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2017 Keynote Speakers

Kurt Dammeier

A fourth generation Puget Sound native, Kurt Beecher Dammeier joined the food community in 1999 by forming Sugar Mountain, a family of food businesses including Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle and New York City, and South Lake Union steakhouse The Butcher’s Table. In 2006, Kurt launched Beecher’s Pure Food Kids Foundation, funded by the ongoing donation of 1% of all sales from Sugar Mountain companies. The Foundation operates the Pure Food Kids Workshop, which over the past decade has empowered 100,000 4th and 5th-grade students in the Puget Sound area and New York City to make healthy food choices for life. Kurt is launching a series of food system change initiatives focusing on adult education, labeling transparency, and a new vision for school food.

Dr. James C. Scott

James Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is co-Director of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. His publications include The Moral Economy of the Peasant, Yale University Press, 1976, Domination and the Arts of Resistance, Yale Press, 1985, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance, Yale Press 1980, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Yale Press, 1998; The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, Yale University Press, 2008, and Two Cheers for Anarchism, Princeton University Press, 2013 and Against the Grain: Plants, Animals, Microbes, Captives, Barbarians and a New Story of Civilization, (Forthcoming, Yale Press 2017). He is a mediocre sheep breeder and bee-keeper in Connecticut.

June Jo Lee

June Jo Lee is a Food Ethnographer working to accelerate higher quality food experiences by applying the design philosophy of  “foodcare” — care for those we feed, and those feeding us. She is the Food Ethnographer for Google Food and UMass Dining, providing user insights, multi-stakeholder design and strategic visioning. She is also co-founder of Readers to Eaters, an independent children’s book publisher, and co-author of Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix (2017).

Previously, she was VP Strategic Insights at The Hartman Group, leading qualitative research projects for Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Target, Starbucks’ Evolution Fresh, Dairy Management Inc, Kraft, Nestle, Hershey, Heinz, General Mills, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo. 

She studied anthropology at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and started her career in food as a produce team member at the original Whole Foods Market in Austin TX.

Dr. David Killilea

David Killilea is a Staff Scientist in the Nutrition & Metabolism Center at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) and Specialist at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). David is a nutritional biochemist with a particular interest in the mineral micronutrients needed for good health. Funding for David’s research has come from the National Institute of Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and HarvestPlus. David has worked with Community Grains in Oakland, CA on re-establishing a local grain economy and has been interviewed in Cook’s Science, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times on the nutritional density of whole grains.