PRESIDENT 

Edie Mukiibi

President

Edward Mukiibi was born in 1986 in Uganda, where he lives and works on his family run agro-ecological farm. He is an agronomist, food educator, social entrepreneur and the President of Slow Food. After graduating from the Makerere University in Kampala he worked in the field of organic agriculture. agriculture. He started his work on sustainability during his second year at university by vying for leadership positions in his faculty, which he used as a platform to advocate for, and promote, agriculture as a viable career path. Edward went on to establish a project for Developing Innovations in School Cultivation as a vehicle through which he could continue this work on a larger scale. In 2008, after participating at Terra Madre in Italy, he began to play a pivotal role in the development of the Slow Food Gardens in Africa project and in the overall growth of the Slow Food network in Uganda. He has served on the executive committee of Slow Food since 2012 and became Vice-President in 2014. In 2018 he spent a year in Italy to attend the Master of Gastronomy: World Food Culture and Mobility at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. He was appointed President of Slow Food at the International Congress in July 2022.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dali Nolasco Cruz 

Dali is a Nahua indigenous woman born in 1988 in Tlaola, Mexico, where she lives. She has long been deeply involved in community work, accompanying indigenous and peasant communities in organized work, facilitating workshops on individual and collective rights and gender issues, and leadership processes for women and youth. She was among the founders of the organisation Timo’Patla and of the social economy enterprise Mopampa. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Psychology of the Autonomous University of Puebla and of the Carlos III University of Madrid, where she obtained a degree in Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and International Cooperation. Since 2008, Dali has been an active member of Slow Food, becoming the referent of the Tlaola Serrano Chili Presidium and the coordinator of the Slow Food Network of Indigenous Peoples for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017. She is passionate about education and advocacy, being convinced that bringing these two areas together allows indigenous peoples to empower themselves and defend their territories, their knowledge, their identity, their seeds, their food systems and their lives.

Jorrit Kiewik

Born in 1992 and raised on a small scale-dairy farm in Lonneker, in the east of the Netherlands, where he supported the production of a variety of products on-farm, including cheese, sausages and bread. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Entrepreneurship from the Aeres University of Applied Sciences in Dronten and a Master’s degree in Communication, Health & Life Sciences from Wageningen University. He worked at the socio-communications office Het Portaal on “The Milk Story”, a platform that focuses on making Dutch dairy farming more sustainable and connecting producers and consumers. In 2016, after joining Slow Food Youth Network’s “We Feed the Planet” in Milan, Kiewik joined the Dutch SFYN Academy. He founded the SFYN global office in late 2017 after the Chengdu congress, and has been fully dedicated to the development of the global Slow Food Youth Network since 2019. Besides his work for Slow Food, Kiewik is still involved with the family farm, which his family is transforming into a truly sustainable operation, both socially and ecologically. Kiewik is also part of YPARD’s steering committee, and both secretary and cyclist at The AMANI Project, an international cycling team which brings together initiatives aimed at enhancing inclusivity in professional cycling and creating opportunities for cyclists in East Africa.

Richard McCarthy

Born in Germany in 1965 and raised in the USA, Richard obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Richmond American University in London and a Master’s Degree in Political Sociology in the Department of Government from the London School of Economics. He is a co-founder of the Crescent City Farmers Market and its parent organization, Market Umbrella. For 18 years he served as Executive Director of Slow Food USA before taking the helm for a further six. He has been serving on the executive committee of Slow Food International since 2013. A long-time advocate for urban-rural linkages, he co-founded Voice for Farmers Markets in the USA, the Farmers Market Coalition, as well as the World Farmers Market Coalition, a Rome-based NGO devoted to a global community of practice for farmers markets that serve farmers, consumers, and communities. He is also the co-author of the book Kuni: A Japanese Vision and Practice for Urban-Rural Reconnection, with Tsuyoshi Sekihara, founder of the Kamiechigo Yamazato Fan Club, a community development organization focused on the holistic revival of Japan’s rural areas. Richard’s special interests include urban-rural linkages, animal welfare, gardening, and any small-scale efforts that use behavior change as a point of entry.

