Board Member: James Arena-DeRosa


James Arena-DeRosa has been a passionate advocate for social justice his whole life. Raised in Massachusetts in the lap of the civil rights and anti-war movement, trained by Caesar Chavez’ son-in-law and the United Farmworkers, his experiences range from grassroots community activism to leading a $12 billion dollar NE USDA Food and Nutrition agency for the Obama Administration that made policy recommendations and served 20 million Americans in the Northeast United States. At USDA James worked with farmers and farmers markets throughout Massachusetts, his work included oversight of 15 federal nutrition programs including SNAP, school lunch, WIC, and farm to school. Given the demonstrated between nutrition, health, and education,  James believes that we must work toward access to fresh, healthy, local food for all members of the community. Earlier in his career, while at Oxfam America, James conceptualized and led a public advocacy program that placed policy issues before Congress, the U.N. and the White House, and while serving as New England Director of Peace Corps his team recruited over 10,000 Peace Corps volunteers. His international experiences and campaigns and outreach has involved collaboration with leaders and activists in over 80 countries. A Harvard College graduate, James taught graduate school at Brandeis at the Heller School, served as a CEO of a Foodbank, and has been involved in several non-profit boards.  James lives with his family in Holliston.