Our Governance

Slow Food is governed by a Board of Directors who bring a wealth of international experience to our global movement. They are responsible for setting the strategic vision of the organization, overseeing the budget and driving decision-making in close consultation with the network.

Board of Directors

Edward Mukiibi


Edward Mukiibi is a food and agriculture educator and tropical agronomist with academic distinctions from Makerere University, Uganda, and the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy. He was born into a Ugandan farming family in 1986—the same year the Slow Food movement started—and devoted himself to promoting agroecological farming as an educational tool to address hunger, poverty, malnutrition and social injustice. After taking part in Terra Madre in 2008, Mukiibi played a pivotal role in the development of the Slow Food Gardens project in Uganda. Mukiibi has served on the Slow Food Board of Directors since 2012 and was appointed President of Slow Food in July 2022.

Marta Messa

Secretary General

Born in Italy, Marta has been part of the Slow Food movement since 2010. After coordinating the Gardens in Africa project, Marta opened the Slow Food office in Brussels, Belgium as a springboard for the movement’s advocacy work. Here she liaises with EU institutions on food policy, provides a platform for the Slow Food network and nurtures strategic partnerships with international organizations. Marta was elected Secretary General of Slow Food in July 2022.

Carlo Petrini

The Founder

Carlo Petrini is a journalist, author and advocate for sustainable food systems who served as President of Slow Food from its inception in 1989 until 2022. As well as sowing the seeds for such projects as Terra Madre, Petrini founded the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, the first academic institution to offer an interdisciplinary approach to food studies.

Petrini’s legacy has earned him widespread international acclaim. Time Magazine featured the Slow Food founder among its “European Heroes” while The Guardian included him among the “50 People Who Could Save the World”. Carlo Petrini still travels the world: meeting members of the Slow Food network, educating students about the importance of food sustainability, and advocating EU and UN institutions for biodiversity and sustainable food systems.

Dali Nolasco Cruz

Member of the Board of Directors

Dali is an Indigenous Nahua woman from Tlaola, Mexico, who has made the empowerment of Indigenous populations, territories and cultures through education and advocacy her life’s work. Since 2017, Dali has served as the coordinator of the Slow Food Indigenous Peoples’ Network for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Jorrit Kievik

Member of the Board of Directors

Born and raised on a small-scale dairy farm in the Netherlands, Jorrit joined the Slow Food Youth network in 2016. Holding degrees in Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Communication, Health & Life Sciences, Jorrit channeled his expertise into founding the Slow Food Youth Network global office in 2017. Jorrit now dedicates his time to the network’s global development.

Richard McCarthy

Member of the Board of Directors

Born in Germany and raised in the US, Richard served as Executive Director of Slow Food USA for 24 years and has sat on the Board of Directors of Slow Food International since 2013. He has co-founded farmers’ market coalitions around the world and co-authored a book on urban-rural reconnections.

Francesco Sottile

Member of the Board of Directors

Francesco is Professor of Biodiversity and Quality in Food Systems at the University of Palermo, visiting scientist at Cornell University and author of over 100 scientific publications. He sits on the committee of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the EU Biodiversity Platform and acts as scientific advisor for Slow Food. He has supported Slow Food in its work on food biodiversity since the inception of the movement.

Megumi Watanabe

Member of the Board of Directors

Megumi has been a member of Slow Food since her university years, founding the Slow Food Youth Network in Japan as a student and serving as president of Slow Food Nippon since 2019. Building on her background in agriculture, hospitality and tourism, she advocates for farmers’ rights and youth empowerment in four languages: Japanese, Korean, English and Italian.

Nina Wolff

Member of the Board of Directors

Born in Germany, Nina leverages her expertise in European and International Environmental Law as a project manager and consultant for NGOs including the Environmental Research Center in Leipzig and the US Pew Charitable Trusts. She became Chairwoman of Slow Food Germany in 2019 and specializes in marine biodiversity, food policy and human rights.

International Council

The International Council carries out a political and strategic role for the Foundation on an international level and represents a cohesive body and reference point for the interaction between the Board of Directors and the various expressions of Slow Food on a territorial and thematic level.


The Council reflects the highly international nature of the organization, with 32 Slow Food leaders coming from 26 countries, representing all five continents.


John Kariuki Mwangi

Eastern Africa

John has coordinated Slow Food Kenya since 2010, overseeing the development and implementation of a range of educational and advocacy-related projects. A champion of regional integration, he has played a significant role in the development of Slow Food East Africa.

Manvester Ackson Khoza

Southern Africa

Manvester is an agripreneur who specializes in eco-friendly food crops that rejuvenate degraded land. He is the country coordinator for Slow Food Malawi, which has seeded more than 200 vegetable gardens since its establishment in 2011, and is embarked upon similar projects in Zambia.

Jean Marie Koalga

Western Africa

Jean Marie has been coordinating the Slow Food Burkina Faso network since 2016, focusing on the development of community and school gardens. He was appointed international councilor in 2017, and has implemented biodiversity-related educational projects in more than 20 countries in West Africa and beyond.

