Our Team


Kris Madsen, Faculty Director

Dr. Kristine Madsen, MD, MPH is an Associate Professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and the Faculty Director for the Berkeley Food Institute.  She is a pediatrician and research scientist with expertise in the design and evaluation of interventions related to pediatric obesity, cardiovascular risk, and health disparities. She has partnered with schools, health departments, and cities to expand the reach of school and community programs that promote health.  Her research team recently conducted the first study to examine the impact of Berkeley’s soda tax on sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in low-income neighborhoods in Berkeley.

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] berkeley.edu


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 the Berkeley Farmers’ Markets, Food Connect Sydney, UC Berkeley’s Institute of East Asian Studies, and 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, NBCNews.com, 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 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

Nora Abushaaban

Nora Abushaaban, Student Assistant

Nora Abushaaban is a third-year undergraduate student at Cal majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy. She has been immersed in social justice work in the Bay Area for much of her life and has recently began exploring and understanding the interconnected nature of environmentalism in regards to its social and economic benefits. Nora has also worked with refugees abroad in Jordan and has developed a wider view of the struggles people face on a daily basis in regards to access to basic needs such as food and clean water. She hopes to assist in the creation of projects that not only provide a more sustainable alternative to some of the current systems we have in place, but also to create jobs that can alleviate populations from poverty. Nora is really excited to be on the BFI team and can’t wait to learn how to empower herself and others to cultivate a healthier and equitable society for all.

Brooke Barron

Brooke Barron, Graduate Student Research Assistant

Brooke Barron is a master’s student at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy passionate about making the food system work better. Prior to moving to Berkeley, Brooke worked in sustainable agriculture policy in Congress and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As the agriculture policy advisor to U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Brooke fought for stronger funding for sustainable agriculture in the annual appropriations bills and wrote the Food Recovery Act of 2015, the first comprehensive legislation tackling the issue of food waste in America. Brooke previously served as Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan, where they focused on the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, bringing federal resources together to strengthen the connection between farmers and consumers and expand access to healthy food in low-income communities. Brooke also served in the White House as the Associate Director of Administration for Vice President Joe Biden and as a policy consultant for clients including New England Farmers Union, Global Justice Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

Annie Lu, Communications Assistant

Annie Lu is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy with a double minor in Food Systems and Sustainable Environmental Design. She has been an avid foodie and environmentalist her whole life, but pursuance of the Food Systems minor allowed her to draw a clear connection between her passions. Academically, Annie enjoys exploring the interactions between the social, political, and natural dimensions of such issues as food access, food business and policy, changing ecosystem dynamics, and cultural food histories. She is very excited to be on board with BFI, and hopes to contribute towards the organization’s mission to engage the campus and empower leaders in food systems reform.

Meralina Morales

Meralina Morales, Policy Assistant

Meralina Morales is a fourth-year undergraduate student double majoring in Conservation and Resource Studies as well as Society and Environment. She has been an environmentalist her whole life, so coming to Cal and choosing her major was a no-brainer. She enjoys traveling and experiences the cultures of different places, especially the food, because it tells of the ways of life and the agricultural systems in different areas. Working at BFI is a merger of all Meralina’s passions. Academically and in her personal life, she thinks it is important to look at environmental, social, economic, and political intersections to come up with comprehensive plans to problems such as food scarcity and energy access. She is really excited to be on the BFI team to merge many ideas around these topics!

Ibrahim Ramoul Menendez

Ibrahim Ramoul Menendez, Gardens Basic Needs Student Coordinator

Ibrahim Ramoul Menendez is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Public Health and minoring in Anthropology. Raised as a third-culture kid, Ibrahim had the privilege of travelling the world and living in many rad countries. Growing up, he was able to experience a variety of different food systems and cultures, and observe the intimate relationships between these and environmental and community health. Working at the BFI allows him to bring together his passion for healthcare, for learning new things, and for engaging meaningfully with a community that he is proud to consider one of his many homes. Ibrahim is excited to be on Team BFI and hopes that he can add his voice to the ever-growing, and ever-important, conversation about all things food.