2/23/18 Ripe for the Picking: Panelist biographies

NOTE: This post will be updated as we receive additional photos and information.


Gordon Douglas 2010Gordon Douglas MD ’55, Princeton Studies Food co-founder, is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and is director of three biotech companies: Vical, Inc. Novadigm, and Protein Sciences. He was president of the Merck Vaccine Division, responsible for the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of Merck’s vaccine products, from 1989 until 1999. Previously, he was an infectious disease specialist with research interests in respiratory viral infections, vaccines, and antivirals at Weill Cornell Medical College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. MD, Cornell University Medical College; National Academy of Medicine. rgdouglasjr@gmail.com

Dan Rubenstein, Princeton Studies Food Council member, is Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology; Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; and Director, Program in Environmental Studies, Princeton University. He teaches the new Human Diet, Agriculture and Climate course, and studies the effects of environmental variation and individual differences on social behavior, social structure, sex roles and the dynamics of populations. In Kenya he also works with pastoral communities to assess impacts of various grazing strategies on rangeland quality, wildlife use and livelihoods. He has recently extended his work to measuring the effects of environmental change on behavior, including issues pertaining to the global commons and changes wrought by management and by global warming. He has received Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. dir@princeton.edu

GSR Tim Searchinger headshotTimothy Searchinger, Princeton Studies Food co-founder, is a research scholar in the Woodrow Wilson School STEP program and a lecturer in the Princeton Environmental Institute. His work combines ecology, agronomy and economics to explore ways of meeting global food needs while reducing climate change and impacts on ecosystems. His academic work is best known for papers exploring the land use and greenhouse gas emissions of bioenergy. He is a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, where he is technical director of “Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Sustainably Feed More than 9 Billion People by 2050.”  tsearchi@princeton.edu

Panelists and Moderators

Korlekuor Akiti ’19, Princeton Studies Food Council student member, studies Ecology & Evolutionary Biology while pursuing certificates in Global Health & Health Policy and Computer Science. She is passionate about understanding how different foods contribute to human health, wellness, and performance and the environmental implications of our diets. Her independent work will use Princeton’s Vertical Farm project to explore sustainable agriculture as a means of addressing current dietary, environmental, and ecological crises. After Princeton, she plans to pursue a career in gastroenterology to explore plant-based diets and their effectiveness in preventing, managing, and curing chronic digestive diseases and how we can sustain such diets while working within environmental constraints and furthering ecological interests. She is from Minneapolis. ckakiti@princeton.edu

José Chapa, Justice for Farmworkers Legislative Campaign Coordinator for Rural Migrant Ministries, originally is from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. As a child, he worked and traveled with his family as a migrant farmworker in the fields of the panhandles of Texas and Iowa. He has worked as a paralegal and accredited representative focusing on immigration in South Texas as well as in New York City, and has a background as an organizer and in public relations. BA, Wesleyan University, American Studies with a concentration in Ethnic Studies. josechapajfw@gmail.com


Rozalie Czesana ’18,  Princeton Studies Food Council student member, is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School with certificates in Environmental Studies and Urban Studies. On campus she pursues her interest in sustainable food and agriculture by taking classes including Economics of Food & Agriculture and by being a member of several food-related organizations beyond Princeton Studies Food, including Greening Dining and the Princeton Farmer’s Market. She currently works on the Vertical Farm Project, “Meet What You Eat.” rczesana@Princeton.EDU

Tessa Lowinske Desmond, Princeton Studies Food Council member, is a farmer and a scholar. She is a Lecturer and Associate Research Scholar in American Studies at Princeton University where she teaches courses on food politics, agrarian thought, racial justice and multiethnic literature. Her research focuses on the history of farming in 20th Century America, migrant farm labor, and food insecurity. She owns Firefly Homestead Farm, a six-acre farm in Hopewell where she has a flock of laying hens, a goose, eight alpaca, and a donkey. This spring she is breaking ground on a quarter acre for vegetables, starting the work of planting fruit and nut trees, and plans to begin raising chickens and pigs for meat. Previously, she was been active in community gardens and other urban agriculture projects in Wisconsin and Boston including the League of Urban Canners (LURC) that harvested and preserved gleaned fruit in the city and another group, the Somerville Yogurt and Granola Cooperative. She is former director of the Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights at Harvard University. PhD, Literary Studies, Master’s, Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison.  tdesmond@princeton.edu

Melissa Donnelly, manager of Sustainability Integration for Campbell Soup Co., partners with leadership and business functions across the company to integrate sustainability strategies, performance management and measurement systems. She also leads Campbell’s commitment to reduce food waste, is on the Consumer Goods Forum Food Waste Working Group, the ReFED Advisory Council and also manages the CEO’s executive membership with Champions 12.3. Previously, she was a sustainability manager for Johnson Controls and as Director of Partnerships for the EPA in its Climate Protection Partnership Division. B.A., International Relations, Lynchburg College; M.A., Environmental Policy, American University. melissa_donnelly@campbellsoup.com

