustainability, food justice, equity, and health.
Chosen from an impressive pool of over 200 applicants, the inspiring group of 18 entrepreneurial leaders span corporate, startup, nonprofit, and government organizations—and will come together to support and challenge each another to think bigger, increase their individual and group capacity for change, and find new collaborators to work with toward lasting impact. Watch an introduction video of the 2022 Food Leaders Fellows here.
Over the course of 18 months, fellows will take part in the Aspen Institute’s unique programming as they step back from their day-to-day work to examine their beliefs and personal mission and work to identify and hone their ability to make significant change. At their first seminar on the Aspen Institute’s Colorado campus, a space designed for deep contemplation, fellows will establish the trust and understanding that form lifelong bonds and fertile ground for collaboration—the hallmarks of all Institute fellowships.
The fellows, who hail from across the United States, including Puerto Rico, and Mexico, bring a wide variety of both lived and professional experience to inform the discussions and work of the new Food Leaders Fellowship community. They are all committed to change. They are all making it already. They are all eager to push themselves and their beliefs and put in the work to address the challenges across the food system.
“I‘ve spent a career as a writer seeking out the most effective and personally inspiring leaders working to make food better,” says Corby Kummer, executive director of Food & Society. “But I’ve never had the chance to bring them together to challenge and better each other. That’s what the Aspen Institute does. We were knocked out by the commitment and extraordinarily different backgrounds of the candidates we were lucky enough to meet over Zoom, and I left interview after interview hungering for the next time we could see them. I can’t wait to meet our new fellows in person—and I really can’t wait for them to meet each other.”
At and following their first meeting, fellows will identify individual action plans building on the work they are currently doing and the work they most want to start. Along with support, camaraderie, and critiques from their new Food Leaders collaborators, fellows will receive mentoring from established food expert leaders who have paved the way forward in sustainability, innovation, policy, human and worker rights, and regenerative agriculture. Fellows will stay deeply connected at regular virtual meetings and two more in-person gatherings during the course of the fellowship. Each class will be called on to mentor and support new cohorts, expanding the impact of the fellowship for decades to come.
Food & Society at the Aspen Institute launched the Food Leaders Fellowship with support from Seth Goldman and Julie Farkas, Food at Google, the JIB Fund, Andy and Zelie Pforzheimer, Melony and Adam J. Lewis, and Gary and Meg Hirshberg.
The members of the inaugural class of Food Leaders Fellows are:
- Brian Bartle, Senior Manager, Partner Enablement, Indigo Ag
- Kristen Campos, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Mars Food North America
- Lucie Dufour Blankenship, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications, PepsiCo Foundation, PepsiCo
- Clare Fox, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Everytable
- Vasanth Ganesan, Partner, McKinsey & Company
- Jillian Griffith, Senior Health Partnerships Manager, Amazon
- Delia Johnson, Director of Programs, Military Family Advisory Network
- Hae-In Kim, Deputy Director, City of Boston Office of Food Justice
- Ken Kolb, Professor of Sociology, Furman University
- Javier Larragoiti Kuri, CEO and Founder, Creative Food Labs (aka Xilinat)
- Renske Lynde, General Partner, 1st Course Capital
- Tom McDougall, CEO, 4P Foods, PBC, Inc.
- Marley Monacello, Staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers
- Jon Muth, Manager, Strategy and Planning, Beyond Meat
- José Domingo Soto Rivera, Executive Director, ACOMERPR
- Rachel Spencer, Senior Manager II, Walmart
- Trevor Thompson, President, TerraClear
- Eden Vardy, Founder and Executive Director, The Farm Collaborative
Visit the Food Leaders Fellowship website to learn more about the fellows through photos, short biographies, and an introductory video. Join the Food Leaders Fellows community: Food & Society invites you to guide and support the fellows as an active mentor—or consider applying for the next cohort! Stay up to date on the next application cycle and other Food & Society news and activities here.
ABOUT THE FOOD LEADERS FELLOWSHIP
The Food Leaders Fellowship was created in 2022 to unite the most promising early-stage food leaders to ignite personal transformation, cross-sector collaboration, and scalable change. Drawing on the Aspen Institute’s history of successful leadership and policy fellowships, the Food Leaders Fellowship is becoming the foremost community of emerging leaders who will work towards sustainability, food justice, and good health. For more information, visit https://www.aspeninstitute.org/programs/food-and-society-program/food-leaders-fellowship/.
ABOUT FOOD & SOCIETY AT THE ASPEN INSTITUTE
Food & Society at the Aspen Institute brings together leaders and decision-makers in the food and beverage industry and the public health community—scientists, nutritionists, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, and food makers of all kinds—to find solutions to production, health, and communications challenges in the food system. The program’s goal is for people of all income levels to eat better and more healthful diets—and to enjoy them bite by bite. For more information, visit https://www.aspeninstitute.org/programs/food-and-society-program/ or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
ABOUT THE ASPEN INSTITUTE
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.