US: Senior policy staff member to take helm as Policy Director for NSAC

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) announced the appointment of Greg Fogel as the Coalition’s next Policy Director, effective January 3, 2017. Together with Jeremy Emmi, NSAC’s Managing Director since 2013, Fogel will help lead the organization into the future.

Fogel, who currently serves as Senior Policy Specialist and Federal Budget and Appropriations Coordinator, was chosen from a field of over 50 candidates following a year long search process. He has led NSAC’s work on farm conservation, energy, and environmental policy since 2010, and on budget and appropriations issues since 2012. Previously, Fogel has worked for the Northeast-Midwest Institute, the Community Food Security Coalition, the Shanghai Organic Agriculture Company, and the Coalition for a Healthy California. He has a Master of Science degree and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in International Development from the University of California-Berkeley.

Current NSAC Policy Director Ferd Hoefner, who has served as NSAC’s senior Washington representative since the organization began in 1988 and has worked to reform federal food and agricultural policy since 1977 – will take on a new, full-time role with NSAC as Senior Strategic Advisor.

“I am excited that Greg will be taking over the policy reins for NSAC,” said Hoefner. “He has a strong knowledge base, ample advocacy experience, and far-reaching understanding of NSAC members. I congratulate Greg and applaud the NSAC transition team for its focused and dedicated work throughout the selection and hiring process. After nearly 30 years with NSAC and 40 years in the federal food and agriculture policy business, I decided to initiate this transition a year and a half ago. I very much look forward to moving into the new Senior Strategic Advisor role here at NSAC starting next year.”

Teresa Opheim, who currently works with the NSAC member groups Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) and Renewing the Countryside and was a former PFI Executive Director and NSAC Executive Director, chaired the transition team. Representatives of NSAC member organizations from California, Kansas, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin joined her in conducting the search and overseeing the transition process.

“This transition is a positive step forward for the sustainable agriculture policy movement as we work to broaden our senior leadership. Kudos to Ferd for working with us to ensure this leadership transition takes place in a thoughtful way. Now, as we approach our thirtieth anniversary year, is a good time to progress through this planned transition. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has never been stronger -- NSAC’s membership now stands at 117 groups, and the entire staff and finances are very strong.”

NSAC’s member groups advance common positions to support small and mid-size family farms, protect natural resources, promote healthy rural communities, and ensure access to healthy, nutritious foods by everyone. The Policy Director leads the Coalition’s efforts to gather farmer input, develop consensus policies, and provide direct advocacy to further those objectives. The Policy Director also works closely with the NSAC grassroots team to strengthen the capacity of NSAC member groups, strengthen the broader sustainable agriculture movement, and promote citizen engagement in the policy process.

“I am deeply honored to serve as NSAC’s next Policy Director,” said Fogel. “There is no organization that I would rather work for. The mission and values that drive NSAC’s work are the same ones that motivated me to enter the policy world in the first place. Our staff is second-to-none in D.C., and I greatly look forward to taking on this new role with them and moving NSAC forward. I look forward to working with Ferd in his new capacity as Senior Strategic Advisor, and to leading the policy team as we forge relationships with the new Administration and prepare for the 2018 Farm Bill.”

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