SMALL PLANET TEAM
Frances Moore Lappé (she/her) is the author or co-author of 20 books–many focusing on themes of “living democracy,” suggesting not only a government accountable to citizens but a way of living aligned with the deep human need for connection, meaning, and power. She is also the recipient of 20 honorary doctorates from distinguished institutions, mostly recently Indiana University in 2021. Her first book, Diet for a Small Planet published in 1971, has now sold three-million copies. Its 50th-anniversary edition was released in 2021 with features in The New York Times, Boston Globe, and other major outlets. In 2019, The New York Times Magazine interview with Frances began: "Frances Moore Lappé changed how we eat. She wants to do the same for our democracy."
Her fall 2017 book was Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want co-authored with Adam Eichen. About Daring Democracy, Booklist (the American Library Association's book review magazine) writes,
“Countering what they call a well-entrenched ‘Anti-Democracy Movement,’ the authors offer numerous solutions for its antithesis, a democracy-proud confluence of grassroots efforts... With specific plans of action and encouraging words of support, Lappé and Eichen extend concrete hope to those who feel politically helpless.”
Other recent works include World Hunger: 10 Myths and EcoMind. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., describes Diet for a Small Planet as “one of the most influential political tracts of the times." In 2008, it was selected as one of 75 Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World by members of the Women's National Book Association. Frances was also named by Gourmet Magazine as one of 25 people (including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair, and Julia Child), whose work has changed the way America eats. Her books have been translated into 15 languages and are used widely in university courses.
Frances makes frequent media appearances. Most notably she has been featured on the Today Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News' Fox & Friends, WSJ.com, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's 'The National', Frost Over the World, NPR, and the BBC, among other news outlets. Frances appears frequently as a public speaker and is a contributor to Medium and Common Dreams. She is also a contributing editor at Yes! Magazine and Solutions Journal. Articles featuring or written by Frances have also appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper's, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, People, and more.
Frances is the cofounder of three organizations, including Oakland based think tank Food First and, more recently, the Small Planet Institute. Also, Frances and her daughter, Anna Lappé, cofounded the Small Planet Fund, which channels resources to democratic social movements worldwide.
Photo: Michael Piazza
Anna Lappé (she/her), Co-founder and Partner, is a national bestselling author, a respected advocate for sustainability and justice along the food chain and an advisor to funders investing in food system transformation. A recipient of the James Beard Leadership Award, Anna is the co-author or author of three books and the contributing author to more than a dozen others. Anna’s work has been translated internationally and featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Gourmet, Oprah Magazine, among many other outlets.
Named one of TIME’s “eco” Who’s-Who, Anna is the founder or co-founder of three national organizations, including the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund, which she launched with her mother, Frances Moore Lappé. She currently leads Real Food Media, based at Corporate Accountability International, which she founded to bring together leading food and farm organizations to produce powerful communications initiatives to inspire, educate and grow the movement for sustainable food and farming. Since its founding in 2012, Real Food Media has created the world’s largest short films competition on food with pop-up festivals around the world, collaborated with the award-winning StoryCorps to elevate voices of food workers, produced powerful mythbusting videos viewed more than one million times, launched a national online book club #RealFoodReads, and helped support passage of good food purchasing policies nationwide.
Cherie (she/her), Managing Director, joined the Small Planet Institute from a background in sustainability planning and architecture. As a sustainability analyst and planner, Cherie advised competitive organizations on sustainable governance, environmental resilience, greenhouse gas reduction strategies, indoor air quality and healthy work environments. In 2021 she was selected as a senior fellow in climate resilience for Climate Ready Boston in the City of Boston‘s Environment Department.
Prior to sustainability planning Cherie practiced architecture in Washington, D.C. for twenty years, where she focused on leading edge design and green building technologies in both commercial and residential construction. Cherie was an early advocate for manufacturers’ disclosure of toxic chemicals responsible for causing “sick building syndrome”, and for industry-wide acceptance of the International Living Futures Institute’s ban on the use of “Red List” chemicals in building materials.
Cherie received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and business administration from Baylor University; a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Texas; and a Master of Arts degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard. She has served on the boards of four nonprofit organizations and has become an avid community volunteer since moving to Boston in 2019. Cherie enjoys hiking, kayaking, swimming, cooking and watching ultimate frisbee!
Lissa, Curation Manager for the DemocracyMovement.US website, brings nearly 20 years of digital communications experience to Small Planet Institute. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Marietta College.
Lissa has worked as a journalist, taught English in China, published a book, and dug dinosaur bones in Utah's Brushy Basin. She's also directed communications for a small university, managed PR for an agricultural blog, and has served as Communications Director for several movement-building political campaigns in her home state. You may have seen her in Fahrenheit 11-9, or in a 2018 viral video of her calling out fossil fuel campaign donations in a public hearing front of the WV House Judiciary Committee. One of her blog posts even inspired an independent short film called "What About Auburn?" She currently serves on the board of WV Can't Wait Votes.
When she's not kicking up a fuss to preserve democracy, she enjoys camping, hiking with her dog, kayaking, cooking, fishing, gardening, canning, and beer brewing. As if those hobbies aren't enough, she's also restoring a 1971 Shasta camper and a 1983 Chevy Class C RV. And she loves D&D. Lissa lives with her husband in the middle of nowhere, in a tumbledown cottage on a ridge top in WV.
