NAFSN Leadership

MEMBER-LED & STUDENT-DRIVEN



NAFSN is guided by a Leadership Circle of food systems professionals from throughout the North America.

The legwork of NAFSN is accomplished by a team of student staff members from Cornell Univ & interns from other universities. 

In this way, NAFSN blends experiences, expertise, and energies to forge an inclusive, multi-generational, cross-sectional network of food systems professionals.





NAFSN Student Staff & interns 2024

Liam Du

CARAT Web Developer & Jobs Bot 

Cornell University

Queen Guobadia

Webinar Producer & Co-Host         

Cornell University

Katie Kennedy

New Jersey ACRE Project Intern

Montclair State University

Emily Lau

Social Media Manager 

Cornell University

Cindy Seng

Website and Outcomes Manager

Cornell University

Dani Vaynshtok 

CARAT Insights Generator 

Cornell University

Winnie Zou

COM-FED Data Analyst

Cornell University

NAFSN Leadership Circle 2024

Kathryn Barr

CARAT CIRCLE 

Kathryn (Katie) currently works for The Common Market and is a champion for Farm Stops, a new "consignment" model  that support small and mid-scale producers with direct-to-consumer sales venues that they don't have to directly manage. She is a subject matter contributor in the development of CARAT and sits on the CARAT Circle as a network builder. READ MORE.

Mandy Coriston

ACRE CIRCLE

Kathryn (Katie) currently works for The Common Market and is a champion for Farm Stops, a new "consignment" model  that support small and mid-scale producers with direct-to-consumer sales venues that they don't have to directly manage. She serves as a NAFSN Network Builder. READ MORE.






Natalie Cruz

CO-DIRECTOR

Natalie is an Afro-Latina culinary professional, decolonized food systems expert, and food writer. Natalie is currently writing a cookbook on the African Diaspora in Latin America and  the Food for Thought column on Substack. She is also the Community and Volunteer Program Manager at the Riverdale Neighborhood House in the Northwest Bronx, NY. Natalie serves as NAFSN's Leadership Circle co-chair. READ MORE.

Lin Diaz Maceo

PRODUCTIONS CIRCLE

Lin is an analytical researcher of cultures, histories, and policies, (com)passionate writer, and social and environmental justice advocate excelling at pattern recognition and focusing on multidisciplinary collaboration and our global interconnectedness. Their work includes environmental justice, sustainable food systems, and regenerative agriculture. Lin is NAFSN's Book Club Host and also sits on the ACRE Circle. READ MORE.

Ali Ghiorse

PRODUCTIONS CIRCLE

As a long-time, bi-coastal advocate for more equitable, resilient and regional food systems, Ali is the founder of The Foodshed Network, an education platform and resource to amplify changemakers in CT. The Foodshed Network convenes two local initiatives: Greenwich Food Alliance and The Foodshed Forum. READ MORE.

Dr. Gilbert Gillespie

CAPACITY-BUILDING CIRCLE,  CO-CHAIR

Gil is a sociologist retired from Cornell University, where he worked to support more civic forms of local food system social "infrastructure." In "retirement," he now lives in rural Iowa with his wife on her family's farmstead where they operate a small-scale farm producing food for local consumption. He serves on the Lyson Center's Advisory Board providing continuity between NAFSN and its sister programs, including JAFSCD.

Erica Hall

CAPACITY-BUILDING CIRCLE,  CO-CHAIR

As the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Florida Food Policy Council, and a long time food equity champion and environmental activist, Erica works to address gaps and affect policy within the food system through integrity and collaboration for the benefit of Floridians and the environment. She currently serves as the chair of NAFSN's Membership Circle. READ MORE

Kim Hines

CO-DIRECTOR

As the former executive director of Augusta Locally Grown in Augusta, GA, and an adjunct assistant professor of food systems studies at Augusta University, Kim currently provides full time support to NAFSN and its sister programs, JAFSCD, CARAT and ACRE of the Lyson Center. She currently serves as NAFSN's Leadership co-chair, and lives and works out of Washington, DC.

Sagdrina Jalal

COM*FED CIRCLE

Heidi is Senior Extension Associate with the Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI) in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. Current projects include the CALS NYS Internship, an initiative to connect employers and communities with exceptional and motivated College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students. READ MORE.