 

Francesco Sottile

Francesco Sottile was born in 1965 in Italy. After graduating in Agronomy from the University of Palermo in Sicily and obtaining a PhD, he was visiting scientist at Cornell University in the USA. He is currently a professor Biodiversity and Quality in the Agri-food System, as well as conservation of traditional rural landscapes at the University of Palermo. Author of over 100 scientific publications, he coordinates the activities of the Biodiversity Conservation Centers of Agricultural Interest and is member of the Committee on Biodiversity of Agricultural Interest at the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and of the newly established EU Biodiversity Platform. Since 2000, he has been scientific advisor for Slow Food biodiversity across the world, supporting this work through field visits and capacity building workshops, working closely with farmers and producers. He served on the executive committee of Slow Food Italy between 2018 and 2021. He is deeply interested in ecosystem restoration, land and plant conservation, agroecology, circular economy and his field of commitment within the Board is agroecology and related matters.

 

Megumi Watanabe

Born in 1991 and currently lives in Japan. A graduate of Waseda University, Faculty of Education, she has been involved in Slow Food since her university years and founded the Slow Food Youth Network in Japan with fellow young people. In 2014, she moved to Italy and obtained a Master’s Degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. She has worked in restaurants and agri-tourisms in Japan and abroad, learning about cooking, agriculture and hospitality. After returning to Japan in 2016, she played a central role in setting up and activating Slow Food Nippon (Japan), which she became President of in April 2019. She is the wife of an organic rice and soybean farmer and mother of two children. She works in three languages (English, Korean and Italian) besides Japanese. Her interests include farmers’ rights and youth empowerment.

 

Nina Wolff

She was born in Germany in 1970 and currently lives in Berlin. After studying Law and Philosophy in Germany and France, she gained a PhD in European and International Environmental Law in 2002. She has worked as research associate at the Environmental Research Center in Leipzig, as project manager and consultant for various NGOs, among others at Environmental Action Germany and the U.S. Pew Charitable Trusts, with a focus on biodiversity, fisheries and marine conservation. In July 2019, Nina became Slow Food Germany Deputy Chairwoman followed by acting Chairwoman in July 2020, and in June 2021 she became Chairwoman of Slow Food Germany and a member of the International Council of Slow Food. She cultivates special interest in marine biodiversity, food policy and human rights.

GENERAL SECRETARY

Marta Messa

Born in 1984 in Italy, she currently lives in Brussels, Belgium. Her educational background includes a Diploma from the United World College, Italy, a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick (UK), and a Master’s Degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Freiburg (Germany). After experiences in the UK, the USA, Germany, Guatemala, Belgium and Italy, she has worked with Slow Food since 2010, where she started coordinating the development of the Thousand Gardens in Africa project, with field work in nine African countries. Since 2014 she has been based in Brussels, liaising with EU institutions on policies relating to food, giving a platform to the international Slow Food network and developing strategic partnerships with other organizations at the European level. Her studies and work experience have allowed her to gain a deep appreciation of intercultural communication (as well as a good grasp of five languages). In July 2022, she was elected Secretary General of Slow Food and since then has dedicated herself intensively to the coordination of the movement worldwide. She nurtures a particular interest in coalition building, food politics and grassroots movements – and biking.

DIRECTOR GENERAL

 

Paolo Di Croce

Born in Italy in 1969 and lives in Bra, where the headquarters of Slow Food are based. After his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy and work experience as a food company manager, he joined Slow Food. For the past 20 years, he has been responsible for the management and development of the Slow Food movement globally, in the role of Secretary General. As of July 2022, he has been appointed Director General. In his new role within Slow Food, in addition to providing ongoing support to the new governance and continuing to follow the development of the network across the world, he main focus areas are fundraising, economic-financial aspects, staff management and operational aspects. His special interests are sports and travel.

