Ruth Richardson is the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, a unique coalition of foundations committed to leveraging their resources to help shift food and agriculture systems towards greater sustainability, security, and equity. At the core of the Global Alliance is a shared belief in the urgency of advancing sustainable global agriculture and food systems, and in the power of working together and with others to effect positive change. In this capacity Ruth serves on the Steering Committee of the TEEB for Food and Agriculture study led by the UNEP offices, and on the Advisory Committee of the Global Urban Food Policy Pact.
Alongside her role with the Global Alliance, Ruth runs Open Blue – a consulting company that works with a small number of clients who are deeply committed to developing powerful strategies to tackle some of the most pressing global, national, and local problems of our time. Prior to these endeavours, Ruth was the first Environment Program Director at the Metcalf Foundation that has been the cornerstone of innovative environmental policy funding in Ontario. Her tenure at the Metcalf Foundation included acting on the Advisory Committee of the City of Toronto, Board of Health, Toronto Food Strategy to develop an action plan to improve the food system of the Toronto city region.
As well, Ruth was the first Director of the Unilever Canada Foundation, as well as the Manager, Environmental and Corporate Affairs, working within a corporate environment to lead the company in philanthropy and community engagement. She was the founding Chair of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network spear-heading the first affinity group of its kind in the country turning an early conversation between a handful of funders into an international network of now over 50 members. And, she sat on the founding advisory committee of the Laidlaw Foundation’s Children and Environmental Health program helping to initiate a key program on toxics reduction in Canada. She is also the Founder and past-Chair of Small Change Fund, a web-based vehicle for micro-philanthropy in Canada.
Ruth lives in Toronto with her husband and three children.