BFI Welcomes Kris Madsen, Our New Faculty Director!

September 7, 2017

The Berkeley Food Institute is thrilled to announce that Dr. Kris Madsen, MD, MPH, from the School of Public Health, is now assuming the role of Faculty Director of BFI, as of the start of the fall semester. After five years of service, Alastair Iles and Claire Kremen are stepping down as Faculty Co-Directors, to rotate leadership with other partner schools. We are grateful for their service. Please join us in thanking Alastair and Claire, and welcoming Kris Madsen.

– Ann Thrupp, Executive Director, BFI


Photo of Kristine MadsenAs a pediatrician, I spent my years on faculty at UCSF seeing patients in our pediatric obesity clinic. I soon realized that counseling patients and their families about healthy eating and exercise wasn’t increasing their access to healthy food or to safe places to be physically active in their neighborhood. I was excited to join the faculty at the School of Public Health five years ago and shift my work to changing children’s environments. It is troubling that a child’s zip code can predict her risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, but many chronic diseases, like obesity, are far more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods than in high-income neighborhoods. There are strong links between neighborhood income and access to healthy food, access to green spaces, exposure to air pollution…the list goes on.

I am excited to take on the role of Faculty Director for the Berkeley Food Institute and work with Ann and the Institute’s wonderful staff to tackle some of these sticky problems. Obesity and cardiovascular disease—leading causes of death in the US—are strongly influenced by our food system. We will continue the incredible work of Alastair and Claire and their commitment to increasing equity across the food system. I look forward to working with faculty, students and staff across campus to advance sustainable agricultural practices, to ensure fair labor practices across the food chain, and to innovate to ensure access to affordable and healthy food in all communities.

– Kris Madsen, Faculty Director, BFI