FOUNDER

Carlo Petrini
Founder – Member by right of the Board as Founder

Born in 1949 in Bra, Italy, is the founder of Slow Food and its President from 1989 to 2022. He is a journalist, author and advocate for a sustainable food system and has been working since the 1980s to promote eco-gastronomy. Thanks to his far-sighted vision, Petrini has played a decisive role in the development of Slow Food, inventing and promoting its projects, which have now acquired great international visibility. Among his many achievements is the creation of the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, the first academic institution to offer an interdisciplinary approach to food studies. He was also behind the creation of Terra Madre, a network that brings together small-scale farmers, fishers, artisans, chefs, young people, academics and experts from more than 160 countries. Carlo Petrini travels around the world taking part in conferences, meeting communities in the Slow Food network, holding lectures in renowned universities including Ivy League institutions, and has participated in discussions on food sustainability and agriculture with EU institutions and UN agencies. In the last three decades Carlo’s commitment to the promotion of a better food system has been recognized at the international level through prizes and awards from the FAO, Time Magazine, the Guardian and more.


INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

Africa

John Kariuki Mwangi
Eastern Africa

John Kariuki Mwangi holds a bachelor’s degree in Gastronomic Sciences. He has coordinated the Slow Food in Kenya from 2010 overseeing the development and implementation of the different projects, educating people, networking and advocating for farmers’ centered policies. He has played a significant role in the development of Slow Food East Africa and champions for increased regional integration through exchanges and networking between countries.

Manvester Ackson Khoza
Southern Africa

Manvester Ackson Khoza-Msyali comes from Mkandapasi village in Livingstonia, Rumphi district, northern Malawi. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management & Entrepreneurship and certificates in organic related fields such as Training of Teams of Trainers by Organic Academy facilitated by IFOAM Organics and Knowledge Hub for Organic Agriculture in Southern Africa obtained in 2021. Manvester is an agri-preneur who ventures in varied, ecofriendly food crops aimed at rejuvenating degranded lands. He is Malawi’s country coordinator for Slow Food projects and he boasts of creating of over 200 vegetable gardens in Malawi and 20 in Zambia. Manvester has championed the establishment of Slow Food network in Malawi since 2011.

Jean Marie Koalga
Western Africa

Patigidsom Jean Marie KOALGA is a social educator and has been coordinating the Slow Food network in Burkina Faso since 2016, focusing on the development of community and school gardens, He was appointed international councillor in 2017 at the 7th SF Congress. Since then, he has been coordinating and animating the Slow Food’s network in Francophone countries and beyond in West Africa, a total of 20 countries, developing biodiversity-related educational projects there.

Asia and Oceania

Vince Velletri
Australia and Oceania

Vincenzo Velletri grew up on a farm in Italy and moved to Western Australia in 1991 starting his career as a chef. Today he runs his own catering company utilising local, seasonal, fresh ingredients coming from small producers. He has been a member of Slow Food since 2000, was on the Board of the Slow Food Perth Convivium taking an active role in promoting the Slow Food philosophy and then in 2011 he established the Swan Valley and Eastern Regions Convivium. He has also been the leader of the Ark of Taste group in Australia developing several connections with small producers and Indigenous communities, advocating their culture and providing the opportunity to promote their food culture. In 2014, 2016 and 2018, together with a delegation of elders and young indigenous, he showcased Western Australian Indigenous food at Terra Madre. He is also part of a strong network of public and private sectors connecting and cooperating with various organizations to develop a sustainable local agriculture and sustainable tourism.

