The James Beard Foundation’s Leadership Awards spotlight the important and complex realms of sustainability, food justice, and public health. They raise awareness of these timely issues by celebrating the visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more equitable, and sustainable food system.

The Leadership Awards recognize specific outstanding initiatives as well as bodies of work and lifetime achievement. The excellence of work, innovation in approach, and scale of impact within a community or the nation are among the criteria used to select the recipients. Honorees are chosen by a volunteer committee of experts and the cohort of past Leadership Award recipients. The Foundation will award 2020 honorees a $10,000 cash prize to each honoree.

Watch this video to learn more about the JBF Leadership Awards.

Enter a recommendation for the Leadership Awards here.

See a complete list of James Beard Foundation's Leadership Award recipients


2020 Leadership Award Honorees

Phillip and Dorathy E. Barker
Co-Founders, Operation Spring Plant, Inc. (OSP)

Rosalinda Guillen
Executive Director, Community to Community Development (C2C)

Abiodun Henderson
Executive Director, The Come Up Project featuring Gangstas to Growers

Mark and Kerry Marhefka
Owners, Abundant Seafood

Caleb Zigas
Executive Director, La Cocina


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The Leadership Awards are Presented