The Future of Food

Washington, District of Columbia
Friday, October 07, 2016


Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp professor of bioethics at Princeton University, is widely regarded as the most influential living philosopher, and is the author of more than 40 books on ethics, including Animal Liberation. @PeterSinger

Opening Remarks

Paul Shapiro serves as the vice president of farm animal protection for The HSUS. In 1995 he founded Compassion Over Killing, where he served as campaigns director prior to coming to The HSUS in 2005. Shapiro also is the author of a forthcoming book on the cultured meat movement. @pshapiro


  Public Health

Alan Bjerga covers global food policy for Bloomberg News and is a journalism instructor at Georgetown University. He’s served as president of the National Press Club and president of the North American Agricultural Journalists. @AlanBjerga

Michael Greger, MD is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and creator of  Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the director of public health and animal agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States, and is a founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. @nutrition_facts

Michael Blackwell, DVM, MPH, is senior director of veterinary policy for the Humane Society of the United States. He also serves as the USDA Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health, is the former chief veterinarian of the United States Public Health Service, and former dean of the University of Tennessee veterinary college.

Kristie Middleton is the senior director of food policy for The Humane Society of the United States where she oversees the HSUS’ meat reduction efforts. She has worked with some of the nation’s largest school districts, including Los Angeles Unified School District, Detroit Public Schools, and Boston Public Schools, to implement Meatless Monday. @KristiMiddleton

Future of Food

Justin Worland is a journalist with TIME, covering energy, environment, sustainability and related topics. He’s also the former managing editor of the Harvard Crimson. @JustinWorland

Josh Balk is senior director of food policy at the Humane Society of the United States where he works with major companies in forging animal welfare policies as well as helping mission-oriented start-ups. He’s also a founder of Hampton Creek, which Conscious Company magazine named the “fastest growing food company.” @joshbalk

Susie Weintraub is executive vice president of Strategic Marketing and Business Excellence for Compass Group North America, supporting development of organic growth and business retention strategies for over $7 billion of Compass Group’s managed revenue. @susie7505 

Bruce Friedrich is executive director of The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes market-based and technological solutions to the problems of animal product consumption, and co-founder of New Crop Capital, a $25 million venture capital fund. @BruceGFriedrich

Animal Protection

Marc Gunther is a veteran journalist, editor at large for the Guardian, a contributor at FORTUNE magazine, and the author of Faith and Fortune: How Compassionate Capitalism is Transforming American Business. @MarcGunther

Leah Garces is executive director for Compassion in World Farming USA, focused on giving strategic and technical advice to food businesses to advance policies and practices that result in measurable improvements for farm animals. @leah_compassion 

Nathan Runkle is the founder and president of Mercy For Animals. Since founding MFA over a decade ago, Nathan has overseen the organization's growth into a leading international force in the prevention of cruelty to farmed animals and promotion of compassionate food choices and policies. @NathanRunkle

Erica Meier is the executive director of Compassion Over Killing (COK), national nonprofit animal protection organization based in Washington, DC. Before working at COK, Erica was an animal control officer in DC, rescuing sick, injured, and homeless animals as well as enforcing animal protection laws. @EricaMeier 

Matthew Prescott is senior food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States. Over the last 15 years, Prescott has helped spearhead innumerable initiatives to curtail factory farming—including through engagement with Fortune 500 food companies and their institutional investors. @MatthewPrescott

Public Policies

Ian Kullgren is a journalist covering agriculture for Politico. Prior to Politico, Ian served as a state legislative reporter for The Oregonian.  @IanKullgren

Nancy Perry is the senior vice president of ASPCA government relations, overseeing legislative and regulatory policy reform at the local, state and federal levels. @NancyPerryA 


Jean Halloran is Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports. At Consumers Union she has led many projects on food safety, sustainable consumption and trade issues. @ConsumersUnion

Thomas Gremillion is the director of food policy at the Consumer Federation of America. He also coordinates the Safe Food Coalition, a group of consumer, trade union, and foodborne illness victim organizations dedicated to reducing foodborne illness by improving government food inspection programs.

Environment and Communities

Eliza Barclay is an editor overseeing the science, health, environment, and energy coverage at Formerly, she was a reporter and editor of NPR's food blog, The Salt. @elizabarclay

Hannah Connor is an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. At the Center, Ms. Connor works to address threats to endangered species, wild places, workers and communities from industrial agriculture, chemical pollution, and destructive mining operations. 

Erik Nicholson is National Vice President of the United Farm Workers, the organization founded by legendary farm worker advocate Cesar Chavez. Prior to joining the UFW, Nicholson worked for 12 years with PCUN, a farm worker union based in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

Craig Watts is a former contract farmer of 23 years for Perdue Farms from Fairmont, NC. @CraigWcafarms92

Farm Bill

Tamar Haspel is a journalist on the food and science beat, writes the James Beard award-winning Washington Post column, Unearthed.  @TamarHaspel

Ricardo Salvador is director and senior scientist of the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Before UCS, Dr. Salvador served as a program officer for food, health, and well-being with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. @cadwego

Colin O’Neil is agriculture policy director at the Environmental Working Group, where he focuses on a wide array of matters related to food and farm policy, including farm subsidies, conservation, food labeling, antibiotics and livestock, organic farming and biofuels. @ColinONeil 

Carrie Balkcom is the executive director for the American Grassfed Association, representing grassfed producers all over the United States, and has spent the past few decades involved in all aspects of food and food production. @carriebalkom

Closing Remarks

Wayne Pacelle is the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, and is the author of The Humane Economy and The Bond. @waynepacelle


Contact Information

  • Kimmie at

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