Renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés is partnering with Washington D.C.'s George Washington University to find solutions to major problems in the global food system.

Announced Tuesday, the Global Food Institute will fund research addressing issues of food insecurity, health, and climate change.

In a release, Andrés said the food system is “experiencing a crisis,” but noted food has the power to “rebuild lives and communities, heal both people and the planet and create hope for the future.”

“The Global Food Institute will reshape how we think about food, break down barriers across industries, politics, and nations, and inspire and empower the next generation to develop systemic solutions that reshape the food system,” Andrés added.

Andrés has earned acclaim through his efforts with World Center Kitchen — a nonprofit he founded that provides meals to those affected by humanitarian crises and natural disasters. He also owns several restaurants throughout the country, with many located in Washington, D.C. In 2022, he was a featured speaker at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, where he spoke about his goals for changes to the global food system.

The new institute will focus on three areas — policy, innovation, and humanities. Scholars from every school and college at George Washington University will contribute.

In a release, GW President Mark Wrighton said the university was “thrilled” to launch the new institute, which “will create new knowledge and shape national and international progress on food system issues.”

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The Global Food Institute is funded by Andrés along with other donors. The executive director of the institute will be supported by a $5 million endowment sponsored by Nelson Carbonell, Jr. the chair emeritus of GW’s board of trustees, and his wife Michelle. The Rockefeller Foundation also plans to support the institute.

George Washington University Provost Christopher Bracey said in an email that the Global Food Institute will provide resources for students and faculty to turn ideas into businesses and social enterprises.

“GW believes that the solution to most important world issues requires a unique interdisciplinary approach, and the Global Food Institute will convene thought leadership on these issues and will seek to provide GW students with the knowledge and tools to leverage the power of food in service of this mission,” said Bracey.

Bracey notes GW hopes to include producers at the table when researching food system solutions.

“GW looks forward to exploring ways to engage food system stakeholders, including farmers, ranchers and others engaged in production agriculture,” said Bracey.

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