🌱 Cultivating Hope 🌿

What. A. Year.

With 2021 just around the corner, we are cultivating hope. We have to. It’s our responsibility and our privilege to look critically at the dire shortcomings in our food systems. And we take those challenges head on with our unique blend of research, education, and changing the public conversation.

Next year, we’ll continue advancing practices and policies to make food systems more sustainable, healthier, and more equitable. Towards that goal, we’re excited to welcome new faculty leadership and thank outgoing Faculty Director Kristine Madsen for her tremendous work. But first, we hope you’ll donate what you can to support the groundbreaking work we plan to deliver in 2021.

New Faculty Leadership

We are incredibly excited to introduce BFI’s new faculty leadership, starting January 2021. They are:

Charisma S. Acey, Faculty Director, 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, 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, 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.

BFI is eternally grateful for the contributions over the last three years of our outgoing faculty director Kristine Madsen. She will continue to be involved with BFI through the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems, through her teaching position in Public Health Nutrition at the School of Public Health, and our joint work on sugar-sweetened beverages.

For All of Us. With You.

For six years, the Berkeley Food Institute has delivered work changing the lives of people who interact with food systems. We do it for the health of our planet. We do it for those experiencing food insecurity and those toiling to produce your food. We do it for you, and we do it with you. Please give what you can today to move this work forward into 2021 — a year of hope.