Martin JohnsonMarty Johnson ‘81 is Founder and CEO of Isles, a 37 year old community development and environmental nonprofit in Trenton. Isles’ work includes community planning and development, wealth creation, environmental health, urban agriculture, job training, and education for at risk youth. A former trustee of Princeton University, Marty returned to Princeton in 1996 to teach, “Rethinking Poverty: Community Development Research and Policy.” He was the James Wei Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Keller Center’s Engineering School from 2015-17, and is teaching “Rethinking Social Profit Organizations” and “So, You Want to Change the World?” courses this spring. mjohnson@isles.org

Liz Lempert is the first mayor of the consolidated Princeton, following the merger of the former Borough and Township in 2012. She was re-elected to a second term in 2016. She worked as a journalist before turning to politics, including ten years as a producer and editor at the National Public Radio environmental program, Living On Earth. She began her local political career in 2007 as co-chair of the Mercer for Obama campaign. Under her administration, Princeton has been recognized for its leadership in governmental innovation and environmental sustainability by organizations including the New Jersey League of Municipalities and Sustainable Jersey. llempert@princetonnj.gov

Jon McConaughy and his wife Robin started their Hopewell-based Double Brick Farm in earnest in 2006, then created Brick Farm Market as the dedicated outlet for the farm in the town’s old Malek Chevrolet building. With their restaurant, they created a local, sustainable operation that takes food from farm to market to table and then back to the farm in the form of compost or animal feed and three entities that rely on each other and products from like-minded vendors to create a full-circle model of responsible food creation and consumption. He previously was managing director and head of exchange traded funds of Credit Suisse (USA), Inc. jmcconaughy@brickfarmgroup.com

Jim Nawn, former owner and developer of Panera Bread franchises in north Jersey, founded Fenwick Hospitality Group in 1998, purchased 112 acres of preserved farmland in Skillman to create Great Road Farm in 2008, then opened Agricola at the site of the former landmark restaurant Lahiere’s, on Witherspoon Street in downtown Princeton. In years since, he and his team have added The Dinky Bar & Kitchen and Cargot Brasserie in partnership with Princeton University and its new Arts & Transit neighborhood, its catering company, Fenwick Catering and Events, and in December 2017, Two Sevens Eatery & Cantina, on Witherspoon Street, near Community Park Elementary School. jnawn@fhgdining.com

Forrest Meggers is faculty at Princeton jointly appointed between the School of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. He grew up on a small farm outside Iowa City and then studied mechanical engineering and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa before venturing to ETH Zurich to pursue his PhD in architecture and building systems. At Princeton he is the self-appointed director and founder of CHAOS (Cooling and Heating for Architecturally Optimized Systems) Lab, which is home to his research team that explore all facets of heating and cooling include novel ways to deal with water and food challenges in the built environment. His research engages with the campus as a living lab, and you may see him placing sensors or experiments around campus, but before he was a researcher he was a bicycle mechanic so you may also see him blending smoothies using his custom long-tail bike. fmeggers@princeton.edu

Madelynn Prendergast ’19, Princeton Studies Food Council student member, is an English major who has been passionate about food since she could hold a rolling pin. Before attending Princeton, she spent much of her time baking for her business and working in restaurants. As a freshman, she had the opportunity to foster her passion and expand her understanding through the freshman seminar Science, Society, and Dinner. The seminar piqued her interest in the connections between the environment, food cultivation, and diet. She enjoyed uncovering more about these relationships in the process of planning the conference. madelynn@princeton.edu

Kristen Rainey ’97 has been since 2013 the Global Procurement & Resource Utilization Manager for Google’s internal food program which fuels its employees in its offices around the world. In this role, she leads the program’s procurement strategy for how it sources food, beverages, and operating supplies in 50+ countries for 200+ cafes; and she leads the program’s strategy to reduce waste, water, and energy in its kitchens, with an emphasis on food waste reduction. Kristen earned an MBA as a Park Leadership Fellow at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University and completed her last semester in a food and beverage Masters program at SDA Bocconi (Milan). Kristen also holds a Masters in International Affairs from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, where her graduate thesis addressed the Triple Bottom Line in the food industry. kmrainey@google.com

Kai Robertson, senior corporate sustainability advisor and lead advisor, Food Loss and Waste Protocol, World Resources Institute, works with companies and nonprofits to provide practical guidance on effective sustainability strategies, stakeholder engagement, and tailored insights on key issues. Her projects include serving as lead advisor for WRI, Secretariat of the Food Loss & Waste Protocol, a multi-stakeholder effort to create the global standard for accounting and reporting on food loss and waste. Prior to her current role, she led Business for Social Responsibility’s global food, beverage and agriculture advisory practice and previously directed the development of corporate partnerships at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Conservation International (CI). MBA, Northwestern University; bachelor’s, Cornell University. robertson.kai@gmail.com

