Nicole Negowetti is a superstar.
During her time as The Good Food Institute’s policy director, Nicole has laid the groundwork for a food system that is healthy, humane, and sustainable. In the days before GFI, Nicole worked as a law professor at Valparaiso, where she conducted research and educated students on food law and policy, with a keen eye toward how to build sustainability in the structure of our food system. To this end, Nicole also serves on the Food & Drug Law Journal Editorial Advisory Board and is a founding member of the Academy of Food Law & Policy.
To the team at GFI, Nicole has been a brilliant co-worker, collaborator, and friend. To entrepreneurs and scientists using plant-based technology and cellular agriculture to change the world, she has been a vital resource.
Today, Nicole is taking her knowledge about how to create a healthy, humane, and sustainable food supply and sharing it with some of the best and brightest young minds as Harvard’s newest food law instructor (their first Clinical Instructor, actually)! GFI has been a client of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic since our inception, and with Nicole now teaching at Harvard Law and continuing on as an advisor for GFI, our ties are getting even stronger.
As sad as we are to watch her transition into her new role, we are all extremely excited for her students, who will have access to her world-class expertise. For instance, with GFI, Nicole took on a task that quite literally no one had ever attempted previously: Mapping out the regulatory pathway for the products of cellular agriculture in the U.S. and globally.
By laying this groundwork, Nicole has been working to ensure that this transformative technology–from Memphis Meats’ clean chicken to Perfect Day’s dairy-free milk–hits the global market as quickly as possible.
And that colossally important task was just part of Nicole’s focus during the past year.
GFI’s policy team (i.e., Nicole and a team of pro bono attorneys, Harvard’s food law clinic, and legal fellows who she recruited) has been devoted to leveling the playing field for plant-based foods against well-funded ag interests.
First, our policy team sued to receive records from the FDA as a first step in protecting plant-based dairy producers from attacks by Big Dairy. GFI has since filed a 40-page Petition for Rulemaking with the FDA to allow plant-based dairy producers to do business without the dairy industry launching costly and anticompetitive legal attacks.
Speaking of such attacks, our policy team also took on USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services for failing to release full documentation related to the American Egg Board’s attempts to undermine the success of plant-based mayo producer Hampton Creek. In the days following our lawsuit, a federal investigation revealed that the egg board had in fact misused government funds to try to attack Hampton Creek.
While conducting this critical, industry-wide work, Nicole also provided direct and pro bono support for good-food companies as they scale up production to transform our food system.
Nicole’s work has been an integral part of the good-food movement, and we’re thrilled to see her embark on her next endeavor, which comes after years of food-sustainability work dating to before GFI was even founded.
We’ll miss you in our staff meetings, Nicole, but we are thrilled that you have agreed to stay on as an advisor, and we can’t wait to continue working with you and Harvard Law on our joint mission to build a better food future!
We’re cheering you along every step of the way.