Center for Regional Food Systems
Director, Fresh Taste
Karen Lehman directs Fresh Taste, a funder initiative dedicated to relocalizing the food system in the Chicago foodshed and improving equity of access to good food. Karen’s food system work spans three decades, beginning with an award-winning PBS documentary on women’s leadership in farm movements. Karen directed the local food and regional economy programs at The Minnesota Project; co-founded Youth Farm, located in Minneapolis and St. Paul; and directed the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Food and Agriculture Program. Karen also held an endowed chair in Agricultural Systems at the University of Minnesota, consulted with the Ford Foundation on rural development in Mexico, and received a Master’s of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. Prior to her work with Fresh Taste, Karen was a Senior Associate with Cambridge Leadership Associates.