Jose Andres – Chairman
Internationally recognized as a culinary innovator, José Andrés is a James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of Think Food Group. TFG is the team responsible for Washington, DC’s renowned dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, and minibar by josé andrés, as well as The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. His recent restaurant openings include Jaleo, China Poblano, and é by José Andrés at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and America Eats Tavern in Washington, DC, a collaboration with the National Archives. Next he will open in Miami with an SLS South Beach and The Bazaar by José Andrés. In 2012 he presented his first dining destination outside the US, in Puerto Rico at the Dorado Beach, Ritz Carlton Reserve. Jose’s ThinkFoodGroup also oversees his creative and cultural endeavors such as cookbooks, television programming, project development, education and philanthropy.
After traveling to post-earthquake Haiti, José launched World Central Kitchen, which aims to feed and empower vulnerable people in humanitarian crises around the world. Through his leadership of WCK, José was named Culinary Ambassador of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves as Culinary Ambassador. He is Chairman Emeritus for DC Central Kitchen, an organization that combats hunger and creates opportunities with culinary training where he has been involved for the past 20 year.
Rob Wilder – Director and Treasurer
Rob Wilder is the CEO and co-founder of ThinkFoodGroup, the management company responsible for the daily operations of Washington’s landmark restaurants America Eats Tavern, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Jaleo and minibar by josé andrés. In addition, the company oversees Los Angeles’ four star dining destination the Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills as well as China Poblano, Jaleo and é by José Andrés at The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas. TFG also handles José Andrés’ additional creative endeavors encompassing cookbooks, television programming, concept consulting, and new restaurant projects. An honors graduate from both Yale University and The New York Restaurant School, Wilder began his career in the restaurant industry over 20 years ago when he co-founded Amy’s Ice Creams, Inc., a chain of retail ice cream stores based in Austin, Texas. He then went on to create the original Austin Grill restaurant in 1988. In October 2006, Wilder led the successful sale of the Austin Grills to Thompson Hospitality. In the fall of 2010, Rob and José were awarded the Richard Melman Award from Restaurant Hospitality in recognition their exciting and relevant restaurant concepts. Additionally, Rob Wilder serves as President of the Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association, Director of RAMW and the Downtown DC Business Improvement District and has served as Board Member of DC Central Kitchen, Beauvoir School and as Chapter Chair of the US Capital Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
Robert Egger – Founder of the DC Central Kitchen
Robert Egger is the Founder of the DC Central Kitchen, the country’s first “community kitchen”, where food donated by hospitality businesses and farms is used to fuel a nationally recognized culinary arts job training program, where unemployed men and women learn marketable skills while donations are converted into balanced meals. Since opening in 1989, the Kitchen has produced over 23 million meals and helped 800 men and women gain full time employment. The Kitchen operates its own revenue generating business, Fresh Start Catering, as well as the Campus Kitchens Project, which coordinates similar recycling/meal programs in 30 college or high school based kitchens. Robert speaks throughout the country and internationally on the subjects of hunger, sustainability, nonprofit political engagement and social enterprise. Robert has recently launched the L.A. Kitchen, which will open in Los Angeles in 2013. He writes blogs and editorials to share his ideas about the nonprofit sector and the future of America.
Javier Garcia – Director and Secretary
Javier Garcia is a multidisciplinary professional with over 16 years of experience in marketing, sales, international market development, start-up ventures, and web technologies. Javier’s plays a significant role in World Central Kitchen serving as the main liaison between non-for profit objectives and food industry firms. Mr. Garcia holds a Bachelor’s degree in law from Universidad de Sevilla, a Masters in Business Administration from ESNA, and a Masters in International Business and Marketing from ESIC.
Fredes has coordinated the organizational structure and program development of WCK since 2011. Ms Montes holds a degree in Law and Political Science and Masters Degree in New Technologies Law. Ms Montes started her career at a lawyers’ office in Spain before moving on to corporate law and data protection at Experian Spain. Since 2006 she has been serving as legal specialist at the World Bank Group assisting Governments in more than 40 countries worldwide in the areas of consumer protection and credit reporting, financial infrastructure and regulation. Since 2010 she has been involved in World Central Kitchen contributing to the start up of the organization and leading as Executive Director in 2012.
