Melina Shannon-DiPietro Named Director of Yale Sustainable Food Project

Melina Shannon-DiPietro, who has been co-director of the Yale Sustainable Project for the last five years, will assume full responsibilities as director on Oct. 1.

Shannon-DiPietro succeeds Josh Viertel, founder and co-director of the Sustainable Food Project, who is leaving Yale to become president of Slow Food U.S.A.

As head of the project, Shannon-DiPietro will continue to expand its mission of preparing undergraduates to be leaders in food, agriculture and the environment; increasing attention to issues of equity and social justice; supporting the burgeoning academic work on food and agriculture at Yale; and developing an alumni network committed to the principles of the project.

Shannon-DiPietro came to Yale in 2003 to help the University create a sustainable dining program, a college farm and educational programming about food and agriculture. Previously, she taught history and environmental issues at the Maine Coast Semester at the Chewonki Foundation. From 2000 to 2002, she worked as a management consultant with Bain & Company and the Bridgespan Group. Shannon-DiPietro has farmed in Sicily and in Maine. She graduated from Harvard University in 2000 with a degree in social studies. She is a weaver, garden designer and flower farmer.

Viertel will become the first president of Slow Food U.S.A., a non-profit organization dedicated to influencing the way people eat and how they think about food.

“It is quite significant that Slow Food U.S.A. has chosen its new leadership from Yale and the Sustainable Food Project. The work the project has done has earned it a national and international reputation, and we are proud Yale can contribute to the sustainable food movement in this way,” noted Yale College Dean Peter Salovey and Associate Vice President of Student Financial and Administrative Services Ernst Huff in a statement about Viertel’s appointment.

The Yale Sustainable Food Project directs a program to bring fresh, locally produced ingredients to the dining tables at Yale, manages an organic farm on campus and runs diverse programs that support academic inquiry related to food and agriculture.

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