Organic Carrots

Who We Are

Each FES team member brings unique perspective, experience, and talent to co-designing and implementing solutions to hunger and malnutrition that are impactful and commercially sustainable.

About FES

Food Enterprise Solutions is on a mission  to energize the global food system to better balance global needs and profit.  We leverage the powers of business, entrepreneurship, and innovation as key drivers in the global fight against hunger and malnutrition. We work in partnership with businesses and organizations to provide  safe, nutritious, and affordable foods through supply chains that are commercially viable and environmentally sustainable. We offer expertise in partnership development, market analysis, project design & management, training, and specialized technical assistance to strengthen capacities of - and linkages among - key actors within food systems. Our team of experts has extensive experience working with food enterprises of all sizes – from village market vendors to major global corporations – across multiple countries and commodities.

Meet the Team

Russ Webster

Founder and President

Russ has a long career promoting the private sector as a key driver for food security and economic growth. His work ranges from designing and managing agriculture research, extension and rural finance programs overseas, to evaluating project impact, to advising international donor agencies and foreign governments on how to structure policy priorities, regulatory frameworks, and programs that mobilize private capital and incentivize economic growth. Russ is passionate about the role of small- and medium-sized enterprises in promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, and private investment that will feed the world's population and create wealth for those living in poverty. A solid team player and effective leader, Russ has a proven track record in portfolio management, staff development, client relationship management, public communications, market analysis, and business development.

Roberta Lauretti Bernhard

Director of Programs

Roberta began her career serving in the Peace Corps as a livestock extension agent for the Ministry of Agriculture in Guatemala. This experience fueled her passion for helping farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs—particularly women and youth— to improve their business operations, financial viability, and access to markets. With core competencies in production planning and supply chain management in livestock, poultry, vegetables, coffee, and cacao, and other value chains. Roberta has designed, managed, and implemented agriculture programs that promote rural income and livelihoods, while contributing to sustainable, safe, and nutritious food systems. She is a certified Veterinary Technician, a fluent Spanish speaker, and has extensive program management expertise with multiple donor organizations, companies, and foundations across 39 countries.

Dr. Thoric Nils Cederstrom

Director of Research and Learning

Thoric - shown at left (in hat) talking with a colleague in Guatemala - is a champion of market-driven approaches to reducing hunger and malnutrition. He is experienced in designing, implementing, and evaluating programs that engage public, private, and civil-society institutions and key actors in building sustainable, commercially-viable, safe, and nutritious food systems. A recognized research analyst and program strategist, Thoric’s expertise includes developing cash-based interventions for rural livelihoods, conducting participatory food security assessments, designing stakeholder training and capacity building programs, and conducting anthropometric surveys. From his roots growing up on a family dairy farm in Missouri, Thoric went on to work extensively in Latin America, Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia. He holds degrees in Development Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Agricultural Economics, and Archaeology, is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and conversational in French.

Sarah Durso

Senior Manager of Operations

Sarah is a sustainable food system enthusiast, a nature conservationist and has worked to alleviate poverty throughout her extensive career.  She has implemented fieldwork in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean for non-profits and the private sector.   She began her career in commercial development of the artisanal fisheries sector for FAO in Cape Verde and for the last several years has overseen programs in nutrition-led agriculture and building communities that are resilient to climate shocks and other crises. Sarah has designed and managed programs in sustainable agriculture and food security and safety, natural resources, value chains, training and intercultural communications.   Sarah holds a Master of international Administration from the SIT Graduate School, a BA from the University of Virginia and studied at the American University in Cairo.

Hallie Powell

International Programs Associate

Hallie joins FES in the International Programs Associate role after serving with the Peace Corps in Botswana as a Health & HIV/AIDS Civil Society Capacity Building volunteer. She worked in a larger village called Kanye where she was placed with civil society organizations combating the spread and stigma of HIV through testing, education, and organizational development. Outside of her work in her village, she was a member of the Peace Corps Botswana Food Security and Nutrition Initiative, conducting trainings with Batswana and other volunteers, as well as collaborating to produce easy-to-read, informative materials with permagardening, nutrition, and income generation among the topics. One of these trainings was with an educational organization that expanded their garden by six times after the two-day training and is selling the vegetables to support their continued efforts to empower youth and fight HIV. She holds a master’s degree in international development from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in economics from Allegheny College.

Mariama Samb Dieng

BD4FS Senegal Program Director

Mariama is an expert in trade and development with fifteen years of professional experience that consists of managing gender-sensitive development programs covering several West African countries under donor funding. She has been in charge of regional agriculture and fisheries micro and small enterprise programs aiming to raise revenues and better market access through quality improvements.  She is an expert field agent, adept at networking based on common values. Prior to joining FES, she served as the West Africa Fisheries Policy (REPAO) Program Manager for ENDA Tiers Monde.  She also collaborated with the National Confederation of Employers of Senegal as Advisor in Business Development Services before her most recent position with the Japan International Cooperation Agency as the Program Officer for the agriculture and fisheries team and Country Officer for The Gambia. She holds a master’s degree in Development Studies and a Certificate of Continuing Education in Entrepreneurship and Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and a bachelor’s degree in Business and International Trade from the University Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis in Senegal.

Join Our Dedicated Team!

Food Enterprise Solutions

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