Vittorio Sun
China

Vittorio SunQun is a Chinese publisher and cultural promoter. Since 2006, as the publisher of the Chinese version of ABITARE magazine (Rizzoli-Corriere della Sera Group), he has been promoting the integration of urban planning, architecture, design, and sustainable development in China through media and events. He joined SlowFood in 2015. In 2017, he successfully helped to hold the 7th Slow Food International Congress in Chengdu, and participated in the launch of the Slow Food Villages project, aimed to promote the revitalization of rural areas in China, protect the traditional agriculture, and develop the gastronomy in the countryside. He is also one of the founders  of the most important creative cultural and  design events in cities such as Beijing, Suzhou, Hainan. He takes every possible opportunity to promote the integration of Slow Food with the organic renewal and urban eco-cultural construction.

Ramon Uy Jr
South East Asia

Ramon Uy Jr. is a passionate social entrepreneur, organic farmer, and owner of a farm-to-table cafe and restaurant in the Philippines  that serves local organic, good, clean, and fair food as well as Ark of Taste products. He co-founded Fresh Start Organic Group of Companies in 2005, that has grown from organic farming to processing, distribution, retailing, cafe, and restaurant. In 2012, he co-founded the Slow Food movement in Negros Island, and has since worked on various Slow Food projects with the Slow Food community of Negros Island in spreading the movement around the region. He is also an adviser to IFOAM Asia, a board of director of Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Program Philippines, President of the Eco Agri Development Foundation, and a member of the management committee of Food & Tourism for Rural Development in Western Visayas.

Minsoo Kim
South Korea

Minsoo Kim was born in 1966 in Jeju, Korea. After graduating in Business Administration from the Younsei University in Korea and obtaining an MBA, he worked in the field of IT and telecommunication companies, such as DACOM, MCI. After returning to Jeju in 2008, he has joined his family business company, Pureun Kong Bangju and has been producing Jeju green soybean Jang, Korea traditional fermentation soybean sauce using green soybean original to Jeju island. Jeju green soybean Jang was the first Ark of Taste product and then the first Presidia in Korea. Minsoo was designated an inheritor of the grand master of Korea traditional fermentation soybean paste by the Korean government. He played a central role in setting up Slow Food Jeju Convivium in 2013. He has been Slow Food Korea board member since 2013, Slow Food International councillor since 2017 and is dedicated to expanding the Ark of Taste in Jeju, having identified 25 products so far. He works in two languages, English and Chinese besides Korean.

Europe

Nikolce Nikolovski
Balkans

Food technologist, Nikolce is a member of Slow Food since 2009, founder of Slow Food Sharplaninska and founder of Slow Food Bitola in 2011. He was the coordinator of the Mavrovo-rek Presidium, and the national coordinator of the Slow Food network in Macedonia from 2012 to 2018. He is also the organizer of the Macedonian delegations at Terra Madre in Turin (Italy) and of the event Terra Madre Balkans. He coordinates the first edition of Terra Madre Macedonia. He managed the strategic planning process within the Slow Food network in Macedonia and is currently the President of the national board of Slow Food Macedonia.

Lea Leimann
Germany

Lea Leimann is a German pastry chef and an eco-anthropologist. She holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales (UK). Since 2021 she works at The Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), a Think and Do tank that works with businesses, policy makers, partner organizations, and civil society towards a good life. She runs projects on sustainable lifestyles, transformation, behavior change and sustainability assessment. Lea joined Slow Food in 2009, co-led Slow Food Youth network (SFYN) Germany for some years and engages in the board of Slow Food Germany since 2019. She is part of the core group on education and aims to bring the young, transformative and feminist voice into the national and global activities.

Klaus Flesch
Germany

Klaus Flesch is a German Computer Science Engineer. He has been working in the field of industrial electronics and communication systems since the 1980’s. After building a 50+ Team of software and hardware engineers together with his wife, he insured the viability of this group by selling it to his largest customer. Coming from a rural background in a small wine growing village, he has direct knowledge of the tedious work to be done by a wine producer. Since 1992 he has been following Slow Food as a user. He is active in his local Convivium in Freiburg, and is a member of the Slow Food Germany board since 2014.