James Rogers,  Founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences, a company that helps fresh food providers improve produce quality and reduce waste while helping to ensure an abundant future for our planet. He leads corporate strategy and a team of scientists in developing plant-derived technologies that keep produce fresh longer so less food is wasted. PhD, Materials Science, University of California, Santa Barbara; Bachelors, Materials Science & Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; 2012 recipient of the Frank J. Padden Jr. Award in polymer physics. james@apeelsciences.com

Pat Rooney ’18 is a caffeine addicted rock climbing instructor from New York’s Hudson Valley who runs the Free Food listserv for the university community. A filmmaker in the Visual Arts Program and an Environmental Studies certificate student, he is interested in how raw data can be effectively communicated to broad audiences and create change. An anthropologist by hobby, he implores all reading to please Google “Head Smashed in Archeological Site” and spend 10 minutes looking into the history. prooney@princeton.edu

Charles Rosen is the founder of Jersey Cider Works, makers of Ironbound Hard Cider, and New Ark Farms – a Newark-based social enterprise focused on workforce development and regenerative agriculture. In addition to New Ark Farm’s commitment to providing living wages to ex-offenders and other underserved members of the Greater Newark community, the company, in partnership with Columbia University, has developed a curriculum to educate employees in character development, conflict resolution, and communications skills. He sees this “soft-skills” training as a tool for building a stronger workforce and stronger communities. crosen@newarkfarms.com

Daniel Shepard ’19, Princeton Studies Food Council student member and our IT and Poll Everywhere specialist, is interested in anthropology, philosophy, sustainability, and agriculture. Growing up off-grid on a permaculture farm in Viola Wisconsin, he learned all about growing food and what it means to live connected with the earth. While on a gap year, Daniel studied abroad for 9 months in Senegal. Daniel has carried with him his interest in sustainability to Princeton with his involvement in a number of related courses. He is the President of the Princeton Juggling Club. danielos@Princeton.EDU

Serena Stein is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University. Her scholarly interests lay at the intersection of international development, agriculture, public health, and environment. Serena’s research examines emerging practices in international aid for agriculture, technology transfer of improved seeds, and agribusiness investments from BRICS countries in Africa. For her doctoral dissertation, she spent 22 months in Brazil, South Africa and Mozambique tracing food commodity histories, land conflict, food security, and ethical sourcing. Serena holds an MPhil from Oxford University where she founded the Oxford Global Food Forum, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. serenas@princeton.edu

Gina Talt ’15, Campus as Lab fellow with Princeton University’s Office of Sustainability, supports and promotes the Campus as Lab program which coordinates multidisciplinary projects that use the Princeton campus as a test bed to develop solutions to global sustainability challenges. She overseeis the biodigester pilot study, an investigation into food waste repurposing and soil revitalization on campus. Bachelor’s in economics and a certificate in environmental studies. gtalt@princeton.edu

Jonathan White founded Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse together with his wife, Nina White in 2002. They are guided by their conviction that the best foods are produced using sustainable, humane, and ethical methods.The Whites have developed their own breed of hardy, “neolithic” cows, who raise their own calves on pasture while producing the pristine milk that Jonathan uses daily to produce seasonally variable cheeses that capture the moment — a terroir of time as well as place. The two raise their male cattle for 100 percent grass-fed mature beef. In addition, whey-fed pork is produced on the farm, fed by the whey from Bobolink’s cheese production, bakery waste, and the White family table scraps. By proving that fine food can be raised on sunlight and rain, without producing waste, the couple has developed a model for a balanced, multifaceted farm business that can sustain future generations, throughout the world. jonathan@cowsoutside.com

Alice Wistar ’20, a Princeton Studies Food Council student member, is in the Spanish department. She is pre-med and plans to study nutrition after college, and is pursuing a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy. She also is a member of the Running Club and of Greening Dining, a club dedicated to encouraging sustainable and healthy food practices that works directly with Campus Dining. She also is a volunteer tutoring of inmates at local prisons through an organization called Petey Greene. She is passionate about health, food sustainability, and the environment. awistar@princeton.edu

Eliza Wright ’19, Princeton Studies Food Council student member, is majoring in English and pursuing a certificate in Environmental Science. She grew up in Princeton, and has always harbored a passion for all things food related, as well as a dedication to sustainable living. On campus, she is a co-founder of Tangerine, a student-run magazine. The focus of the magazine is to encourage students to be mindful of what they consume and engaged with its source. She has completed internships at Lucky Peach, the late food and lifestyle magazine, and at an agricultural operation in Africa. egwright@princeton.edu

Shun Yamaya ’19, is studying politics. He has been a co-president of Greening Dining, a student group that focuses on improving food options on campus, for the past three years. Growing up in Tokyo, he was told not to waste even a single grain of rice. Coming here, he was shocked by the amount of food students leave on their plates after “finishing” eating. Other reducing food waste, my passions are baking bread and swimming. syamaya@princeton.edu