Awards Code of Ethics

The James Beard Foundation, its Awards committee, and members of the subcommittees have established a code of ethics that is applicable to all Entrants, Semifinalists, Nominees, and Winners, as well as its voting body.

As a condition of winning a James Beard Foundation Award, all Entrants, Semifinalists, Nominees, and Winners agree that they have acted and will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the Code of Ethics and the values of the James Beard Foundation and its Awards Program.   

The following is a non-exhaustive list of behaviors and practices that are antithetical to the values of the James Beard Foundation and its Awards program:   

  • Inhumane, exploitative, or unlawful workplace practices;
  • Sexism, racism, harassment, or similar behavior, including but not limited to:  
    • Threats of violence, including bullying;
    • Discriminatory or racist jokes and language; 
    • Sharing of sexually explicit or violent material;
    • Use of abusive language; and
    • Inappropriate sexual attention;
  • Misrepresentation of material facts, including fabrication, plagiarism, or false claims of ownership;
  • Retaliation against workers who raise legitimate concerns; and
  • Stealing of wages or tips.
  • Additionally, all individuals must comply with all applicable federal and local laws, including those regarding fraud, bribery, corruption, assault, and child labor.

A credible allegation of violating the Code of Ethics may disqualify an Entrant, Semifinalist, or Nominee from consideration for a JBF Award or result in a Semifinalist, Nominee, or Winner being prohibited from using the James Beard Awards association, including its seal, logo, or image.

At this time, the Foundation does not intend to rescind Awards that have been issued. Award recipients have already received their accolades and benefits associated with these Awards.

The James Beard Foundation does not affiliate with any partisan and/or religious groups, activities, and/or ideologies. Partisan and/or religious views of participants in any of our programs, including the James Beard Awards, do not reflect the views of the James Beard Foundation.


Independent Ethics Committee 

As announced in September 2021, the Governance Committee of the JBF Board of Trustees followed through on the Audit Recommendations and established an Ethics Committee to review independently any allegations involving a potential breach of the Code of Ethics by a 2022 James Beard Award Entrant, Semifinalist, Nominee or Winner.

The Ethics Committee will report to the Governance Committee and will review any allegations independently from the Awards Committee, subcommittee members, and the Foundation’s staff, including its Awards team. 

How to Submit a Report
To report allegations involving a potential breach of the Code of Ethics by a 2022 James Beard Award Entrant, Semifinalist, Nominee, or Winner, please click here.
Ethics Committee
  • Chair, Aaron Tidman, Senior Counsel and Regional Compliance Lead, Pinterest
  • Vice Chair, Michael McCray, Attorney; Founder, Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival
  • Vice Chair, Susan Ringler, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, International Rescue Committee 
  • Luna Droubi, Partner, Beldock, Levine & Hoffman
  • Ruth Faden, Founder and Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University
  • Jim Mintz, Founder, Mintz Group