I am excited to announce that Dana Gunders has become ReFED’s new Executive Director. Dana has been serving in this role in an interim capacity since November 2019, and with her strong leadership skills, deep knowledge of food systems, and long-time experience working with ReFED, it became clear to me and the entire ReFED Board that she was the best candidate to fill the position permanently.
Dana has dedicated her career to helping industry, policymakers, and consumers identify and activate solutions to reduce food waste, benefiting our climate, people struggling with food insecurity, the bottom lines of businesses across the country, and more. Her landmark 2012 report Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40% of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill sounded a clarion call about the consequences of food waste, and since then, she has continued to bring the issue to a wider audience through her Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook, the launch of the Save the Food campaign, her appearances in media such as HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, her testimony before Congress, and more.
I have had the privilege of working with and learning from Dana since her time at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She was a critical contributor to ReFED’s 2016 Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste, and as a founding Board Member, she has helped grow the organization to be the catalyst and collaborative that it is today. Since stepping into the Executive Director role in November, Dana has prioritized outreach to our stakeholders to be more inclusive of diverse voices, launched an organization-wide push for additional funding, and began development of ReFED’s brand new Insights Engine, a comprehensive source of data and insights on food waste solutions that launches later this year.
The year 2020 marks the start of our ten-year countdown to reach a 50 percent reduction in food waste in accordance with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ReFED has always believed in the power of economics and data to inspire our stakeholders and mobilize the capital and innovation necessary to achieve this goal. Looking at how far ReFED has already come and at the road ahead, I am confident that Dana is the right person to lead this organization into the future.
Please join me in giving Dana a well-deserved congratulations!
Chair, ReFED Board of Directors