Frances Moore Lappé is the author or co-author of 19 books about world hunger, living democracy, and the environment, beginning with the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet in 1971. Her fall 2017 book is Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want coauthored with Adam Eichen. Frances was interviewed by The New York Times Magazine in an article titled, "Frances Moore Lappé changed how we eat.  She wants to do the same for our democracy."


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 MatthewsFox News' Fox & Friends,, 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 which she leads with her daughter Anna Lappé. Frances and her daughter have also cofounded the Small Planet Fund, which channels resources to democratic social movements worldwide.


Read Frances' extended biography                 Follow Frances on Twitter: @fmlappe


Anna Lappé, 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 PostThe 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.

Read Anna's extended biography                  Follow Anna on Twitter: @annalappe




Heather Packard, Small Planet Institute Managing Director, joined the staff in August 2018.  Heather brings over 20 years of experience managing operations and interns in social benefit organizations.  She worked for Heifer International on an educational farm which taught sustainable solutions to hunger and poverty for many years.  With Heifer she was responsible for planning, supervising, and monitoring the departments of volunteer management, community engagement, reservations, food service and maintenance.  Her primary duties involved staff supervision, internship program management, educational program marketing, and community outreach.


Heather received her B.S. degree in Biology from Davis & Elkins College and her M.S. degree in Non-Profit Management from Worcester State University.  She served for 3 ½ years as the Regional Health Volunteer Coordinator with the U.S. Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa where she became conversant in Pulaar and French.  In Senegal she learned first-hand about poverty, hunger and the roles, successes and failures of international NGOs while providing education to women, malaria cures to children, and AIDS awareness to youth.


Heather has worked and volunteered for over 25 years to address justice and democracy issues.  She has helped to organize a labor union, served as a mentor for newly resettled refugees, and facilitated strategic planning for a peace organization.  She is currently an asylum sanctuary volunteer, Unitarian Universalist OWL teacher, and Girl Scout troop leader.  Heather lives in Concord, MA with her husband, mother, three children and two cats.  She enjoys playing board games with her family, singing, reading, and camping.


View Heather’s Résumé



Timothy A. Wise, Senior Researcher, directs the Land and Food Rights Program at Small Planet Institute. He also 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. With a prestigious fellowship from the Open Society Foundations, Wise has written a 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, drawing on field work 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, Amherst. He is the co-author of Confronting Globalization: Economic Integration and Popular Resistance in MexicoThe Promise and the Perils of Agricultural Trade Liberalization: Lessons from Latin America, and A Survey of Sustainable Development: Social and Economic Dimensions. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts.

View Timothy’s C.V.           Follow Timothy on Twitter: @timothyawise



Ali Eddy, Operations Associate, manages speaking event logistics and supports Small Planet's Managing Director. Ali graduated from Earlham College in 2017 with a B.A. in Peace and Global Studies. Impassioned by food sovereignty movements, Ali brings her experience supporting different aspects of food and social justice work.  Before managing school-based anti-hunger programs with Food For Free in Cambridge, MA, Ali worked with The Food Project facilitating farming and social justice education.  In her free time, Ali volunteers with Children’s International Summer Villages, a peace education organization that brings together youth from around the world to learn together across difference and become active global citizens.  Outside of work Ali loves to bake, eat wonderful things, swim, bike around the city, and generally spend time outdoors with her puppy!



Rusty Russell, an environmentalist who’s spent many years in the public and nonprofit sectors, joined SPI in February to assist in the research and writing of a book on democracy and the climate crisis. Past engagements have included directing a watershed stewardship organization, teaching law and policy at a number of area law schools and universities, working as an environmental consultant for numerous nonprofits and agencies, and serving as an attorney-advocate and communications director at the Conservation Law Foundation, the Boston-based NGO. He also has spent time as a journalist and corporate lawyer, and directed a health policy program for a state agency. He holds degrees from Amherst College and Harvard Law School. He grew up in the so-called Asparagus Valley, along the Connecticut River in Western Massachusetts. He now lives in Cambridge and enjoys the short bike ride to the office.




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 Campaigns Manager for 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,, 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.

Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamEichen


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.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthonylappe                        Visit Anthony's LinkedIn Profile


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).


Carter Smith is a Small Planet Intern pursuing a graduate degree at Harvard Divinity School, where she is training to be a Unitarian Universalist minister. In college, at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, she was always working to combine learnings from her Religious Studies and Political Science classes with her extra-curricular work as co-director of the school’s Student Environmental Center, and as a volunteer activist for voting rights. Now, she is interested in learning about movement building and changemaking in a world that needs healing, and how to bring that into her future ministry. In her free time Carter enjoys working with the HDS beekeeping club, exploring New England, brewing kombucha, and experiencing community life over the dining room table in the multigenerational housing cooperative she calls home.


