About Ellen

Ellen Headshot

Ellen Gustafson is a sustainable food system activist, author, innovator and social entrepreneur. Her first book, “We the Eaters: If We Change Dinner, We Can Change the World” is published by Rodale Press in May 2014. She is the Co-Founder of Food Tank: the Food Think Tank, with Danielle Nierenberg. She is also founder of a small sustainable home goods company called the Apron Project. Before the launch of Food Tank, Ellen founded the 30 Project, a campaign that has helped to change the conversation about the global food system by connecting hunger and obesity. She is also the creator of the ChangeDinner campaign and HealthClass2.0, which are helping individuals change the food system at dinner tables and in schools.

Ellen previously Co-Founded FEED Projects, LLC, a charitable company that creates good products that help FEED the world, and FEED’s non-profit partner, the FEED Foundation. FEED has provided over 60 million school meals to children around the world. Ellen was also a US Spokesperson for the UN World Food Program, a terrorism research reporter in the ABC News Investigative Unit, and a research associate for the Military Fellows at the Council on Foreign Relation. She has a BA in International Politics from Columbia University.

She has been featured as one of AOL and PBS’s MAKERS, trailblazing women who are “making” America, Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Inc Magazine’s 2010 30 Under 30, and Diplomatic Courier Magazine’s 2011 “Top 99 Under 33” in Foreign Policy. Ellen has spoken at the Fortune Most Powerful Women’s Conference, the World Food Prize, and was the Co-Chair of the Economist’s Feeding the World conference and has guest lectured at Harvard, Yale, NYU, London School of Economics, Columbia and the US Naval Academy and given 4 TEDx talks. 

She serves on the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Advisory Board, has served on the Columbia University Alumni Board of Directors and was a founding Director of Bronx Success Academy 1, a charter school within the Success Charter Network. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.