New Leader Welcomed

09 Jan 2013

Slow Food USA has announced that Richard McCarthy will join the organization as Executive Director. McCarthy has been a Slow Food USA member since 2001 and brings 17 years of executive leadership experience in the non-profit sector. He will begin on January 22, 2013.

“Richard’s deep understanding of both food producers and consumers and his proven success in creating more joy and justice in communities around the US and the world is a perfect fit for Slow Food,” said Katherine Deumling, Board Chair of Slow Food USA. “I am thrilled that he’s joining our team and excited to see where his creativity and passion take Slow Food USA in this next chapter.”
“I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead the organization that has inspired me for so many years to grow community through purposeful food programs,” said Richard McCarthy. “In that sweet spot of tradition meeting innovation, Slow Food USA provides us all with the promise of a future where producers and consumers join hands for good, clean and fair food for all.”

McCarthy is currently the Executive Director of Market Umbrella (, an internationally recognized non-profit mentor organization for markets, community building and sustainable economic development. Since he founded the organization in 1995, it has steadily grown and now serves 1,250 markets around the world. At the core of Market Umbrella is the Crescent City Farmers Market he co-founded in New Orleans. Under his leadership, it became one of the first farmers markets in the Deep South to accept public assistance benefit cards, resulting in a 400% increase in the use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) at the market.

“I am most delighted Richard will serve Slow Food USA as executive director,” said Carlo Petrini, founder and president of Slow Food International. “He possesses a deep commitment to protecting our universal right to food and pleasure and is a proven advocate for the people who grow and prepare our food. The United States has a tremendous role – and responsibility – to play in leading the fight for good, clean and fair food, and we must continue to build momentum to realize the world we believe in.”

“Richard McCarthy is nationally known and respected for his pragmatic, data-based and highly successful approach to making good food available to all through his work in farmers markets,” said Ricardo Salvador, Director and Senior Scientist of Food and the Environment at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a member of the Slow Food USA committee that led the executive search. “His skills as a patient, visionary organizer and respectful leader will serve Slow Food USA well.”
McCarthy earned his master’s degree at the London School of Economics and is a graduate of The American University of London.

Read an interview with McCarthy in the New York Times

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