Research professor from the LBJ School selected for the James Beard Foundation's sixth annual leadership awards | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX (June 22, 2016) The James Beard Foundation today announced the recipients of the sixth annual James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards. Raj Patel, a research professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, is among this year's honorees. The award spotlights the important and complex realms of sustainability, food access and public health. To bring awareness to such issues, the James Beard Foundation recognizes visionaries across a broad range of backgrounds who influence how, why and what we eat.

"This year's honorees are game-changers who have made an impact in improving childhood nutrition, fighting hunger, and promoting justice and equality in our food system," said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. "We are delighted to recognize these six visionaries as we celebrate our Foundation's sixth annual Leadership Awards ceremony."

The awards recognize specific outstanding initiatives as well as bodies of work and lifetime achievement. Criteria used to select this year's honorees include excellence of work, innovation in approach and scale of impact either within a community or across the nation.

Patel was selected for his scholarship and advocacy work to change the inequalities in our world's food system. He is currently collaborating with award-winning director Steve James on a ground-breaking documentary project about the global food system.

The awards presentation will be part of the seventh annual James Beard Foundation Food Conference: Now Trending: The Making of a Food Movement taking place on Oct. 17 and 18 in New York City.

Other honorees include:

  • Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez, Co-founders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • John Boyd, Jr., Founder and President of the National Black Farmers Association
  • Anna Lappé, Founder of the Small Planet Institute and Founder/Director of Real Food Media
  • Jim McGovern, Congressman, Massachusetts

More details are available at