The Board of Directors role is to set policies and establish priorities to maintain the overall direction of Our Food Chain.

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Sarah Slusser is a Partner at GeoGlobal Energy LLC, a global geothermal power company. She had a 21-year career at AES, a global power company. Sarah has a BA with honors, Harvard University and an MBA, Yale University. She is a board member of Island Press and the Rosedale Conservancy.

Thomas W. Bruce

Thomas Bruce is senior counsellor at NYU Shanghai, with extensive Washington experience, international background and leadership work in higher education. He is a former staff of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, first director of the Office of External Relations of the OAS,  the moderator of a national public affairs television show andformer vice president of Cornell University.  For the past 18 months,  Bruce, and his wife Constance, has been living in China where he is working to build a robust public affairs program for the new research university.  He is also studying Chinese and traveling extensively in the region. 


Mara Papatheodorou

Mara Papatheodorou, a “tastes and traditions” expert, is a nationally established entertainment specialist. Mara attended UCLA, University of Paris La Sorbonne, and La Varenne Cooking School where her food and travel adventures began. She spent eleven years at Bon Appetit Magazine as an editor, producer, stylist and writer. Mara contributes to books, brochures, and other magazines and TV about culinary culture and history. She is happily known as a Traveling Food Fanatic and Master Foodie who has visited and tasted the cuisine of over 65 countries worldwide.

Chris Meledandri

Chris Meledandri is the founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, a company that was formed in partnership with Universal Pictures to produce animated movies.  Illumination has made the films MinionsDespicable Me, Hop, Dr. Seuss’ the Lorax and Despicable Me 2.  Prior to Illumination, Chris was the founding President of Twentieth Century Fox Animation where he executive produced Ice Age, Robots, Ice Age: The Melt Down, and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.  Chris is a graduate of Dartmouth College and currently serves as a Vice President of the Board of Trustees of The Hotchkiss School.

Lavinia Currier

Lavinia Currier directed the feature films OKA! (2011) and Passion in the Desert (1997).  She is President of Sacharuna Foundation, which supports conservation and indigenous people’s issues in Africa, Mexico, and the Tibetan Plateau. Lavinia has a biodynamic ranch on Molokai where they also grow Hawaiian awa, fruits, and vegetables. She gardens on her family farm in Virginia.


Mary Atwater James received her BA from Princeton University and her MBA from Harvard University. Currently, Mary serves on the Board of Brentwood School,  LA Leadership Charter School, and HOLA After School Programs. She is also actively involved with Planned Parenthood LA, the Everychild Foundation and USC Hybrid High School. Currently, Mary is an Executive Board Member at the Prime Group in Los Angeles.

Wendy Slusser

Wendy Slusser, MD, MS, FAAP is an Associate Vice Provost at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and runs the Healthy Campus Initiative. She is Co-Founder of the UCLA Fit for Health Program. She is the 2010 recipient of the Robert F. Allen Symbol of H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People through Empowerment) Award.