James Beard Foundation names new CEO

New James Beard Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach
After a nationwide search, the James Beard Foundation’s board of trustees has selected Clare Reichenbach as its new leader. The national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization which celebrates and nurtures America’s food culture was looking to replace Susan Ungaro, who stepped down at the end of 2017 after 11 years at the position.

Reichenbach, who will be the organization’s CEO (a new title, replacing the title of president), comes from a non-culinary background. Previously, she had served as executive vice president of Strategy and Business Development at BBC Worldwide and AMC Networks, as well as founder of a consulting business with clients that included New York Public Radio and NBC Universal.

In a joint statement from the foundation’s chairman of the board of trustees and the chairwoman emeritus, it was underlined that Reichenbach’s selection was unanimous and that she would be “the right person to expand the impact and operational strength of the Foundation on a global level.”

Reichenbach will look to continue developing such important programs as the James Beard Foundation Awards (which names an Outstanding Baker and Outstanding Pastry Chef among its many awards), educational initiatives, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought leader convening.

“It’ll be a privilege to explore new ways for the Foundation to be at the forefront of the culinary conversation, advocate for its wide-reaching initiatives, and provide support to this unique community of change agents,” says Reichenbach. “I am greatly looking forward to working with the Foundation’s dedicated staff in strengthening its role as an indispensable organization for culinary leaders around the world.”