As the founder and executive director of the 30 Project, an organization which focuses on new ways to view - and change - the food system, Ellen Gustafson has witnessed an increase in those suffering from hunger, while simultaneously, obesity rates have skyrocketed. 30 Project seeks to remedy major problems with the world's food systems over the next 30 years by bringing together key organizations and activists to build a healthier, more sustainable global food system.
In 2007, Gustafson co-founded FEED Projects, a company that seeks to help feed the world through monetary donations made from the sales of bags, T-shirts and accessories. For every item sold, a portion of the profit is given to the United Nations World Food Program. Since its inception, FEED Projects have provided more than 65 million school meals to children throughout the world.
Prior to her work with FEED, Gustafson was a spokesperson for the UN World Food Program. She also spent time in the ABC News Investigative Unit as a terrorism research reporter, and she worked at the Council on Foreign Relations as a research associate for Military Fellows.
Gustafson earned her B.A. in international politics from Columbia University and is currently working toward her M.A. in food studies at New York University.
Her work has been featured on CNN, CBS Evening News, Fortune magazine, which named her one of 2009's most powerful women entrepreneurs, and Inc magazine, which included her in their 2010 list of America's 30 "coolest" entrepreneurs under the age of 30. She has spoken at numerous conferences and events including the "Fortune Most Powerful Women's Conference," and numerous universities.