ReFED Expands Team to Further Mission to End Food Waste

National Nonprofit Hires Shawn Shepherd as New Director of Development and Promotes Alexandria Coari to Vice President of Capital, Innovation & Engagement

April 6, 2021

3 Min Read

New York, NY ReFED — the only national nonprofit focused exclusively on ending food loss and waste across the food system — announces the appointment of Shawn Shepherd as the organization’s first Director of Development and the promotion of Alexandria Coari, Director of Capital & Innovation, to Vice President of Capital, Innovation & Engagement. 

For more than 30 years, Shepherd has led nonprofit organizations and advancement offices in institutional settings, fundraising over $50 million. Prior to ReFED, she was a national staff member with the American Farmland Trust and served on several regional boards addressing food insecurity. She is a longtime recognized leader in environmental issues in her home states of Texas, New Mexico, and Idaho. As Director of Development, Shepherd will work to bring philanthropic support to ReFED’s mission of eliminating food waste. 

Coari joined ReFED in 2018 and has led the Capital & Innovation team, which works with capital providers and solution providers to catalyze the $14 billion of public, private and philanthropic capital needed each year to advance solutions to food waste. At ReFED, she launched an industry-first Nonprofit Food Waste Recovery Accelerator to generate ideas and inspire action to lead to a doubling of healthy food available to the more than 40 million Americans facing food insecurity. She also spearheaded the development and implementation of the ReFED COVID-19 Food Waste Solutions Fund, which raised more than $3.5 million for organizations working to rapidly scale food waste reduction and hunger relief efforts. In her new role, she will also oversee ReFED’s stakeholder engagement team, which collaborates with key food businesses, government agencies, funders, entrepreneurs, universities, and nonprofit partners on a range of initiatives, and contribute to shaping the organization’s overall strategy.

“As we work to achieve the national goal of 50% food waste reduction by 2030, we are excited to grow our team to meet this challenge,” said Dana Gunders, Executive Director, ReFED. “Shawn brings more than 30 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and a passion for addressing one of the most critical issues of our time: climate change, of which food waste is a major contributor. Alex has consistently demonstrated leadership at ReFED, bringing together capital providers, food businesses, and innovators to scale groundbreaking food waste solutions and creating new funding opportunities to get critical resources to the space.”

“The fragility of our food system is something we all have seen first-hand in the last year due to COVID-19,” said Shepherd. “But we can use this opportunity to create a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system for the future. From the farm to the table and all of the steps in between, ReFED has solutions to keep food from being wasted - helping the environment, the economy, and the more than 40 million Americans facing food insecurity. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve its mission.”

About ReFED

ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the food system by advancing data-driven solutions to the problem. ReFED leverages data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilizes and connects people to take targeted action; and catalyzes capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiatives. ReFED’s goal is a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow. For more information, visit

Stay in the Know - Subscribe to Our Newsletters
Join a network of more than 90,000 waste and recycling industry professionals. Get the latest news and insights straight to your inbox. Free.

You May Also Like