The Board of Directors has named Richard McCarthy Slow Food USA’s new Executive Director, and sent along the following biography.
Richard has been a Slow Food USA member since 2001 and brings 17 years of executive leadership experience in the non-profit sector. He will begin on January 22, 2013, and we could not be more excited.
After years as an activist in the political arena, Richard co-founded a community garden in the heart of New Orleans. Through that process and the radical change that nourishing social space created in the neighborhood, Richard pivoted to food as an avenue for change. He is driven by the uniquely uniting role food can play among all of us to work towards a shared sense of purpose and interdependence.
Richard is currently the Executive Director of Market Umbrella (www.marketumbrella.org), an internationally recognized mentor organization for markets, community building and sustainable economic development. Since he founded the organization in 1995, it has steadily grown and now serves 1,200 markets around the world. He’s an innovative leader with proven success in using food to advance social change, and we’re very lucky to have him.
One of the things we are most excited about is that Richard has had a long and deep commitment to Slow Food. He’s been a Slow Food member since 2001 and led a delegation to Terra Madre in 2008. Richard is also very active in his local New Orleans community, as mentioned above, having founded the Crescent City farmers market and then Market Umbrella. He’s been advocating for food workers and farmers for over 20 years and played a key role after Hurricane Katrina in helping to restart the local agricultural economy, where with the revival of farmers markets, he helped provide returning residents with a sense of normalcy and resilience. After Hurricane Katrina he partnered with Slow Food to help commercial citrus farmers sell their post-hurricane harvest to Slow Food members around the country, and he launched the White Boot Brigade, a project he worked on with Slow Food USA and the New York City and San Francisco chapters that seeks fair trade for fishing families of the greater New Orleans coastal waters.