José Andrés and George Washington University set up institute to deliver food system solutions

World-renowned chef, author, and humanitarian José Andrés and international research leader the George Washington University (GW) have formed a partnership to build a premier Global Food Institute at GW, an unprecedented and transformative collaboration with plans to be a world leader in food system solution delivery.

“Our global food system is experiencing a crisis, brought on by systemic inequities, rampant hunger and poverty, the climate crisis, and deteriorating public health and nutrition. But food has the power to solve problems: It can rebuild lives and communities, heal both people and the planet and create hope for the future, but only if we think bigger,” said Andrés. “The Global Food Institute will reshape how we think about food, break down barriers across industries, politics, and nations, and inspire and empower the next generation to develop systemic solutions that reshape the food system.”

Driven by Andrés’ vision to change the world through the power of food, the Global Food Institute at GW will work to transform people’s lives and the health of our planet, taking a unique and interdisciplinary systems approach across three main pillars: policy, innovation, and humanities. Through this partnership, the Global Food Institute will produce cutting-edge research to create and improve domestic and global food policies, incubate and engineer innovative new technologies and entrepreneurial spirit, and lead critical conversations about the impact of food on the human race. By unifying and working across these pillars, the Institute will create actionable evidence, ideas, partnerships, and solutions to revolutionize the way we think about food. “In the George Washington University’s third century, we are focused on accelerating the positive impact of our interdisciplinary scholarship on society, including through innovative partnerships with visionary leaders,” said GW President Mark S. Wrighton. “We are thrilled to establish in partnership with José Andrés the Global Food Institute – a centre that will create new knowledge and shape national and international progress on food system issues.”

Over a decade ago, GW and Andrés introduced the interdisciplinary course, “The World on a Plate: How Food Shapes Civilization,” forging an academic partnership that laid the groundwork for what has become a multifaceted and dedicated Institute, which will marshal scholars from every school and college at GW as well as renowned experts, industry leaders, policymakers, and passionate individuals across sectors to explore some of the biggest challenges in our food system including food insecurity, health, and climate change, and deliver practical, evidence-based, and creative solutions.

As the Global Food Institute is powered by philanthropy and as it prepares to embark on its journey, it welcomes partnerships with organizations, companies, foundations, and individuals who share a common vision of transforming the global food system. This would not be possible without the founding gift from José Andrés. Additionally, The Carbonell Family Executive Director of the Global Food Institute at the George Washington University has been endowed thanks to a significant commitment made by Nelson A. Carbonell, Jr., BS ‘85, Chairman Emeritus of the GW Board of Trustees, and Michele M. Carbonell. The Executive Directorship will be supported by a $5 million endowment. The Rockefeller Foundation has also committed financial support for the Global Food Institute.