2016 Recipients

Our 2016 Leadership Award recipients were honored at a ceremony hosted by JBF Award winner Hugh Acheson at Hearst Tower on October 17, 2016. Watch their acceptance speeches below. 

To learn more about the JBF Impact Programs and our committment to establishing a more sustainable food system, sign up for the JBF Impact newsletter


Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez, Co-founders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

For their innovative work in forging a new human rights model in the food industry supply chain.



John Boyd, Jr., Founder and President of the National Black Farmers Association

For his leadership in the fight for African-American farmers’ civil rights.



Anna Lappé, Founder of the Small Planet Institute and Founder/Director of Real Food Media

For her work as an author, educator, and sustainable food advocate.



Jim McGovern, Congressman, Massachusetts

For his leadership as an advocate in the fight against hunger.



Raj Patel, Author, Activist and Academic

For his scholarship and advocacy work to change the inequalities in our world’s food system.


Read the full press release here

See our past Leadership Award recipients.


Other Impact Programs



The JBF Leadership Awards spotlight the important and complex realms of sustainability, food access, and public health. We hope to raise awareness of these timely issues by celebrating the visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world.

The Leadership Awards recognize specific outstanding initiatives as well as bodies of work and lifetime achievement. Excellence of work, innovation in approach, and scale of impact within a community or the nation were among the criteria used to select this year’s winners. Honorees are chosen by a cohort of past Leadership Award recipients.

Watch this video to learn more about the JBF Leadership Awards. See the James Beard Foundation's past Leadership Award recipients. 


Related Events

The 2015 JBF Food Conference

The JBF Leadership Awards are part of the annual JBF Food Conference. Each year our five Leadership Award recipients participate in panels and presentations at the conference. 

Learn more at jbffoodconference.org and sign up for our mailing list to receive updates.