Asia Oceania

Vince Velletri

Australia and Oceania

Vince runs a catering company in Western Australia which sources local seasonal ingredients from small producers. He has sat on the Board of the Slow Food Perth Convivium and helped establish the Swan Valley and Eastern Regions Convivium. Vince also plays a prominent role promoting Ark of Taste products and showcasing Indigenous food at Terra Madre.

Vittorio Sun


Vittorio Sun promotes the preservation of traditional cuisine and local producers in his native Shanghai and Eastern China. He founded Slow Food Greater China in 2015 and was elected to the Slow Food International Board in 2017.

Ramon Uy Jr

South East Asia

Ramon Uy is an organic entrepreneur and restauranteur who co-founded Slow Food Negros Island in 2012. He acts as advisor to IFOAM Asia, board director of Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Program Philippines and President of the Eco-Agri Foundation.

Minsoo Kim

South Korea

Minsoo Kim is a producer of the Jeju green soybean Jang, the first Slow Food Presidium in Korea and an Ark of Taste product, and a Slow Food International Councillor since 2017. He played a key role in establishing the Slow Food Jeju Convivium in 2013, the year he became a board member for Slow Food Korea.


Nikolce Nikolovski


Nikolce champions local biodiversity in the Balkan countries. As a founder of Slow Food Macedonia, he fosters connections between farmers and consumers. Nikolce actively preserves local food traditions, emphasizing Ark of Taste products and supporting the growth of Slow Food Convivia in the region. He has served as a Slow Food Councillor since 2015.

Lea Leimann


Lea is a German pastry chef and eco-anthropologist with an MSc in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources. A board member of Slow Food Germany, she works with the CSCP think tank to promote sustainable consumption and production practices and is part of the core group on education.

Klaus Flesch


Klaus joined the Slow Food movement in 1992, cultivating an interest rooted in his rural background in a small wine growing village. Long active in his local Convivium of Freiburg, he has sat on the board of Slow Food Germany since 2014.

Barbara Nappini


Barbara began her career in Florence, in international fashion, before moving to the Tuscan countryside to pursue her passion for agriculture. She joined Slow Food in 2012, rising through the ranks to become Tuscany’s territorial and regional delegate and national councilor. Barbara currently serves as President of Slow Food Italy.

Maria Vittoria Borghetto


Born into a family of organic bakers, Maria was raised with the good, clean and fair ethos that defines Slow Food. She founded the Slow Food Youth Network in her hometown of Rovigo and is the youngest member of her regional Slow Food Executive Committee. Maria also has advocacy experience in Brussels as part of the Policy team of IFOAM Organics Europe.

Tiziana Favi


Tiziana is a long-standing member of the Slow Food Cooks Alliance and the owner of Namo Ristobottega, a small central Italian restaurant infused with Slow Food values. She is committed to bringing her patrons traditional local products while implementing sustainable practices and cutting down on waste.

Jannie Vestergaard

Nordic Countries

Jannie is the chair of Slow Food in the Nordic countries and vice-chair of Slow Food Denmark. An expert in food systems and food policy centered on building localized innovative ecosystems, Jannie brings more than 25 years of experience to our network across all three areas of action.

Ivan Yakushkin


Ivan Yakushkin spearheads Slow Food efforts to preserve Russia’s culinary heritage. He co-founded Slow Food Siberia in 2014, advocating for local producers and Ark of Taste products. Since 2018, Ivan has been instrumental in promoting biodiversity and sustainable gastronomy in the region.

Chuma Sahún


Chuma is a champion of protecting livestock breeds and local biodiversity in his native Spain, winning the European Environmental Award for his work in 2012. As leader of the Melón de Torres de Berrellén Food Community, he is passionate about promoting schools gardens and sensory workshops, and educating people about the benefits of local food production.

Toya Bezzola


Toya is based in Zurich Switzerland, where she manages the Food for Change project, which empowers organizations in food system transformation and storytelling. She creates gastronomic experiences and pop-ups as part of her passion for food education and culinary tourism.

Nelleke Don

The Netherlands

Nelleke joined Slow Food in 2014, serving as secretary to the Ark of Taste Committee and leader of Slow Food Rotterdam. Since 2016 she has chaired the Slow Food Netherlands national association, drawing on her depth of professional experience working with the Dutch government and as a private consultant.

Yulia Pitienko


Yulia coordinates the Slow Food network in her native Ukraine as well as Poland, Moldova and Baltic countries. She is the leader of Slow Food in Ukraine, CEO of Kyiv’s Integral health centers and has served on the International Council since 2015.

Latin America and Caribbean

Esteban Tapia

Andean Area

Esteban is a Professor of Gastronomy at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, and author on food culture, sovereignty and heritage. He is a member of the National Agroecological Collective and territorial development project leader in the Andean region.

Glenn Makuta

Brasil and Southern Cone

Glenn is a Brazilian biologist with a background in the impact on human activity on animal behavior. His interest in food biodiversity and agroecology led him to join Slow Food in 2009, and he now coordinates the National Association of Slow Food Brazil and represents Slow Food in national collectives of civil society organizations and human right movements.

