Susan Ungaro is president of the James Beard Foundation (JBF), the country's preeminent culinary organization dedicated to celebrating, nurturing, and honoring America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. Since becoming president in 2006, Ungaro has increased awareness of the nonprofit through a host of initiatives. Her many accomplishments include increasing national and global awareness of the Foundation, as well as its culinary scholarship program, membership, and thought-leadership initiatives. Ungaro has increased the number of educational programs at the historic James Beard House in Greenwich Village; brought the annual James Beard Foundation Awards Gala to prestigious Lincoln Center and to Chicago; and launched the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America national epicurean tour.
Her additional accomplishments include spearheading the annual JBF Food Conference to foster dialogue and action to improve our nation’s food system, and launching the JBF Leadership Awards, which recognize visionaries in business, government, and education sectors responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world.
Ungaro has also collaborated with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol to develop the “Diplomatic Culinary Partnership,” an initiative to elevate the role of culinary engagement in America’s formal and public diplomacy efforts, and has expanded the reach of and brand recognition of the James Beard Foundation through the organization’s website, social media channels, and the publication of two original cookbooks, The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America’s Outstanding Chefs (Chronicle, 2011), and James Beard’s All-American Eats: Recipes and Stories from Our Best-Loved Local Restaurants (Rizzoli, 2016).
Among her numerous honors, Ungaro was named one of Adweek’s 30 Most Influential People in Food; The Daily Meal’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food from 2011-2014 and was the subject of a MPW (Most Powerful Women) profile in Fortune.com. She has also been recognized with Irish America magazine’s Top Business 100 Award; Muriel Fox Communications Award from the NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund, and the Hope Award from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Ungaro serves on the Culinary Council of Food Bank for New York City, the National Advisory Board of C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program), and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Safe and Healthy New York Foods.
Ungaro’s frequent television appearances include Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America, and Dinner Impossible, Bravo’s Top Chef, NBC’s TODAY Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s Early Show, CNN, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Executive Vice President
Mitchell Davis is the executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation, a cookbook author, a food journalist, and a scholar with a Ph.D. in Food Studies from New York University. With the Beard Foundation for 20 years, Davis has created and overseen many of the organization’s important initiatives, including the JBF Greens for “foodies under 40”; the non-profit’s popular five-week pop-up restaurant JBF LTD in Chelsea Market (2011); the annual JBF Food Conference, a national dialogue of thought leaders on sustainability and public health in the food system; and the JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change. In 2013 Davis assembled and led the team that was selected by the U.S. Department of State to create the USA Pavilion at the World Expo Milano 2015, the theme of which is American Food 2.0.
In addition to his work at the Foundation, Davis frequently writes about and reviews restaurants. He holds a chair on the academy of the London-based World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking program. He has written four cookbooks, including The Mensch Chef and Kitchen Sense (both Clarkson Potter), co-authored the ground-breaking electronic book My Provence (Alta Editions) with famed French chef Laurent Gras, which won two 2013 awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, including “Judges Choice,” and is a regular contributor to The Art of Eating. Davis’s television appearances include History Channel’s 101 Fast Foods that Changed the World, Food Network’s Food(ography), Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and Best in Smoke. Davis is host of Taste Matters, a weekly radio show (Wednesdays at 11 a.m.) on the Heritage Radio Network. In 2013 The Forward selected Davis as one of the 50 most influential Jews under 50 in America.
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Kris Moon is the vice president at the James Beard Foundation. During his tenure at the Foundation Moon has been instrumental in launching the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, which was piloted in summer 2012. Under Moon’s leadership, the program teaches established chefs necessary policy and advocacy skills for creating food system change and has educated over 145 chefs to date on effective advocacy. Most recently, Moon is responsible for spearheading the strategic planning which led to the launch of the Foundation’s JBF Impact Programs in April 2016. These new programs engage the culinary community in the ongoing process of creating a sustainable food system that provides nutritious an delicious food for all. Moon has also helped the Foundation to grow its major gifts and foundation funding. Working closely with president Susan Ungaro and executive vice president Mitchell Davis, he transformed JBF’s annual dinner and auction into a full-scale fundraising gala in 2012, making it the Foundation’s most successful event to date which has continued to grow year over year.
Before moving up the ranks to vice president, Moon held several positions at the James Beard Foundation. He first joined the Foundation in 2007 as the director of house operations and house events a position in which he oversaw the daily operations of the historic James Beard House in Greenwich Village and the execution of the Foundation’s house events with featured chefs. After a year working with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, as manager of special events, Moon returned to the Foundation in 2011 to assume the position of director of charitable giving and strategic partnerships overseeing the Foundation’s various fundraising initiatives.
Prior to his promotion to vice president, Moon served as senior director, strategy and development for the Foundation and managed all fundraising initiatives for the Foundation including; sponsorship sales, grants, and major gifts; and continued to craft and develop strategic partnership opportunities to help the Foundation achieve it’s broader strategic goals. He also helped assemble and evolve JBF’s Young Professionals Committee, which was launched in 2012 to help cultivate a younger audience for the Foundation.
Moon has made multiple appearances on WNBC and has been featured in numerous publications on behalf of the Foundation. He also frequently speaks on the Foundation’s work at culinary events and food conferences across America. Moon holds a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Boston University and is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where he was certified as a holistic health counselor through AADP.
Executive Assistant to the President
Director of Development
Senior Director, Food Policy Advocacy
Director of House Programming
Assistant to the Director of House Programming
Diane Harris Brown
Director of Educational and Community Programming
Director of House Events and Membership
Manager of Strategic Partnerships
Impact Programs Associate
Victoria Jordan Rodriguez
Director of House Operations and House Events
Financial Reporting and Compliance Manager
Kimberly Bradley Osorio
Information Systems Manager
Manager of House Marketing and Reservations
Night Kitchen Manager
Day Kitchen Manager
Assistant Day Kitchen Manager
Mark Brownlee, Jean Fenestral, Fatima Gomez, Claudy Israel
Juan Perez, Jose Rosario
Carolyn Cale, Benson Lau, Adam Lenart, Sanel Lukovic, Iris Monegro, Andrew Montes, Mirela Mujovic, Alija Mustajilasic, Sultan Naba, Luis Navas, Joisdan Recio, Rose Rungue, Cameron Wallace
Volunteer Programming Committee
Silvi Forrest, Lee Kowarski, Jourdan Ludwig, Wendi Royal, Moira Sedgwick, Robin Seegal, Judith Nochimson Stein, Jennifer Watson
Volunteer Young Professionals Development Committee
Damira Bowles, Kristen Frank, Julian Mateo, Heath Miller, Sara Pandolfi, Benjamin Robinson, Gary Schueller, David Strauss, Julia Tang, Anthony Thomas
Alison Tozzi Liu
Special Projects Manager
Database and Marketing Coordinator
Stephanie Bourgeois and Yewande Komolafe
Director of Sponsorship and Special Events
Director of Events and Marketing
Celebrity Chef Tour Event Director
Siobhan Flaherty Haber
Director of Greens and Special Events
Manager of Special Projects and Student Program
Awards and Events Associate
Part-Time Special Events and Awards Assistant