Megan Rapp attended Baylor University and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and French. She also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, concentrating on international economics and microeconomics. During a summer as an undergrad, Megan worked in Lèogâne, Haiti with a Haitian NGO focusing on educational and environmental initiatives. She then moved to Miami to work as a teacher at Teach for America for two years, where she taught and ran the gifted education program at her school. She is now pursuing a Master of International Affairs at Columbia University, concentrating in Economic and Political Development and specializing in Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis. Her current interests are in private sector initiatives that promote public sector state building in fragile states and are working on a research project with the United Nations Studies Program at Columbia on private sector investments in Haiti.
Ms. Meghann Curtis serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Academic Programs at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) where she oversees all academic programs sponsored by the Department, including the Fulbright Program, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, and English Language Programs. Ms. Curtis is also responsible for international student advising and marketing of American higher education resources through EducationUSA’s network of 500 offices around the world. Prior to joining ECA, Ms. Curtis served as Senior Advisor in the Office of the Counselor and Chief of Staff at the Department of State. In this capacity, DAS Curtis advised Secretary of State Clinton and the Counselor and Chief of Staff on international development policies and strategies.
Since 2010, Cerf has served as a Commissioner for the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, a UN body which aims to make broadband internet technologies more widely available. His contributions have been acknowledged and lauded, repeatedly, with honorary degrees, and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and membership in the National Academy of Engineering. Cerf has worked for Google as its Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist since September 2005.In this function he has become well known for his predictions on how technology will affect future society, encompassing such areas as artificial intelligence, environmentalism, the advent of IPv6 and the transformation of the television industry and its delivery model.
Jose Maria Sumpsi
Jose Maria served as Assistant Director-General of the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department at FAO until March 2011. Before joining FAO in May 2007 he occupied the chair of Agrarian Policy at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. From 2003 to 2005 Mr Sumpsi Viñas served as an expert in rural development at the Inter-American Development Bank. Between 1990 and 1994 he managed the Agrarian Economic Department of Polytechnic University of Madrid. From 1983 to 1986 he was President of the Andalusian Institute of Agrarian Reform. During his career he has served on many expert committees in charge of the analysis and reform of Rural and Agricultural Policy in the European Union.
Robert Freling has been Executive Director of SELF since 1997. During his stewardship, SELF has completed solar energy projects in more than 15 countries, making SELF the leader among non-governmental organizations in realizing practical and cost-effective alternative energy solutions for rural villagers. A native of Dallas, Texas. He was soon appointed SELF’s Director of International Programs. In that role, he facilitated negotiations between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to expand the Gansu Province solar electrification project. Fluent in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and Indonesian, Mr. Freling holds a B.A. in Russian Studies from Yale University, and an M.A. in Communications Management from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California. Mr. Freling was the recipient of the 2008 King Hussein Leadership Prize, which was presented by Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan at the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Awards.
Manolo is a social entrepreneur serving as the head of alSol Solar Technologies based in Barcelona Spain. Asol Solar Technologies is a microenterprise network which aims to promote the use of renewable energy sources though the production of clean energy cookstoves. In this capacity he focuses on issues of sustainable technology and oversees all aspects of the production of cookstoves. As a respected specialist in his field, Mr. Vilchez has also contributed to various publications through his research on environmental issues.
John Rice Jr. is the founder and CEO of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a national non-profit organization that equips under-represented minorities with the skills, coaching and relationships to become leaders in corporations, entrepreneurial ventures and nonprofits. After graduating from Yale with a degree in Latin American Studies, Mr. Rice went on to receive his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1992. Following Harvard, he worked with the Walt Disney Company in new business development and then joined the National Basketball Association from 1996 to 2000, first in Latin America as director of marketing and then in Tokyo as managing director of NBA Japan. Since 2002 he leads MLT serving over 2000 students and professionals nationwide focusing on key transition points in a young person’s life: college to early career, early career to MBA and mid-career to senior leadership. He is the lead independent director of Walker & Dunlop, one the nation’s leading providers of real estate financial services, and is a co-founder and director of CareerCore, an early stage technology company. He serves on the Board of Visitors of Duke University’s Terry Sanford Public Policy School and in 2010, Mr. Rice was appointed to President Obama’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He serves on a number of non-profit boards including LIFT, a leading poverty alleviation organization, and the National Center for Civil & Human Rights. Mr. Rice is a former member of the Yale University Council and was elected Alumni Fellow in 2011.
