WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 23, 2023) – World-renowned chef, author, and humanitarian José Andrés and international research leader the George Washington University (GW) today announced their partnership to build a premier Global Food Institute at GW, an unprecedented and transformative collaboration in the heart of the nation’s capital 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 center 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.
“GW’s location in the heart of our nation’s capital makes it the ideal place for the brightest minds across disciplines to convene, develop innovative research and solutions and educate the next generation of advocates to drive the food systems change we need,” said GW’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Christopher Alan Bracey.
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.
For more information about the Global Food Institute, and to join the movement to reshape the food system, visit globalfoodinstitute.gwu.edu.
About the George Washington University
In the heart of the nation’s capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business, and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from across the United States and around the world.
About José Andrés
Twice named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” and awarded “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally recognized humanitarian, culinary innovator, New York Times bestselling author, Emmy-nominated television personality, and educator. In 2010, Andrés founded World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. Andrés’ work has earned awards and distinctions including the 2015 National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama and the Princess of Asturias Foundation’s 2021 Concordia Prize. Andrés presently serves as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition and is the immediate past co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Food and Nutrition Task Force.