Vivian Le

PRODUCTIONS CIRCLE, CHAIR

Vivian is a food systems professional who thinks we can eat our way out of our problems! She is passionate about working with organizations that work to improve local and regional food systems development.  Vivian chairs NAFSN's Productions Circle where she oversees, among other things, our Finding Your Future in Food Systems webinars and podcasts. She produced an European version of the series in 2023. Take a listen! Vivian currently works for the Rodale Institute in NC.
READ MORE.

Ariana Lipsman

ACRE CIRCLE

Ari is a food studies scholar, food writer and  former entertainment industry professional with an interest in the relationship between culture, the environment, and food. She's contributed extensively to online food publications Cook and Culture and Stone Pier Press and uses the skills she gained while working in film to tell stories that get people to care about where their food comes from and demand a more sustainable, equitable food system. READ MORE. 

Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman 

CAPACITY-BUILDING CIRCLE,  CO-CHAIR

Heidi is Senior Extension Associate with the Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI) in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. Current projects include the CALS NYS Internship, an initiative to connect employers and communities with exceptional and motivated College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students. READ MORE.

Daniela Ochoa Gonzalez

CAPACITY-BUILDING CIRCLE

Daniela specializes in Spanish, English and French content and training to reach zero waste, improve food systems and expand regenerative agriculture practices, and currently works as a project manager at the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. She helps NAFSN forge connections within her native country of Mexico. READ MORE.

Martha Page

ACRE CIRCLE

Nikki, of Wit Meets Grit, works as a Southeast-based consultant to increase the capacity of organizations and businesses through innovative, equitable, and inclusive economic development. One of her recent projects is Growing Local SC, for which she plays a leadership role with support from the USDA Regional Food Systems Partnerships program. Nikki also contributes to NAFSN's CARAT project. READ MORE

Sara Prout

ACRE CIRCLE, CHAIR

Sara is a lifetime non-profit development professional and accomplished relationship manager, finding joy in increasing efficacy and matching resources with remarkable regional programs — especially those addressing local and global environmental and political concerns related to sustainable agriculture and food systems, community food security and farmland conservation.  She chairs NAFSN's ACRE Circle. READ MORE

Dr. Brian Raison

COM*FED CIRCLE

Brian is an Ohio State University faculty member teaching on-campus and working statewide in the Extension community development program area as a leadership specialist. His current research and teaching focus is leadership development. He has also worked extensively in strategic planning, often within the local food systems arena. He assists NAFSN with capacity building.  READ MORE.

Nikki Seibert Kelley

CAPACITY-BUILDING CIRCLE

Nikki, of Wit Meets Grit, works as a Southeast-based consultant to increase the capacity of organizations and businesses through innovative, equitable, and inclusive economic development. One of her recent projects is Growing Local SC, for which she plays a leadership role with support from the USDA Regional Food Systems Partnerships program. Nikki also contributes to NAFSN's CARAT project. READ MORE

Jodee Smith

CARAT CIRCLE, CHAIR

Nikki, of Wit Meets Grit, works as a Southeast-based consultant to increase the capacity of organizations and businesses through innovative, equitable, and inclusive economic development. One of her recent projects is Growing Local SC, for which she plays a leadership role with support from the USDA Regional Food Systems Partnerships program. Nikki also contributes to NAFSN's CARAT project. READ MORE

Debra Tropp

CARAT CIRCLE

Debbie is a retired USDA AMS chief and analyst who currently works as a consultant to provide training, technical assistance, and grant support on local/regional food systems issues to communities, government agencies, foundations and NGOs. She serves on the Lyson Center's Advisory Board and currently chairs the development of CARAT: the Community Agriculture Resiliency Audit Tool. READ MORE

Dr. Kareem Usher

COM*FED CIRCLE, CHAIR

Kareem is an associate professor of City and Regional Planning at The Ohio State University's Knowlton School of Architecture. His academic identity can be described as a public scholar who strives to create a peaceful, joyful and loving world through community-engaged planning research - the co-production of knowledge between community members and faculty, with the site of inquiry being food systems at the neighborhood scale.  READ MORE

NAFSN Student Chapter Leaders

Jordan Cote Kuzmich

UW Student Chapter Co-Chair

Caitlin Soler

UW Student Chapter Co-Chair

READ MORE