Meet our Special Guests

Presidents United to Solve Hunger is proud to introduce our special guests for the 2021 PUSH Virtual Leaders Forum.

Janet Napolitano is a professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She served as the 20th president of the University of California, the nation’s largest public research university with 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program. Prior to joining the University of California, Napolitano served as secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013. She is a former two-term governor of Arizona, a former attorney general of Arizona, and a former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. In 2019, Napolitano published “How Safe Are We? Homeland Security Since 9/11.” Napolitano earned her B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in political science from Santa Clara University and her J.D. from the University of Virginia. She is based in Berkeley, California.

Rachel Sumekh is the founder and CEO of Swipe Out Hunger — a leading nonprofit addressing hunger among college students. Swipe Out Hunger implements and supports commonsense and innovative solutions to campus hunger, including its flagship program, “The Swipe Drive,” where students with extra dining meal swipes can donate to their peers. Swipe Out Hunger works closely with each campus to design and develop anti-hunger programs tailored to the unique needs of each community. Its national movement spans more than 130 colleges and has served 2 million nutritious meals to date. Additionally, Swipe Out Hunger advocates for legislation on a state and federal level to end student hunger and trains students to become basic needs champions through their own advocacy efforts. Sumekh will be joined by members of the Swipe Out Hunger team.

Makenzie Barr is a registered dietitian and assistant professor in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at the University of Kentucky. She additionally serves as the director for the undergraduate certificate in food systems and hunger studies while also teaching two certificate courses. Barr is a member of the NC1193 Multistate Research Group, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Society for Nutrition and The Obesity Society. She received her bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from West Virginia University in human nutrition and qualifications to become a registered dietitian from the University of Arizona. She completed post-doctoral training in West Virginia and has a strong publication record in the area of community-based nutrition. Barr is PI on a pilot grant to examine the impact of a free meal relief program during COVID-19.

Nick Chisholm is senior lecturer in international development in the Department of Food Business and Development, University College Cork (UCC) Ireland, and director of UCC’s Centre for Global Development. Chisholm has 40 years of international development experience, with a particular focus on food security programs, anti-poverty programs and sustainable natural resource management. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in geography, MSc in agricultural economics and Ph.D. in environmental policy. In the earlier stages of his career, Chisholm worked as a development practitioner on rural development programs in Bangladesh. He later worked for the Irish government managing an integrated rural development program in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. He has been a permanent staff member at UCC since 1998, and in the last 15 years developed three innovative degree programs aimed at building international development and food security teaching and research capability at UCC. Chisholm has been involved in recent research focused on agriculture-nutrition linkages, particularly in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Malawi. He has been instrumental in driving UCC’s growing focus on food security and encouraging UCC’s president to sign the PUSH Commitment in 2018. UCC is the only Irish university to do so to date.

Amy Carrington, USM’s internship coordinator and food studies program specialist, develops academic to career pathways for students, manages relationships with food system employers and develops collaborative projects and research agendas with community-based partners. Additionally, Carrington serves on the Maine Hunger Dialogue planning committee, the Maine Food Strategy steering committee and the Board of Directors of the Cumberland County Food Security Council. She is an advocate and community organizer. She has extensive experience supporting new American farmers and believes in the value of intercultural knowledge. Carrington has connected local farmers and low-income consumers in mutually beneficial relationships, allowing customers using federal nutrition benefit programs to purchase locally grown farm products. She believes the purchasing power of low-income families can be used to support the success of our local farms.

Barron Segar is the president and CEO of WFP USA. Segar brings more than 20 years of experience in growing philanthropic and cause-marketing platforms. Prior to WFP USA, he served as the executive vice president and chief development officer at UNICEF USA where his responsibilities included serving as an executive management team member with organization-wide responsibility and decision-making authority for strategy and budget operation. Segar also led the development division teams’ strategic direction for $500 million in annual revenue. Prior to UNICEF USA, Segar served as the director of development for Georgia Public Broadcasting, where he and his team were nationally recognized for a record-breaking fundraising performance. Segar also has experience in the private sector working in financial services.

Susan Hubbard is professor and dean of the College of Human Sciences and executive director for the Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University. Prior to taking leadership of the Hunger Solutions Institute, Hubbard was instrumental in building the End Child Hunger in Alabama task force, a multi-sector collaboration that works to end childhood hunger in the state and the Institute’s first outreach initiative. Hubbard is a recognized leader in research, teaching and outreach initiatives in the College of Human Sciences. An Auburn alumna, Hubbard earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Education and her doctorate in vocational and adult education with an emphasis in higher education administration.