Charisma S. Acey, Faculty Director

Charisma Acey is an Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning and a member of our Executive Committee. Her work focuses on local and regional environmental sustainability, with special attention to poverty reduction, urban governance, connections between food justice and environmental justice, urban agroecology, and access to basic services.

Timothy Bowles, Co-Associate Faculty Director

Timothy Bowles is an Assistant Professor of Agroecology and Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. His research focuses on how increasing reliance on biodiversity can create productive, healthy and resilient agricultural systems, drawing on  agroecology, soil ecology, and biogeochemistry.

Susana Matias, Co-Associate Faculty Director

Susana Matia is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology. Her research concentrates on food security, as well as obesity and diabetes prevention, through nutrition education and behavioral change interventions. Dr. Matias’ research is particularly focused on women, children, and immigrant and farmworker populations.

Photo of Nina Ichikawa.

Nina F. Ichikawa, Executive Director

Nina F. Ichikawa is the Executive Director for the Berkeley Food Institute. She joined the Institute in 2015 as its inaugural Policy Director, creating a policy education and engagement program for UC Berkeley’s students, staff, faculty, and the general public. She previously served in the office of US Senator Daniel K. Inouye and with the US Department of Agriculture’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative. She received a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies/Food Policy from UC Berkeley and a MA in International Relations/Food Policy from Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. She volunteers for the California Farmer Justice Collaborative, Saba Grocers, the Sustainable Pest Management Workgroup, and Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley.

Chris Cassidy

Chris Cassidy, Communications Director

Chris Cassidy (he/him) brings over 10 years of communications experience to the Berkeley Food Institute. During that time, he has amplified work on a range of issues, including land use, transportation equity, civil rights, and the rights of working people. He has lived in Washington State, Beijing, South Dakota, D.C., Mexico City, and the Bay Area, and has gardened for the vast majority of that time. The son of restaurant workers, Cassidy was literally raised in restaurant booths and worked in the food industry for eight years. He earned a BA in politics, philosophy, and economics from Western Washington University, a certificate in Chinese law from China University of Politics and Law, and a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he was repeatedly recognized as one of the top written and oral advocates among United States law students. He volunteers where he lives with his wife and son in East Oakland, addressing local food insecurity.

Rosalie Z. Fanshel, Program Manger, Berkeley Food Institute

Rosalie Z. Fanshel, Program Manager

Rosalie Z. Fanshel has spent 20 years on (and in) the ground of the food movement in the Bay Area, Australia, and Japan. As a seasoned administrator, Rosalie thrives in making the good work happen on a day-to-day basis and is honored to have served the Berkeley Food Institute community since 2014 through management of the Institute’s education and engagement programs. In 2019 Rosalie joined the Department of Environmental, Science, Policy, and Management as a PhD student, where she looks at how universities envision and enact organizational change to improve equity, inclusion, and anti-racist outcomes in their agri-food system education and research. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Rosalie has previously held positions at the Berkeley Farmers’ Markets, Food Connect Sydney, and within the University of California, at UC Berkeley’s Institute of East Asian Studies and UC San Diego’s Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies. She is also an exhibiting visual artist.

Photo of Nathalie Muñoz

Nathalie A. Muñoz, Administrative Coordinator

Nathalie A. Muñoz is a 2018 UC Berkeley graduate with a BS in Environmental Sciences. Before joining the Berkeley Food Institute team, she was the Contracting and Purchasing Agent for the Berkeley Student Cooperative where she procured the food and supplies for 1,300 student-members. As a first-generation transfer student at Cal, she was a student researcher for BFI, working on the Berkeley Foodscape Mapping Project to help collect data on campus gardens, student food groups, and UC Berkeley food course historical trends. As the descendant of a Bracero farmworker, she is passionate about uplifting the marginalized voices of our food labor force.