Barbara Nappini
Italy

Born in Florence, after a linguistic high school and a degree in advertising graphics, Barbara Nappini worked for 13 years in international fashion before moving to the countryside her family, in 2010. After an educational failure as an organic farmer, she met Slow Food in 2012, becoming trainer, territorial and regional Tuscany delegate, then national councilor and finally, in 2021, Slow Food Italy President. She hopes to bring in the International Council the Italian reality and the will to listen and grow with others.

Maria Vittoria Borghetto
Italy

As a daughter of organic bakers, Maria Vittoria Borghetto approached the world of good, clean and fair since she was a child. After founding a Slow Food Youth Network group in her hometown, Rovigo in the Italian Veneto region , she is now the Convivium Leader of Slow Food Rovigo and the youngest member of her regional Slow Food Executive Committee. She holds a law degree, with a study-path focused on agri-food law, and she is currently doing a PhD on European law and EU agri-food policies at the University of Insubria. In 2021 she spent 4 months in Brussels to be part of the Policy team of IFOAM Organics Europe. She speaks Italian, English, French, Spanish and some Norwegian.

Tiziana Favi
Italy

Tiziana Favi is a cook of the Slow Food Alliance since 2018, owner of Namo Ristobottega, a small restaurant with only 20 seats in which with her husband Marcello she carries on the philosophy of good, clean and fair. Before the Namo she studied languages because of her desire to communicate beyond national borders, then she opened a traditional Roman cuisine “trattoria” by revisiting her mother’s and grandmother’s recipes. In 2003, she joined the Italian Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance. The running of her restaurant is oriented toward recycling, not wasting and above all bringing traditional local product to clients’ tables, sometimes revisited in a more imaginative key and often contaminated by other cultures. By her side since 2016 is Hassan Ismail Jaafar, also a young Alliance’s cook with a history of sacrifice and renunciation since he was 13 years old, who has become an irreplaceable professional figure and part of the family.

Jannie Vestergaard
Nordic Countries

Jannie Vestergaard is the chairperson of Slow Food in the Nordic countries and vice-chairperson of the Slow Food Denmark Network. As an expert in food systems and food policy-making Jannie contributes with her knowledge and networks from the Nordic countries. With over 25 years of hands-on experience in building innovative eco-systems with small-scale farmers, producers, chefs, public kitchens, authorities, etc. and with a PhD (a degree awarded to people who have done advanced research) in food science she will contribute to the global Slow Food political strategy with all the practical and theoretical tools in her toolbox.

Ivan Yakushkin
Russia

Ivan Yakushkin was born in Moscow where he graduated from Lomonosov State University with a degree in history. Businessman and eco-activist he became a member of Slow Food in 2007 in California, where he participated in campaigns for labelling GMO products, supporting farmers markets and organic agriculture. He is one of the initiators of the registration of Slow Food in Russia and the author of the national development strategy of the organisation. Since 2018 he is Vice-President of Slow Food in Russia and his focus is International Cooperation. Ivan founded the first internationally recognised organic certification centre in Russia, participated in the organisation of the largest farmer cooperative in Russia, in the development of regulations for the law on organic agriculture and many other initiatives. He also founded an eco-settlement in Siberia.

Chuma Sahún
Spain

Chuma Sahún was born in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1980. He studied geography, land use planning and urban planning at the University of Zaragoza. Since 2004, it has promoted initiatives to recover livestock breeds and food varieties, involving the local population. His work was awarded the European Environmental Award in 2012. Chuma is currently responsible for the Melón de Torres de Berrellén Food Community, which belongs to the Ark of Taste. He develops management programs for school gardens, sensory workshops for all ages and cultural interventions to value local food production. In the framework of all its activities, Chuma tries to involve the local population, scientists, authorities and the media; in order to give solidity and transversality to them. He also works in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector, participating in numerous forums and media.