Leidy Casimiro Rodríguez


Leidy Casimiro-Rodríguez is Professor of Agroecology at the University of Sancti Spíritus, Cuba. A prolific author on subjects ranging from agro-energy transition and the empowerment of rural women, her professional achievements include providing consultancy for FAO and serving on boards and committees of several agroecology congresses in Latin America.

Arturo Elías García González

Mexico and Central America

Arturo Elías is a Master Vainillero in Chinantla, Oaxaca, a Mexican region where vanilla is an indigenous crop and Slow Food Presidium. Since 2012 Arturo Elias has served as Coordinator of the Chinantla Vanilla Presidium, which unites 15 families of small-scale producers.

North America

Bobby Grégoire


Bobby is a Canadian consultant chef and food educator whose work centers on the transition toward a more sustainable food system for all. Since joining Slow Food in 2008, he has led Slow Food Montreal and co-chaired Slow Food Canada. Bobby has played a prominent role in promoting Slow Food Cook’s Alliance, Slow Fish and Slow Cheese campaigns.

Bilal Sarwari


Bilal is a proud first-generation child of Afghan refugees whose professional expertise lies in group facilitation, agriculture and mental health. He joined Slow Food in 2008 and has since served the movement in several roles, most recently as Governance Chair for Slow Food USA.

Thematic Networks

Stephany Escamilla Femat

Slow Food Coffee Coalition

Stephany comes from a family of coffee growers who have worked in certified organic production and fair trade for more than 20 years. She is President of Café Cooperativo Mexico, an active member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and a founding member of the Bosque, Niebla y Café Xalapa Slow Food Community.

Arianna Labasin

Slow Food Youth Network

Arianna joined the Slow Food Youth Network in 2018 and is now a member of its steering committee. Born in Italy but working in Brussels, her focus lies in environmental policies, climate change and sustainability, particularly in relation to food and gastronomy.

Dai Kitabayashi

Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network

Dai is a member of the Loochoo (Ryukyu) Indigenous people from Okinawa, Japan, who has committed his career to defending Indigenous rights and safeguarding food biodiversity and sovereignty. He has served as an advisory board member for the Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network since 2018 and sits on the board of Slow Food Nippon.

Tunda Lepore

Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network

Tunda Lepore is a member of the Maasain advocating for Indigenous rights and sovereignty and the preservation of cultural practices. She is passionate about empowerment through education and nutrition as part of the Ngong Road Children Association and works with Slow Food to conserve the endangered red Maasai sheep.

Biodiversity Pillar

Melissa De Billot


Melissa is a construction specialist in energy-efficient design who has been a member of the Slow Food Johannesburg Convivium since 2014. She has coordinated the Slow Food Rainbow Maize Presidium of South Africa, organized such Convivia events as the Soweto Eat-In and continues to cultivate South African Ark of Taste products.

Jerônimo Villas-Boas


Jerônimo is an ecologist and biodiversity expert with more than 15 years of experience with Brazilian socio-environmental organizations. He served as General Secretary of Slow Food Brazil and was a member of the Brazilian Ark of Taste commission. He is also the co-founder of Reenvolver, a company which strengthens value chains of socio-biodiversity products.

Advocacy Pillar

Shane Holland


Shane Holland is the Executive Chair of Slow Food UK. His work encompasses food and health, access to food, GMOs, and food and climate change. In 2021, Shane was part of the COP26 delegation, leading on the Slow Food Climate Action initiative.

Board of Auditors

The Board of Auditors is made up of three permanent members and two substitutes—or alternatively one permanent member and one substitute—and elects its own Chair.

It will oversee the administration of the Foundation and the observance of the law, the Statute and internal regulations and ensure that the principles of sound administration are being respected, including with reference to the measures of Italian Legislative Decree no. 231 of June 8, 2001, where applicable, as well as the appropriateness of the organizational, administrative and accounting structure and its effective functioning.

  • Vladimiro Rambaldi
  • Emanuele Di Caro
  • Roberto Conte
  • Paola Vola


Board of Arbitrators

The Board of Arbitrators is made up of five members, chosen from among those with experience in the Foundation’s areas of activity and distinguished by their authority and moral calibre.

It carries out the following tasks:
a. Monitoring the compliance of Participants and the members of the Foundation’s bodies with the Statute, the Foundation’s regulations and more generally the norms
of good conduct as dictated by the law and common sense.
b. Examining reports of acts and behavior by the aforementioned subjects that could represent a violation of the norms of conduct referred to in the previous point.
c. At the end of each proceeding, submitting to the Board of Directors the documents relating to said proceeding with the conclusions of the Board, including any proposed disciplinary measures.

  • Madelaine Vázquez Gálvez
  • Amorelle Dempster
  • Dessislava Dimitrova
  • Leopoldo Rieser
  • Samson Ngugi

Participants’ Assembly

Held every four years, the Participants’ Assembly nominates members within the Board of Directors and puts forward advisory opinions and proposals on Slow Food’s activities, plans and objectives.

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