Associate Director, US 

Background

I am new to Forum and am excited for the opportunity to support the US team as we expand and deepen the work of Forum across the globe! Prior to joining Forum I spent 20+ years deeply embedded in the coffee industry inspired by the magical beverage itself (and I do think it is magical) and by the diverse communities surrounding coffee. Most recently, I worked on the Innovation team for the Drinks division of Mars Incorporated, developing and leading the implementation of their sustainability strategy.  By working for a values-driven, family-owned business I became inspired by the possibility of business as a vehicle to scale positive change.  From baristas in Brooklyn to farm workers in Uganda my dream has been a sustainable, equitable coffee value chain that works for everyone. Coffee is in crisis and the interventions that we have been using aren’t driving the scale of change at the speed we need it. I am drawn to Forum ‘s commitment and skill at driving large-scale systems change--the exact approach we need to “unstick” systems like agricultural supply chains in bold and courageous ways.  Outside of this work, I advise and chair a variety of groups including the Partnership for Gender Equity, Coffee Quality Institute, and the Sustainable Research Center of the Specialty Coffee Association. 

Prior to turning my career toward sustainability, I worked in various Learning & Development functions. I remain inspired by the power of creative instructional design and unique learning opportunities to move people to take action.  I gained my experience in education and training as an instructor for Gender Studies at The Ohio State University and still work for gender justice in many facets of my work. I believe gender justice is a fundamental human right, but I also believe it can be a powerful lever for cultural change at large.

I hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational Communication, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies.  I am also a certified coffee taster and more recently completed my post-graduate work in Sustainable Business Leadership through the University of Cambridge, where I focused my studies on consumer engagement with “sustainable” brands and pre-competitive collaboration as an instrument for more efficient and effective sustainability strategies.

 

My dream project?

A project with global reach and diverse stakeholders. A project where everyone in the room brings unique expertise and is open to learning and growing with others. A project that ends in a place where the deep inequities around the globe are a little less (much less?!) entrenched.

 

What floats my boat outside of work?

I love travel, especially to coffee-producing countries and I have a particular fondness for Guatemala.  I am obsessed with kitschy British whodunits and Scandinavian murder mysteries ; in 2017 I read 62 books.  Finally, my family owns a cabin in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania and when we can escape there for winter weekends we all leave a little more balanced and a little more grounded.

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