Toya Bezzola
Switzerland

Toya Bezzola currently lives and works in Zurich as an independent project manager under the label “Food of Change” to empower organizations in food system transformation and storytelling. She creates gastronomic experiences and pop-ups, where she incorporates her passion for food system education. Toya holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree  in International Hotel and Tourism Management from the Oxford Brookes University.

Nelleke Don
The Netherlands

Since 2014 Nelleke Don has been active as a volunteer within Slow Food, starting first as secretary of the Ark van de Smaak (Ark of Taste) Committee and leader of the Slow Food Rotterdam Convivium. Since 2016 she is the chairperson of the national association Slow Food Netherlands and member of the International Council. Nelleke has a background in political science, international relations and interactive policy making through dialogue. She worked for the Dutch government and as a private consultant. Curiosity about what makes organizations vibrant led her to the study of the living body and to body-centered living and design. From there to Slow Food turned out to be a very small and natural step. For Nelleke this is the second round on the council.

Yulia Pitienko
Ukraine

Yulia Pitienko was born, studied  and still lives in Kyiv. She has 2 high education degrees: in letters and finance. In 2004 she knew about Slow Food and joined it organizing the Ukrainian participation at first Terra Madre edition. She became in fact the founder of the movement in the country and the leader of the network. From 2008 to the present she is in charge of Integral Health Centers in Kyiv as CEO, which mission is teaching people to be healthy through lifestyle patterns and appropriate local diet. In 2022 when Ukraine was attacked by Russsia and the biodiversity of the country was endangered she launched the appeal to help Ukrainian communities by which the Slow Food network in Ukraine was able to preserve some local breeds and help farmers to survive. Yulia  was awarded with the Ursula Hudson Award during the last Slow Food Congress. 

Latin America and Caribbean

Esteban Tapia
Andean Area

Esteban Tapia Merino is a cook passionate about the role of food in building a better world for all, an UNESCO postgraduate in heritage and sustainable tourism at the Universidad 3 de Febrero de Argentina, professor of gastronomy at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito – Ecuador, author of several books and articles related to sovereignty, food culture and heritage. Member of the National Agroecological Collective, he has developed several social and territorial development projects in the Andean region.

Glenn Makuta
Brasil and Southern Cone

Glenn Makuta is a Brazilian biologist graduated from Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho. His interests on the impacts of human activity on animal behavior led him to research about large-scale agriculture and its impacts. This soon brought him to question the hegemonic model of production, and consequently learned about the concept of food biodiversity, Slow Food and agroecology. Slow Food member since 2009, he is the coordinator of the network for the Slow Food Brazil association. He also represents Slow Food in national collectives of civil society organizations and social movements fighting for Human Rights to adequate food and for food sovereignty and food and nutritional security.

Leidy Casimiro
Caribbean

Leidy Casimiro Rodríguez has a PhD in Agroecology, a degree in Economics and a degree in Law. She is currently a Professor at the University of Sancti Spíritus. Among her academic achievements, she has developed a methodology for the evaluation of socioecological resilience in family agriculture that contributes to the agroecological transition. Specialist of international projects for agro-energy transition in rural contexts, and empowerment of rural women, author of books and several articles, she has participated as a speaker in different countries. She is member of the board of directors of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology since 2020, FAO consultant and was appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture in Cuba for the Proposal of Public Policy on Agroecology in the country. Farmer and member of the Slow Food Community “Finca del Medio”.

Arturo Elías García González
Mexico and Central America

Arturo Elías García González is a Master Vainillero in Chinantla, Oaxaca, a Mexican region where vanilla is a traditional crop and a Slow Food Presidium. In the 80’s his  father Elias Garcia, the council of elders of San Felipe Usila town and some producers went in search of native vanillas in the hills around the valley of Usila and discovered 7 native varieties of vanilla. In 2005 Comercializadora Akih (Akih Vanilla) was founded, the first Chinantecan company dedicated to the cultivation, commercialization and promotion of Vanilla and Chinantla “Cuna de la Vainilla”. Since 2012 Arturo Elias has served as Coordinator of the Chinantla Vanilla Presidium, which brings together 15 families of small scale producers who take care of the 7 native varieties.

