Skip navigation
The Power List
kristen lee charlson Joy Asico

The Power List 2019: Kristen Lee-Charlson

Supporting women in food

The annual NRN Power List is the definitive list of people setting foodservice trends today and shaping them for tomorrow. See the full list >>

Kristen Lee-Charlson, executive director, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs

The tsunami of sexual harassment scandals that engulfed several of the nation’s leading chefs and restaurateurs has also created a need for leadership that will steer the industry in a new direction.

Among those in a prime position to help redefine the nation’s culinary landscape through new female leadership is Kristen Lee-Charlson, executive director of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs. The Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit describes itself as a resource for women seeking to advance culinary education and gain recognition in the food and beverage industry.

“I really believe we have an opportunity in this moment and we need to keep seeking out positive ways that we can support each other,” Lee-Charlson said in a recent blog post on “That’s what we’re trying to do with our organization. How do we become a place to convene these conversations and resources for women? We should join hands, link arms and take the path forward to help bring about change.”

2018 marked the 25th anniversary of the WCR National Conference, where the organization launched a new mentorship program for women in the industry, backed by the GrubHub RestauantHER campaign. The pilot program is seen as a model that could be rolled out across the country.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.