Leadership transition at the Global Alliance for the Future of Food

28 February 2022 

Ruth Richardson will step down as Executive Director at the Global Alliance for the Future of Food by September 2022. Richardson departs after almost ten years at the helm of the Global Alliance, where she oversaw the first formation of the group and has expanded its growth, reach, and impact since. Guided by Richardson’s vision and leadership, the GA has grown its membership, built a high-functioning team, and established expertise in key food systems issues, such as agroecology and True Cost Accounting. This year marks the organization’s 10-year anniversary.

Under Richardson’s leadership, the Global Alliance has been a tireless champion for systems-thinking and principles-based decision-making, and a facilitator of dialogue convening thousands of diverse stakeholders and partners, from all around the world, to craft new and better solutions at all scales in response to today’s food systems dysfunctions. During her tenure, the philanthropic alliance has: catalyzed communities of practice on True Cost Accounting, seeds, health and well-being, and investment; incubated and launched two bespoke, hyper-targeted funder collaboratives; convened a number of International Dialogues; published 15+ research reports and actionable toolkits; and, recently, chaired the Champions Network of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit with representation on the Advisory Council.

Jane Maland Cady, Co-Chair of the Global Alliance Executive Committee, said: “For almost a decade, Ruth’s leadership has been fundamental to the growth and evolution of the Global Alliance, strengthening the initiative at every turn and significantly shaping the conversation about the future of food.

“Ruth has many gifts: a keen sense of strategy and vision, her ability to nurture connection, her good humour, and her deep commitment to food systems transformation, which have combined to cultivate a unique space for foundations to come together, find common ground and challenge ourselves to think not just differently but courageously too. The recent creation of an Equity Circle, as a regular meeting place for members and Secretariat to come together and question, analyze, and explore issues of power and the legitimacy of philanthropy is a testament to this. 

“While we don’t want Ruth to go, I have deep confidence that the Global Alliance will continue to work to put food systems transformation at the heart of the political, social, and economic agenda.”

Ensuring the sustainability, security, and equity of our food systems is one of the most defining issues of our time so the work of the Global Alliance and its seven Calls to Action remains a critical priority for GA members. 2022 is a critical year for making progress on putting food at the heart of climate action and catalyzing transformative solutions – such as agroecology and regenerative approaches – already at our fingertips.


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