Northern America

Bobby Grégoire
Canada

Bobby Grégoire is a Canadian Consultant Chef and food educator that accompanies artisan producers, restaurants, caterers, cafés and eaters in their food transition toward a more sustainable food system for all. He joined Slow Food in 2008. He led Slow Food Montreal for 8 years and co-chaired the Slow Food in Canada Network for 4 years. He joined the international council in 2017 at the Chengdu Congress and has been active in the Slow Food Cook’s Alliance, Slow Fish and Slow cheese campaigns. With more than 20 years of experience in cooking, he shares his passion as an educator through classes and workshops and also as a speaker, radio columnist and content creator.

Bilal Sarwari
USA

Bilal Sarwari is the proud first-generation child of Afghan refugees. He graduated from Oxford College in Oxford, Georgia and Emory University with a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology and Human Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies. Since starting the Slow Food Emory chapter with Julie Shaffer (who has served Slow Food in several leadership roles) in 2008, he has continued his involvement and is currently the Governance Chair for the Slow Food USA Board. Bilal currently lives on Mvskoke/Creek land near Atlanta, Georgia and works to improve access to stress relief resources to farmers and ranchers along the East Coast. He brings his experience in biodiversity, group facilitation, agriculture, mental health, and gardening to the International Council and looks forward to building coalition across borders while centering joy and justice.

Thematic Networks

Stephany Escamilla Femat
Slow Food Coffee Coalition

Stephany Escamilla Femat is from Veracruz, Mexico, third generation of a family of coffee growers who have worked for more than 20 years in certified organic production and fair trade. Engineer in Agroecology from the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, she has specialized in coffee commercialization, value chain, specialty coffees and certification. Stephany is also a Q grader, a professional figure skilled in evaluation of green coffee. Since 2011 to date, she works at the Agroecological Coffee Center (CAFECOL, AC). She is also President of Café Cooperativo MX where she works with 37 coffee producers, active member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and a founding member of the Bosque, Niebla y Café Xalapa Slow Food Community. From her experience in certification systems she can contribute to the construction of an efficient and useful system in the implementation of the Participatory Guarantee System of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition.

Arianna Labasin
Slow Food Youth Network

Born and raised in the North of Italy, Arianna Labasin, moved to The Netherlands for her studies in Public Administration. Rotterdam is the city where her engagement with the Slow Food Youth Network first started, in 2018. Since then, she is an active member of SFYN, and part of its Steering Committee since 2019. After her Master in Environmental Law, she is currently based in Brussels, working in the public affairs field for an agri-food company. Deeply interested in food cultures, gastronomy and cooking. One day, she wishes to open her own bistrot in Torino.   She hopes to bring the perspectives, ideas, necessities, and ambitions of the youth to the Slow Food Council.

Dai Kitabayashi
Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network

Dai Kitabayashi is a member of the Loochoo (Ryukyu) Indigenous people from Okinawa, Japan. Since 2018, he serves as Advisory Board member of the Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network, tirelessly supporting the development of the network, especially in Asia Pacific and Japan. Dai played a leading role of organizing Indigenous Terra Madre Asia and Pan-Pacific event in 2019, also facilitated several Slow Food trainings for the Asia Pacific Indigenous Peoples’ network, as well as grassroots level actions to support food-culture-biodiversity with the Ainu and Loochoo (Ryukyu) peoples. He is currently working as a Regional Project Manager for Miyako islands and developing a system to circulate the local food production and consumption. He also works on human resource development for a sustainable society. As a 2019 Fellow of the Indigenous Fellowship Programme by UN-OHCHR, he brings to the Council his knowledge on Indigenous Peoples rights and international mechanisms to defend them. In 2023, Dai also became a member of the board of Slow Food Nippon.

