James Beard Foundation
Susan Ungaro is president of the James Beard Foundation (JBF), the country's preeminent culinary organization dedicated to celebrating, nurturing, and honoring chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Since becoming president in 2006, Ungaro has increased awareness of the nonprofit through a host of initiatives. Her many accomplishments include increasing national and global awareness of the Foundation, as well as its culinary scholarship program, membership, and thought-leadership initiatives. Ungaro has expanded on the number of educational programs at the historic James Beard House in Greenwich Village; brought the annual James Beard Foundation Awards Gala to prestigious Lincoln Center and to Chicago; and launched the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America national epicurean tour.
Her additional accomplishments include:
Spearheading the annual JBF Food Summit to foster dialogue and action to improve our nation’s food system, and launching the JBF Leadership Awards, which recognize visionaries in business,
government, and education sectors responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world.
Began collaborating with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol in 2012 to develop the “Diplomatic Culinary Partnership,” an initiative to elevate the role of culinary engagement in America’s formal and public diplomacy efforts.
Expanding the reach of and brand recognition of the James Beard Foundation through the organization’s website, social media channels, and the publication of two original cookbooks, The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America’s Outstanding Chefs (Chronicle, 2011), and James Beard’s All-American Eats: Recipes and Stories from Our Best-Loved Local Restaurants (Rizzoli, 2016).
Among her numerous honors, Ungaro was named one of Adweek’s 30 Most Influential People in Food in 2016; to Irish America’s Top 50 Power Women in 2016; in The Daily Meal’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food from 2011-2014; and was the subject of a MPW (Most Powerful Women) profile in Fortune.com. She has also been recognized with Irish America magazine’s Top Business 100 Award; Muriel Fox Communications Award from the NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund, and the Hope Award from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Ungaro serves on the Culinary Council of Food Bank for New York City, the National Advisory Board of C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program), and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Safe and Healthy New York Foods.
Ungaro’s frequent television appearances include Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America, and Dinner Impossible, Bravo’s Top Chef, NBC’s TODAY Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s Early Show, CNN, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe.