Photo by Elena Zhukova

Our Team


Alastair Iles

Alastair Iles, Faculty Co-Director

Alastair Iles is Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Division of Society and Environment. He is an environmental policy and social science scholar whose research focuses on the intersections of science, technology, and environment, predominantly around industrial chemicals and sustainable food systems. In the food and agriculture domain, Iles has researched and published in the areas of sustainable seafood, aquaculture sustainability standards, public policies for diversified farming systems, food retailer sustainability strategies, and consumer knowledge about food. He now emphasizes public policies for making transitions to a sustainable food system in particular, along with food sovereignty, farmer knowledge systems, and the connections between bio-based chemicals and agricultural production. Iles is also the Law and Policy Associate Director at the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry. He is a co-principal investigator of the new Berkeley IGERT Systems Approaches to Green Energy grant, a $4.1 million effort to expand green chemistry research at UC Berkeley. Iles was a co-founder of, a consumer information start-up that began at ESPM.

Claire Kremen

Claire Kremen, Faculty Co-Director

Claire Kremen is Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an ecologist whose work focuses on understanding the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and using this knowledge to develop conservation and sustainable management plans that consider both protected areas and the working lands matrix around them. Her current research focuses on the ecological, social, and economic benefits, costs, and barriers to adoption of diversified farming systems, and on restoring pollination and pest control services in intensively farmed landscapes using both predictive modeling and field studies. Her work reaches from theory to practice and includes hands-on conservation action such as the scientific design and establishment of a network of protected areas to protect Madagascar’s endemic flora and fauna. She has won numerous honors, including the prized MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her contributions to ecology, agriculture, and biodiversity and the James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Research Award. She also co-directs the Center for Diversified Farming Systems. Claire served as the university representative for the California Department of Food and Agriculture Climate Change Consortium whose report, “Climate Change Consortium for Specialty Crops – Impacts and Strategies for Resilience,” can be found here.

BFI Executive Director Ann Thrupp

Ann Thrupp, Executive Director

L. Ann Thrupp is the Executive Director of the Berkeley Food Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, which aims to catalyze and support the transformation of food and agriculture systems to promote sustainability, justice, diversity, resilience, and health. Ann has extensive experience in sustainable and organic agriculture and food systems, in the United States and internationally. For more than 25 years, she has been a pioneer in this field, actively involved in pursuing sustainability in agricultural development and agroecology through research, education, public service, and in farming business. She has held leadership positions in non-profit organizations, government, academia, and as a practitioner and educator in sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, and environmental/food justice.

Before beginning her current position at the Berkeley Food Institute, Ann was Manager of Sustainability and Organic Development at Fetzer and Bonterra Vineyards (2003-2013). Ann also served as the Managing Director and consultant for the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) from 2005 to 2007. Ann worked with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Agriculture Initiative in the Western Region office, managing grants to support sustainable farming initiatives from 1999 to 2002. And from 1990 to 1998, she was Director of Sustainable Agriculture at World Resources Institute, working on projects in Latin America and other regions of the world. She has worked as a consultant for various organizations and was a post-doctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley, at the Energy and Resources Group.

Ann has a PhD and MA from Sussex University (with Marshall and Fulbright scholarships), a BA in Human Biology and Latin American Studies from Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa), and is fluent in Spanish. Ann has more than 70 publications and served on a Scientific Advisory Committee of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, as well as on two committees of the National Academy of Sciences. She has served on several non-profit boards and advisory committees for university programs and is a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program. She regularly gives presentations at conferences and seminars in the US and abroad for diverse audiences. Ann is an avid runner (and was an All-American cross country runner at Stanford University) and also enjoys roller-blading, hiking, gardening, and creative writing in her “free” time.

Download Ann’s C.V. here.

Contact: athrupp [at]


Louisa Brown, Communications Specialist

Louisa Brown, Communications Specialist

Louisa Brown brings a decade of fundraising and communications experience committed to increasing educational equity. She was most recently the Director of Communications for Peer Health Exchange, a national organization working to empower young people to make healthy decisions. Before that, she managed corporate fundraising, events, and communications for BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), an expanded learning program for K–8 students. Louisa started her career as a New Sector Alliance Resident in Social Enterprise, an Americorps-funded program. She received a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. The daughter of two Berkeley graduates, Louisa grew up in New Hampshire and eventually found her way back to the Bay Area. She and her husband live in Richmond where they enjoy hiking in the hills and tending their growing garden and flock of chickens.

Rosalie Z Fanshel

Rosalie Z. Fanshel, Program Manager

A Bay Area native, Rosalie Z. Fanshel has spent over 15 years on (and in) the ground of the food movement in Northern California, Japan, and Australia. As a seasoned administrator, Rosalie thrives in making the good work happen on a day-to-day basis. She has previously served as Operations Manager for the Berkeley Farmers’ Markets; Operations Manager at Food Connect Sydney; and within the University of California as Program Assistant for UC Berkeley’s Institute of East Asian Studies and as Program Coordinator for UC San Diego’s Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies. Rosalie obtained her BA from Oberlin College in 2000. She is also an exhibiting artist and freelance illustrator. Her scholarly interests include popular music, visual culture, and representations of gender and sexuality within the food movement. Her writings have appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Popular Music and in Terrain Magazine.