Jose Luis Guasch
Mr. Guasch holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University, California, USA and Industrial Engineering Degree from the Polytechnic University of Barcelona, Spain. He is the Former Senior Regional Advisor in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Region in The World Bank in Washington, DC, responsible for regulation, competitiveness, infrastructure/PPP , innovation and technology issues and investment climate for the LAC Region. He is also a Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego, since 1980. Over 30 years of experience advising Governments in more than 50 countries on multiple aspects related to Competitiveness, and Innovation and Mainstreaming SMEs into the value chain, and on innovations and productivity enhancement in the agriculture sector; and ii) on Infrastructure and PPPs and Regulation (legal, institutional, processes, contract design, contract oversight, instruments and capacity building, financial issues, pricing etc). Mr. Guasch is author to several books and academic papers.
Joan Nathan considers food through the lenses of history, culture, and tradition. She regularly contributes to The New York Times, Food Arts Magazine, and Tablet Magazine and is the author of ten award-winning cookbooks; six focus on Jewish cooking, two highlight Israeli cuisine, and two focus on American cooking. Her most recent book is Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, which made both the New York Times’ and NPR’s lists of the best cookbooks of 2010.
Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America won both the James Beard Award for the best American cookbook and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award. The same James Beard Award was later bestowed on her 2005 cookbook The New American Cooking. In 2000, her PBS series Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan was nominated for the James Beard Award for Best National Television Food Show. She has made guest appearances on many programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Martha Stewart Show. In 2001, she was honored as an inductee into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.
Chef Marianne Ali has been with DC Central Kitchen for fifteen years and has been promoted to Director of Culinary Training and Street Outreach overseeing the major programs and growth of the organization. Marianne graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine, a FrenchCulinaryArtsSchool in Gaithersburg, MD, in 1996 and shortly thereafter, she came to DC Central Kitchen as a chef in Fresh Start Catering. During her tenure, Chef Ali developed & implemented a revamped Culinary Job Training Curriculum coordinating training activities with life skills classes, resume development and job placements. She has also taken on the management of the First Helping Street Outreach program which helps men and women living in shelters and DC streets to access needed services including drug/alcohol rehabilitation, mental health and permanent housing services.
Brian has worked in Development/Fundraising in the non-profits sector for more than 12 years. Having a passion for cooking all along, he then changed careers and became a chef – first with his own catering business in New York City, then as sous chef for various restaurants/hotels in Alexandria, Virginia. Clinging to his love for the non-profit and for ‘life changing’ programs, Brian found DC Central Kitchen, and volunteered in the Kitchen for a year until being hired in the Development Department. At DCCK, Brian was responsible for the PR/Communications and Fund Development of both DC Central Kitchen and Campus Kitchens Project, managing a staff of 6 development/communications professionals and raising more than $4.5 million per year.
Country Representative in Haiti
Agustin lives in Haiti with his wife and two girls since 2001 sent by Pope John Paul II as a missionnary family. He has been working with the Spanish International Cooperation Agency as advisor in Security Sector Reform. He is working with Fundación Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos- Spain in the projects financed in Haiti. He holds an MA in Political Science and an MAS in International Security.
Carmen is the voice of Twitter for World Central Kitchen. She helps coordinate social media strategy in her position as senior editor at Chemical & Engineering News magazine. Carmen’s passion for creating solutions through technology drew her to World Central Kitchen. She holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton University, where she conducted research on a potential antibiotic.
Tiffany is World Center Kitchen’s Communications and Development Intern. She is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago and soon to be law student. Having written her Bachelor of Arts thesis on aid in Haiti, she was drawn to World Central Kitchen for its commitment to sustainable solutions designed to empower communities.