Ali Ruxin is a Small Planet Institute Intern and recent graduate of Northwestern University with a B.A. in American Studies and minors in Environmental Policy & Culture and Creative Writing. In college, she combined these interests through a focus on food studies courses and activities, culminating in a senior thesis on seed saving; leading the student-run garden on campus; and rescuing and repackaging leftover food from campus dining halls to deliver to food-insecure community members. She also worked with the Northwestern Center for Civic Engagement to increase college student voter turnout in midterm and local elections. Ali loves farming, and most recently worked at Osa Conservation’s agroecological farm in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. In her free time, Ali enjoys reading, hiking, and experimenting with fermentation.


Jacky Davis is a Small Planet Institute Intern and a senior at Stonehill College in Easton, MA. She is studying English and Political Science with a concentration in Government and Politics and a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Jacky spent last summer as a faculty research assistant on two interconnected democratic research projects: a theoretical examination of corruption in democracy and a case-based analysis of Brazilian democracy. These projects sparked a passion for government transparency, which led Jacky to co-facilitate a one-credit course at Stonehill concerning government transparency, democracy, and conspiracy theories. In her free time, Jacky enjoys practicing karate, playing Mario Kart with her friends, and spending time with her dog, Lucky. 


Lama Jaber is a Small Planet Institute Intern and a senior at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. She is double majoring in Biology with a concentration in Health Sciences and International Studies. Being an international student from Venezuela with Middle Eastern roots, Lama grew up with an interest in socio-political issues and the impact of world powers on nations categorized as developing. Her passion for global affairs and social movements was strengthened through her involvement in Model United Nations, Youth in Government, and community outreach programs. Lama served as a faculty research assistant embarking on a 6-month research project for a panel on the Syrian Civil War. The experience culminated with a co-authored paper on the religious and ethnic divide in Syria pre- & post civil war being presented at the Northeastern Political Science Association conference. In her free time, Lama enjoys staying up-to-date on world news, exploring the city, and volunteering at various local community partners.


Sarah Anderson is a Small Planet Institute Intern currently finishing her B.A in Global Studies with two minors in Political Science and Sociology at Lesley University. From growing up in Houston, Texas she has become more passionate about working with non-profit organizations, charities, and global/international programs. Her first experience of working with a non-profit consists of volunteering with YWAM in Santa Clarita, Mexico over the Christmas holiday to help build homes for families in need. Her current work-study position on campus is as the student ambassador of the financial literacy program through Lesley.  Her academic interest focus on homelessness and food security in the US with the interdisciplinary focus including climate change, non-profit/NGO industrial complex and structural economic disadvantages for marginal communities. During her free time, she commits many hours to run her club as student body president of Lesley Delivers that is an organization dedicated to supporting Harvard Squares homeless community by delivering meals and clothing items.


Nathaniel Spencer, Small Planet Institute Intern, is a senior student at Emmanuel College in Boston. He is studying Political Science with a focus on Democratization, Migration and Middle Eastern Studies. He is also studying Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) with the intention of pursuing a future in Human Migration studies. During the summer of 2019, Nathaniel attended Emmanuel College’s Institute of the Eastern Mediterranean Study Abroad program which focused on Statecraft and Globalization, Democracy and the Geopolitics of Energy. This program took place across the Mediterranean Sea in destinations, such as the island of Sicily, where human Migration is an increasingly prevalent issue in contemporary regional politics. Nathaniel’s first hand experience at Migration camps along with further study in the area promoted an interest in Humanitarian issues with a goal to remedy a broken system. His future plans include attending a graduate program and continuing his Arabic education with the intention of working in relevant regions of human migration. In his free time, Nathaniel enjoys film photography, working in the photography darkroom, cooking vegetarian meals, and studying different expressions of political voice through art and music. 


Georgia Ezell is a Small Planet Institute Intern and an 18 year old environmental activist from Andover, MA. She first fell in love with the environment while growing up in Florida, where encounters with manatees and explorations through mangrove forests shaped her childhood and fueled her fascination with ecology and conservation. She later moved to Massachusetts, worked as a sustainability intern for her local government, and fell in love with the New England natural world. Right now Georgia is taking a gap year and spending her spring working at a restaurant, studying sociology at a local university, and interning for Small Planet Institute! On a day off, Georgia can be found in the kitchen, doing pottery, playing with her two French Bulldogs, or reading about ways to improve the future of our planet. 

living democracy, feeding hope

the Institute of writers, speakers, & activists Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé


12 Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA 02138