WASHINGTONThe Good Food Institute (GFI) has today announced that Ilya Sheyman will join the organization as President on February 22, to lead all aspects of GFI-U.S.’s programmatic and administrative operations. 

For the better part of the past decade, Ilya held the role of executive director at MoveOn, a public policy advocacy group and political action committee that’s become one of the largest grassroots campaigning communities in the United States. More recently, he’s served as a strategic consultant for nonprofits, corporations, foundations, and public interest campaigns, including work on the American Rescue Plan and bipartisan infrastructure frameworks. 

Ilya’s career has been spent at the intersection of social justice, economic justice, and racial justice. In his role as executive director of MoveOn, he organized and grew diverse coalitions, modernized technology and operations, led issue advocacy, expanded fundraising, membership, and reach, and launched innovative new programs that reached tens of millions. Throughout his work with nonprofits, corporations, and public interest campaigns, his commitment to coalition building and inclusion consistently brings more people to the table. 

Ilya joins Bruce Friedrich, GFI’s founder and CEO, and an international team of scientists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, lobbyists, advocates, and other experts building a more sustainable food system. GFI’s global teams advance and advocate alternative proteins—meat made from plants and cultivated from cells—as agricultural solutions with significantly less emission and land use impacts than business-as-usual meat production. Alternative proteins also pay significant dividends for global health and animal protection, since they don’t require the use of antibiotics, don’t contribute to pandemic risk, and don’t cause animals to suffer in confined feeding operations.

Given climate, global health, and food security challenges made worse by a global pandemic, the prospect of meat grown in more secure, agile, and resilient production environments is gaining traction in the United States. and around the world. Last fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $10 million grant to create a center for excellence in cellular agriculture at Tufts University, marking the USDA’s first significant investment in cultivated meat and the U.S. government’s largest to date.

Ilya Sheyman, GFI-U.S. President: “I’m overjoyed to be joining GFI to support and advance the team’s work towards a tipping point moment for plant-based meat and other alternative proteins—with extraordinarily positive consequences for our planet, resilient food systems, animal welfare, and more. GFI has been driving this effort, and I can’t wait to join this transformative and bipartisan work that welcomes all to the table. Transforming our food system will require the coming together of people from all walks of life across government, business, academia, advocates, and consumers. Together, we can tackle climate change and build a healthier future for people and the planet.”

Bruce Friedrich, GFI Founder and CEO: “Ilya is brilliant with both strategy and execution, and I’m extremely excited to welcome him to this role leading the GFI U.S. team. With Ilya in this new position, I look forward to having more time to build deeper alliances across the global spectrum of movements focused on climate change mitigation, biodiversity preservation, and global health. The new role of president, coupled with my role as CEO, signals a new chapter for GFI—one that enables us to  grow in impact and influence as an international network of organizations focused on ushering in the next global agricultural revolution.” 

Press contact 

Maia Keerie maiak@gfi.org +1 415-767-8973 

About The Good Food Institute 

The Good Food Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working internationally to make alternative proteins delicious, affordable, and accessible. GFI advances open-access research; mobilizes resources and talent; and empowers partners across the food system to create a sustainable, secure, and just protein supply. GFI is funded entirely by private philanthropic support.