Press Releases

Anna Lappé Named Executive Director of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food


Noted Food Systems Transformation Advocate, Funder, and Author to Lead Next Chapter for Philanthropic Alliance Driving Food Systems Change

18 May 2023 – The Global Alliance for the Future of Food today named Anna Lappé as its next Executive Director. A lifelong champion for food systems transformation, Lappé has worked for more than twenty years across philanthropy, advocacy, and communications to support just, equitable, and healthy food systems. The Global Alliance for the Future of Food is a strategic alliance of philanthropic foundations working to transform global food systems now and for future generations; the Global Alliance has 27  active philanthropies as members worldwide. 

“More and more people today understand that food systems transformation is one of the most critical issues of our time,” said Lappé. “I am thrilled, honored, and energized to lead the Global Alliance for the Future of Food into its next chapter, and to uplift the urgency of a global food system transformation rooted in justice, health, equity, and climate resilience.” 

Lappé brings deep expertise to the role. An advocate, funder, organizer, and author, Lappé is a respected movement leader and the founder or co-founder of three organizations including Real Food Media. In her role as the director of the Food Sovereignty Fund of the Panta Rhea Foundation, a member of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, Lappé led a multi-million dollar grantmaking portfolio. She serves on multiple boards, and is a founding Steering Committee member of the Castanea Fellowship, a two-year program for diverse leaders working for a racially just food system. 

“Anna is deeply committed to a just, equitable, and healthy food system—it’s been her life’s work,” said Jane Maland Cady, Founding Director of the Global Collaboration for Resilient Food Systems at the McKnight Foundation and Co-Chair of the Global Alliance search committee. “Through careful deliberation, it became clear to us that Anna’s unmatched background, energy, and passion meets this moment for the Global Alliance.” 

Lappé is a national bestselling author as well as an advocate and philanthropist. She has authored or co-authored 3 books about food, climate, and food systems transformation, including Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, and is the contributing author of, or featured in, 16 more. She is a sought-after public speaker, appearing in over 600 events in the past two decades, and a regular contributor and guest in leading global media outlets. 

She’ll leverage this visibility for the Global Alliance, which has been deeply engaged in international processes and events around a range of food system issues, from food and climate to hunger and food sovereignty. 

Entering its 11th year, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food has brought together leading funders from around the world resourcing food systems transformation. The Global Alliance today has 27 members spanning a range of institutions from family foundations to large institutional philanthropies and representing a collective endowment of more than $40 billion. 

Over the last year, the Global Alliance has significantly expanded its work on food systems as a critical climate solution, released new research on climate financing, and advanced efforts around decolonizing food systems and addressing justice and equity issues that hold back deeper structural transformation. And the Alliance has continued to work to communicate the urgency of the overlapping crisis touched by food systems, and the solutions to address them.

“The collective power of the Global Alliance membership gives us a huge opportunity to reimagine food systems over the next decade,” said Lappé. “Leveraging the unique resources and power of the Alliance, we can champion just and equitable solutions and transform global policy and economic structures for good. This is a strategic alliance with a big vision for change.” 

Lappé will be the organization’s second Executive Director; Ruth Richardson transitioned after ten years last Fall. Richardson now is Executive Director of the Accelerator for Systemic Risk Assessment (ASRA) at the UN Foundation. Oliver Oliveros now Coordinator of the Agroecology Coalition, and Lauren Baker led the organization as Interim Executive Directors in the transition period; Baker will be taking on a new role as Deputy Director. 

“Oliver, Lauren, and the entire staff of the Secretariat have gone above and beyond during this period of transition,” said Scott Cullen, co-Chair of the Global Alliance steering committee. “Anna is joining a world-class team with energy, talent, and commitment.” 

Krysten Aguilar, Director of the Castanea Fellowship, said “As a founding Steering Committee member of the Fellowship, Anna has brought her vision, deep commitment to collaboration, and skills as a leader and funder organizer to help us dream big and grow our work to support the movement for food system transformation. Anna has been an amazing ally and co-strategist for the Fellowship and I’m delighted about the possibilities for impact as she steps into this new role.”

Andre Degenszajn, Executive Director of Instituto Ibirapitangaa Global Alliance member—said “I am thrilled for Anna and this new era for the Global Alliance. A first transition from a founding executive director is always challenging, but Anna brings great knowledge about the network and the broader food ecosystem. She carries a rare combination of technical capacity, communication skills and a deep understanding and commitment with civil society organizations and social movements worldwide.”


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About The Global Alliance for the Future of Food

The Global Alliance for the Future of Food is a strategic alliance of philanthropic foundations working together and with others to transform global food systems now and for future generations. We believe in the urgency of transforming global food systems, and in the power of working together and with others to effect positive change. Food systems reform requires new and better solutions at all scales through a systems-level approach and deep collaboration among philanthropy, researchers, grassroots movements, the private sector, farmers and food systems workers, Indigenous Peoples, government, and policymakers.