James Beard Foundation names Clare Reichenbach CEO

James Beard Foundation names Clare Reichenbach CEO

Business development expert to replace Susan Ungaro

The James Beard Foundation has named Clare Reichenbach CEO, effective Feb. 20, the organization said Monday.

She replaces Susan Ungaro, who stepped down as president of the foundation after 11 years, at the end of 2017. A Beard Foundation spokeswoman said the board had adopted the title of CEO for Reichenbach instead of president because it was more in line with current industry standards.

As CEO, Reichenbach will oversee the James Beard Foundation Awards; the JBF Women’s Leadership Programs; the James Beard House dinners at the headquarters in New York City and events around the country; the Foundation’s scholarship programs; and the JBF Impact Programs, which include the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change, the JBF Food Summit and the JBF Leadership Awards.

Reichenbach most recently headed her own firm, CJJR Consulting, whose clients included New York Public Radio, NBC Universal and Samsung. She has also held executive roles at AMC Networks and BBC Worldwide. She received a bachelor’s degree from Oxford University and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

In a joint statement, Frederic M. Seegal, chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, and Emily Luchetti, chair emeritus, said the search committee was unanimous in its decision to appoint Reichenbach.

“The decision was made with input from a wide range of internal and external stakeholders on who would be the right person to expand the impact and operational strength of the Foundation on a global level,” they said.

“In her previous positions, Clare has demonstrated the leadership and strategic vision to oversee the continuing evolution of the Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate, nurture and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone,” they added.

During Ungaro’s tenure, the foundation moved to take on the role of a thought leader in the culinary world with the implementation of its Impact Programs and a renewed focus on its scholarships. To help give the foundation a national scope, Ungaro moved the James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards to Chicago, where they are slated to remain at least through 2021.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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