Nina F. Ichikawa, Policy Director

Nina F. Ichikawa is a fourth-generation Californian and policy professional dedicated to making good food accessible, sustainable, and culturally appropriate. Prior to joining BFI, she served in the office of Senator Daniel K. Inouye and with the US Department of Agriculture’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative. In 2011, she was named a Food and Community Fellow by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. In 2009 she launched the Food and Agriculture section for Hyphen magazine, and she has also written for Civil Eats, Grist, Al Jazeera America,, and Rafu Shimpo. Her writings on Asian American food and farming have been published in Amerasia Journal and Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader. Following research on sustainable food systems in rural Japan and Mexico, Nina received an MA in International Relations/Food Policy from Meiji Gakuin University and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies/Food Policy from UC Berkeley.

Meg Prier, Campus Gardens Coordinator

Meg Prier, Campus Gardens Coordinator

Meg Prier, originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, has studied and worked around the world on projects from sanitation in the slums of Uganda and rainwater harvesting in Tanzania to desert agriculture in Egypt and participatory design in Sweden. With degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Design for Sustainable Development and Urban Ecological Planning, Meg is passionate about the intersection between environmental sustainability and community resilience. For the last two and a half years Meg has lived in the bay area and worked as a project designer and manager at Hyphae Design Laboratory, a small ecological design and engineering firm pushing the innovative edge of interdisciplinary design. Outside of work, Meg is active with racial justice organizing, volunteers with a local urban farm, and enjoys hiking, baking, and dancing. Meg is excited to join the Berkeley Food Institute as the Campus Gardens Coordinator and is looking forward to supporting a collective vision for food justice and security on campus!

Amy Reagan

Amy Regan, Development and Grant Officer

Amy Regan is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley’s Masters in Public Health Nutrition program where her studies focused on policy, sustainable food and farming systems, healthful food access, food security, school nutrition, and community health. Prior to pursuing her MPH, she worked for eight years with nonprofit organizations directing major fundraising efforts, as well as planning special events, developing marketing collateral, and managing volunteers, most recently with the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, CA. Prior to joining BFI, she developed and executed fundraising and communication plans for the San Francisco Unified School District’s “Future Dining Experience Project,” a special project of SFUSD’s Student Nutrition Services dedicated to reimagining the school food experience for students. Amy received her BA in Journalism/Mass Communication and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004.

Student Employees

Laura Driscoll, Graduate Student Researcher on Organic Agriculture Policy

Laura is a sixth year PhD student in UC Berkeley’s department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. She is passionate about sustainable agriculture, and food systems policy that promotes equitable access to healthy food. Her dissertation research work examines how private food safety standards affect farmers’ environmental practices, through a comparison of agricultural production sectors in the UK and California. Prior to her PhD, Laura worked in the nonprofit sector doing impact assessments of sustainable development and ecotourism projects throughout Latin America and East Africa.

Julieth H. Ortiz, Policy Graduate Student Researcher

Julieth is a second-year dual Masters student in City Planning and Landscape Architecture in Environmental Planning (LAEP) at the College of Environmental Design. She is passionate about urban food systems, and sees them as a mechanism to implement placed-based interventions for equity and resilience to climate change. Her research looks at food accessibility and health disparities in low-income communities. As an undergraduate, she researched cases of food security in Latin America and the urban farmer community in New York City. Prior to UC Berkeley, she worked at the urban farm Friends of Brook Park and NYC Farmers’ Markets, interned at Food & Water Watch, WWOFed in Italy, and was exposed to agroecology systems in Belgium and Cuba. Julieth was a guest presenter at the 2012 United Nations at the International Food Sovereignty Prize Ceremony. She holds a BS in Public Affairs and Environmental Sustainability from Baruch College, CUNY. She enjoys gardening and dancing. Her hometown is Barranquilla, Colombia.

Selena Perez Tejeda

Selena Perez Tejeda, Student Assistant

Selena Perez Tejeda is a second year undergraduate student majoring in Human Geography and minoring in Food Systems. She has been actively interested in the food system throughout her academic career, especially with topics concerning sustainable agriculture, food justice, and farmworkers’ rights. She is currently a peer educator with PATH to Care, focusing on sexual violence prevention and advocacy.

Julia Tubert

Julia Tubert, Communications Assistant

Julia Elena Tubert is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Society and Environment with a concentration in Justice and Sustainability. Throughout her academic career at UC Berkeley, she has been actively involved in the food movement in class and on campus. She has worked closely with Fruitful Minds, the Student Organic Garden Association, and the Global Student Embassy in Nicaragua. Her main academic passions include farmworkers’ rights, food policy, food security, and access to a healthy diet. As Communications Assistant, Julia helps with BFI’s external communication activities, including assisting with the website, newsletter, and events calendar.