Ellen Gustafson
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  • "Every once in a while I come across a person who knocks my socks off with their plan for a better world. These meetings are rare, so when they happen I’m usually left in speechless awe. I had such an experience the other day when talking with Ellen Gustafson, a visionary and go-getter of the highest order."
    -American Express OPEN Forum

  • "This year’s theme of the President’s Forum speaker series is 'the Power of an Idea' and Ellen Gustafson’s talk powerfully brought home the power that one person can have on our world through her account of how she was inspired to co-found the FEED Project. Her address, 'A New Understanding of Hunger, Obesity and the Food System,' actively engaged a standing-room only crowd of Hobart and William Smith Colleges' students who asked questions that touched on topics such as subsidy policies, Denmark's fat tax, high-tech science advancements in irrigation and water filtration, and fair trade issues."
    -Hobart & William Smith Colleges

  • "Ellen Gustafson gave a riveting presentation. Starting with several disarming personal anecdotes, Gustafson’s absorbing presentation probed the connection between hunger and obesity, and shed new light on both. Everything was done with good cheer, appropriate humor, and urgent seriousness that both issues deserved. Since hunger and obesity are both issues for our region, we’re profoundly grateful for her visit."
    -Eastern Kentucky University

  • "Ellen Gustafson was a wonderful addition to our change-makers forum. She brought energy, enthusiasm and passion to the topic of Change Dinner, Change Atlantic Canada! She impressed us by her ability to address global problems in a regional context and inspire people to make real change."
    -Dalhousie University

Ellen Gustafson


Ellen Gustafson is a sustainable food system activist, author, innovator and social entrepreneur.

Her first book, We the Eaters: If We Change Dinner, We Can Change the World was published by Rodale Press in 2014. She is the Co-Founder of Food Tank: the Food Think Tank, with Danielle Nierenberg. She is also founder of a small sustainable home goods company called the Apron Project.

Before the launch of Food Tank, Ellen founded the 30 Project, a campaign that has helped to change the conversation about the global food system by connecting hunger and obesity. She is also the creator of the ChangeDinner campaign and HealthClass2.0, which are helping individuals change the food system at dinner tables and in schools.

Ellen previously co-founded FEED Projects, LLC, a charitable company that creates good products that help FEED the world, and FEED's nonprofit partner, the FEED Foundation. FEED has provided over 60 million school meals to children around the world.

Ellen was also a U.S. Spokesperson for the UN World Food Program, a terrorism research reporter in the ABC News Investigative Unit, and a research associate for the Military Fellows at the Council on Foreign Relation. She has a BA in International Politics from Columbia University.

She has been featured as one of AOL and PBS's MAKERS, trailblazing women who are "making" America, Fortune's 2009 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Inc.'s 2010 30 Under 30, and Diplomatic Courier's 2011 "Top 99 Under 33" in Foreign Policy.

Ellen has spoken at the Fortune Most Powerful Women's Conference, the World Food Prize, and was the co-chair of the Economist's Feeding the World Conference. She has guest lectured at Harvard, Yale, NYU, London School of Economics, Columbia and the US Naval Academy and given 4 TEDx talks.

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