Research and Outreach Manager
Rachel (she/her) is SPI's Research and Outreach Manager, helping research, review and edit Frances’ articles and other written works. Rachel has a BA degree from Tufts University in Environmental Studies and Spanish Cultural Studies, with a minor in Film and Media Studies. Rachel has explored a variety of environmental fields, from campaign advocacy to clean energy development, but writing remains her primary passion. She is most passionate about climate change issues, environmental justice, and sustainable food systems. Outside of work, you can find the native Texan exploring Boston at all times of the year and working through her growing list of ‘must-read’ books.
Social Media Coordinator
Porscha (she/her) is a Small Planet Institute Intern, and a senior at Suffolk University double majoring in International Relations and English Literature. She is specifically interested in addressing environmental and political inequality, hoping to combat social injustice and provide everyone a space to feel heard. She also has a passion for education and enabling the community to reach out and understand their rights and responsibilities. In her academics, Porscha is a Resident Assistant and is hoping to join a few more clubs throughout the year. Outside of academics and work, she enjoys playing music, video games, and reading.
Maya (she/her) is a Small Planet Institute Democracy Intern, and a sophomore at Boston College pursuing a BA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Justice and Policy, and a minor in Marketing. She is specifically interested in environmental justice and marketing equitable and sustainable environmental solutions. At Boston College, Maya is active in environmental justice organizations and volunteers with BC’s Habitat for Humanity chapter. Outside of academics and work, she enjoys ceramics, hiking, and coaches youth lacrosse.
Caroline (she/her) is a Small Planet Institute Democracy Intern, currently taking a gap semester from Middlebury College and planning on majoring in Political Science while minoring in Environmental Studies and French. Caroline grew up in the Boston area and is most passionate about environmental justice, the implementation of clean energy, and protecting democracy through education and governmental transparency. She also has an interest in legal ethics and is an active participant in Mock Trial and Model UN in school. Outside of the classroom, Caroline is an avid scuba diver and cellist, and enjoys spending her free time immersed in the outdoors.
Lila McNamee (she/her) is a Democracy Intern at the Small Planet Institute. As a senior at Clark University, she is pursuing a degree in economics with a concentration in ethics and public policy. Last year Lila attended the London School of Economics where she focused on policy analysis and sustainable development. She has previously worked at another non-profit focused on preserving the environment which continues to be a major passion for her. She is also interested in fighting for women’s rights and the right to fair elections around the world. Outside of school and work, she can be seen listening to music, crocheting, and baking.
LIV MEIER STEEN
Liv Steen (She/Her) is a Small Planet Democracy Intern and sophomore at Simmons University studying Political Science and Public Policy. She believes empowering all people with hope is essential to sustaining and improving our democracy. With her time at the Minnesota Youth Council, Liv worked closely with representatives and state commissioner on legislature surrounding youth and youth voice. In her free time, Liv loves dancing, making music, and reading.
Timothy A. Wise (he/him), Food and Agriculture Policy Advisor, directed the Land and Food Rights Program at Small Planet Institute from 2016-2020. He is now a Senior Advisor on the Future of Food with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis. He previously directed the Research and Policy Program at Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute. With a background as an economic journalist and an international development practitioner, Wise’s research and writing have covered U.S. farm policies, trade and agricultural development, agricultural biodiversity, food prices and biofuels, and Mexico’s maize economy under the threat of genetically modified maize. Wise's 2019 book, Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food, on small versus large-scale agriculture in the battle to feed the world, draws on fieldwork in Mexico, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, and India. Wise previously was Executive Director of Grassroots International and a writer and editor at Dollars & Sense magazine.
Follow Timothy on Twitter: @timothyawise
Adam Eichen, Democracy Policy Advisor for Small Planet institute & co-author of Daring Democracy, is a writer, researcher, and organizer, working to build a democracy that represents and empowers all voices in society. Adam is currently the Executive Director at Equal Citizens working to fix democracy by establishing truly equal citizenship. He spent a year as a Maguire Fellow researching comparative campaign finance policy at the French research institute Sciences Po, and, in April 2016, he served as deputy communications director for Democracy Spring, a historic national mobilization for campaign finance and voting rights reform. Since 2015, he has sat on the Democracy Matters Board of Directors.
Adam received his B.A. from Vassar College with general and departmental honors in Political Science and French. Over the past several years, his research has focused on campaign finance, comparative election policy, and social movement theory. His articles have appeared in Salon, Huffington Post, Billmoyers.com, and Common Dreams.
Adam began collaborating with Frances Moore Lappé at the International IDEA Global Conference on Money in Politics in September 2015. Since then, the two have been working to develop new ways to think and write about campaign finance reform and the democracy movement more broadly.
Anthony Lappé, Media Advisor for Small Planet Institute, is a New York-based writer, producer and director. He began his career in journalism as a freelance contributor to The New York Times and a producer for MTV News. He went on to produce the award-winning Showtime documentary about the Iraq war, BattleGround. As the executive editor of the Guerrilla News Network, he helped create a pioneering citizen journalism web site and production company specializing in telling important global stories to a young audience. He has written for Details, ESPN: The Magazine, New York Magazine, and the South China Morning Post, among many others and has produced TV programming for PBS, National Geographic Channel, and the Discovery Science Channel. He is the author of the graphic novel, Shooting War (Grand Central). He was the writer on Robert Redford’s documentary >Cathedrals of Culture: The Salk Institute, which premiered at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival. He is currently the showrunner of Black Market, a new global docu-series for VICE Media.
BRUCE T. BOCCARDY
Bruce T. Boccardy, Economics & Labor Advisor for Small Planet Institute, served as president of the Massachusetts Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 888, represented labor on the Massachusetts Joint Labor-Management Committee (JLMC), serving firefighters and police and consulted to the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE).