The Cornucopia Institute Hires Jonathan Rosenthal as Interim Executive Director

October 18th, 2019

The Cornucopia Institute is thrilled to announce the hiring of Jonathan Rosenthal as the new Interim Executive Director.  With this hire, Cornucopia is moving confidently to evolve into a more sustainable, relevant, and powerful voice in the good food movement. Rosenthal will shepherd the organization through a just, transparent, and collaborative transition while honoring the mission set forth by Cornucopia’s founders and board.

Jonathan Rosenthal

Rosenthal has spent decades promoting sustainable agriculture. In 1986, he co-founded Equal Exchange, which continues to build economically just and environmentally sound trade partnerships that foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers. In 2005, he co-founded and led the first U.S. fair trade fruit company, Oké USA.

More recently he has worked as an executive director, consultant and advisor across fair trade, worker co-op, and new economy movements, helping organizations advocate for economic, ecological and racial justice for family-scale farmers. With experience that spans both the fair trade and organic movements, he is entrenched in a unifying cause: converting the destructive aspects of business into a positive force for people and the environment.

For Cornucopia, Rosenthal will analyze the organization’s structure and processes, provide staff, board, and financial guidance and support and set up a robust process for the hiring of permanent leadership in 2020. “I am thrilled and honored to join the talented team at Cornucopia and to return supporting the vitality of farmers and family-scale farms. Together we can grow the relationships and programs built over the past 15 years, while updating and strengthening the organization’s capacity to move boldly into the future. Over the next six to nine months, we will use this transition as an opportunity to pause, reflect, and develop a sharpened vision, revamped organizational culture, and enhanced capacity for deepening collaboration and impact.”

His track record portends a new chapter for Cornucopia. “Few people have inspired, challenged, and improved my thinking more than Jonathan,” said William Foote, founder and CEO of Root Capital. “He once told me that naiveté is a strategic advantage ‘for if you had any idea what you’re getting into, you’d never have done it.’  Well, once you’ve ‘done it’ (i.e., launched a social enterprise), you’ll find no better adviser, strategist, and mentor.”

As Cornucopia welcomes Jonathan, the staff continues its work supporting economic justice for authentic organic farms. Our voice is as bold as ever. Follow along at cornucopia.org, on social media, or by joining our e-news.

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