Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer
Building on three years of service as Executive Director and seven years in her role as Chief Operating Officer, Kate Krauss will lead Fair Food Network as its new Chief Executive Officer beginning in January 2023. For more than two decades, Kate has dedicated her professional life to pursuing transformative, actionable solutions to deeply rooted problems. In her new position at the helm of Fair Food Network, she will continue to guide the organization in its commitment to grow community health and wealth through food.
Kate’s career is marked by her efforts toward building a fairer future—one that provides equal access to healthy food, economic opportunities, and a sustainable planet. Her work is inspired by her belief in food as a source of joy, a path to justice, and a powerful way to create common ground.
Kate has significantly expanded Fair Food Network’s impact over the course of her tenure. Under her leadership, Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program amplified its reach in Michigan, translating into a ten-fold increase in families served, from 30,000 in 2015 to more than 300,000 in 2021. Kate oversaw Fair Food Network’s partnership in the launch of the USDA-funded Nutrition Incentive Hub, which supports nutrition incentive programs like Double Up and produce prescription projects across the country. Additionally, she played a critical role in the evolution of Fair Food Network’s Fair Food Fund, which redresses racial and gender-based inequities by providing catalytic capital and business assistance to entrepreneurs who are often overlooked by traditional investors. She was a key part of expanding the Fund’s focus from supporting small regional farms in the Northeast to investing in a more expansive range of food-related businesses around the country. Kate’s leadership has also transformed Fair Food Network as an organization: her work has grown the organization’s budget nearly fivefold, developed critical operational infrastructure, and diversified funding sources.
Kate has also deepened Fair Food Network’s partnership with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and she has provided testimony and thought partnership to policymakers in Michigan. She’s also spoken on state, national, and international stages, including Terra Madre, the international food and agriculture gathering in Turin, Italy. Currently, Kate serves as Chairman of the Board of Slow Food USA. She has held volunteer leadership positions at Washtenaw Country Local Food Summit in Michigan and the Greene Hill Food Coop in Brooklyn, New York.
A graduate of Columbia University, Kate began her career in television journalism, supporting the production of ABC’s World News Tonight, This Week, and Nightline during the historic 2000 election and 9/11. Her desire for more impact-driven work—finding tangible solutions to the world’s problems, rather than reporting on them—led her to The Nature Conservancy, where she helped advance climate change initiatives worldwide. This included originating a “source to delta” conservation plan for the Yangtze River, part of a blueprint for conservation developed in partnership with the Chinese government. Through these experiences, Kate saw the power of bringing different voices to the table in order to advance shared progress.
During her time at The Nature Conservancy, as Kate worked on the dire and sometimes dark challenge of climate change, she found herself drawn to the colorful, rich community life within her local farmers market. The idea that food could be the starting point for solutions led her to Slow Food USA. There, she led a network of volunteer chapter leaders, inspiring people to explore the story behind their food—and rethink the way they grow, buy, and eat it. At Slow Food, Kate also developed the organization’s first curriculum on racial equity, supporting chapters’ efforts to examine their practices and programming with an equity and inclusion lens.
Today, Kate’s work weaves together threads from each of these experiences: her focus on practical, sustainable solutions; her commitment to community listening; and her focus on food as a tool for joy and justice. As an avid sourdough baker, she always looks forward to breaking bread with others.