Tunda Lepore
Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network

Tunda Lepore is an indigenous woman from the Maasai community, actively advocating for the preservation of positive cultural practices. She is a life skills coach focusing on young children, teenagers and young adults. She is a Director and Project coordinator of Kopito Women Group in Narok, Kenya. She is a member of the steering committee of Indigenous People Forum at IFAD. She holds a degree in Development Studies and a Master’s degree in International Studies from The University of Nairobi. Tunda Lepore collaborates with Slow Food in its efforts of promoting sustainable agriculture and biodiversity: she empowers communities by ensuring they have access to healthy and nutritious food, emphasizing the importance of overall well-being and sustainability. She is passionate about community development and plays a pivotal role in facilitating access to education for disadvantaged children, enabling them to reach their full potential at Ngong Road Children Foundation. Tunda Lepore’s multifaceted efforts, spanning from cultural preservation and land rights advocacy to education and community empowerment, demonstrate her commitment to making a positive impact on the indigenous people’s lives and their future prospects.

Strategic Priorities (Slow Food Pillars)

Melissa De Billot
Biodiversity

Melissa lives in the City of Johannesburg, South Africa. She holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Architecture from the Durban University of Technology and works in the Construction Industry with a focus on Green Building and energy efficient design. She grew up in sub-tropical KwaZulu-Natal amongst commercial sugar cane farms, and the few remaining Zulu small scale subsistence farmers, who grew traditional foods. She grew up enjoying the culturally diverse people and cuisine of this region. In 2005 she attended her first Permaculture course, facilitated by Permaculture Education Africa, in the “Little Karoo”, one of the driest of the 9 Biomes in Southern Africa. This inspired her interest in agro-ecology and green building design. In 2014 she joined Slow Food as a member of the Johannesburg Convivium, and was involved in organizing events, such as the Soweto Eat-in. She is the coordinator for the Slow Food Rainbow Maize Presidium of South Africa, a community of custodian farmers growing a seed bank to save traditional maize varieties. She also grows other South African Ark of Taste products.

Jerônimo Villas-Boas
Biodiversity

Jerônimo Villas-Bôas is an ecologist, Master in environmental management and a biodiversity expert. For more than 15 years, he has been working in partnership with relevant Brazilian socio-environmental organizations. Recognized for his work in the field of conservation and sustainable management of bees and their products, he is co-founder of Reenvolver, a company whose mission is to strengthen value chains of socio-biodiversity products. Jerônimo has been part of the Slow Food network since 2010 and was a member of the Brazilian Ark of Taste Commission.  Between 2017 and 2021, he held the position of General Secretary of the Slow Food Brazil Association.

Shane Holland
Advocacy

Shane Holland is the Executive Chair of Slow Food in the UK. His work has particularly encompassed food and health, access to food, GMOs, and food and climate change – including being part of the COP26 delegation, and being the lead on the Slow Food Climate Action imitative. Elsewhere in the third sector his work has specialised in regards to our most vulnerable citizens, their issues of food poverty and food skills, education, offending, and access to services. He brings significant skills around advocacy, lobbying government and empowering people to create change.

Note: according to the Statute, the Board of Directors can appoint further members of the Council during its mandate, to ensure full representation of the network.

 

BOARD OF AUDITORS

Vladimiro Rambaldi
President

Emanuele Di Caro
Members

Roberto Conte
Members

Paola Vola
Members

BOARD OF ARBITRATORS

Madelaine Antonia Vázquez Gálvez
Amorelle Georgia Augusta Dempster
Dessislava Dimitrova Petkova Varadinova
Leopoldo Rieser
Samuel Karanja Muhunyu (†2022)

  • Did you learn something new from this page?
  • yesno