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Rise Against Hunger Executive Leadership

Rod Brooks

President & CEO

Rod Brooks has served as CEO of Rise Against Hunger since July 2006. He provides leadership and direction toward the achievement of the organization’s mission to end world hunger, focusing on service programs, fundraising, financial and administrative management. Rod has spent nearly twenty years working in the non-profit sector. Prior to directing Rise Against Hunger, Rod worked for 16 years creating Exploris (now titled Marbles Kid’s Museum), an interactive museum about the world, ultimately serving as Vice President for Administration.

Rod is active in the community as a member of the Cary Rotary Club, the Raleigh Host Lions Club, Fairmont United Methodist Church and NC Partners of the Americas. He has been recognized for his leadership of Kids Voting Wake County and received the James S. Bramham Humanitarian Award from NC Partners of the Americas. He received a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He speaks Spanish fluently. Rod lives in Raleigh with his wife, Terry Jasper Brooks, and daughter, Vivian.

Edna Ogwangi

Chief Impact Officer

Edna Ogwangi holds a Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree with specialization in International Development and Administration. Prior to joining Rise Against Hunger, she served for 17 years at Land O’Lakes, most recently as Senior Manager of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Department.

She is an accomplished International Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation Professional, with extensive experience in managing and implementing economic development and school feeding programs around the globe. She has managed US Federal Government, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs.

Edna has extensive knowledge in donor reporting procedures, best practices, guidelines and applicable tools for monitoring and evaluation of development, school feeding and nutrition projects. She has served as an active member of the USAID Learning Lab where she has contributed to several webinar sessions and learning blogs. Edna also co-lead the Land O’Lakes International Development Gender Task Force which spearheaded gender initiatives in all of their programming.

Bob Dixson

Chief Financial Officer

Bob Dixson is an experienced financial executive, having served as CFO or COO for a variety of companies in diverse industries as manufacturing, high tech, retail, importing and distribution, services and non-profit.

He has established three, five and 25-year plans (business plans and detailed cash forecasts), raised capital for equity and bank credit, guided mergers including due diligence, introduced financial reporting and control systems, created costing systems and product pricing models, negotiated leases and economic incentive packages, restructured 401(k), stock option and other incentive packages, and revitalized accounting departments by implementing new software, reorganizing personnel, hiring and training.

Bob holds a BA in economics from Emory University where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He attended Columbia University in a Ph.D. program in economics as a Fellow of the Faculty. He was certified by the Institute of Management Accountants with a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certificate. He is a member of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Peggy Shriver

Chief Development Officer

Peggy Shriver brings more than 25 years of development experience to the Rise Against Hunger mission. Having served in fundraising leadership capacities at Easter Seals, The V Foundation, Special Olympics and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, she has raised more than $650 million for people with special needs, life-threatening diseases and populations underserved and underrepresented.

Peggy has expertise in individual giving, corporate sponsorships, special events and cause-marketing promotions. Her career accomplishments include leading the design and development of Easter Seals’ signature event “Walk With Me” now executed nationwide, as well as piloting the American Dental Association’s national Bone Marrow Drive in the fight against blood cancer. Working with Special Olympics on a global level, she was actively involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, coordinating fundraising campaigns with officers from 40 countries and culminating at the World Games.

Peggy holds degrees in Print Journalism, Broadcasting and Marketing from Trinity University and is a certified fundraising executive. Raised in Texas, she is a former skeet shooting champion and child actor. Peggy lives in Raleigh with her husband, Ron, and teenage son, Christopher, where they are actively engaged in the community.

Larry Shepherd

Chief Operations Officer

Larry is a retired Army Officer who brings 24 years experience leading effective teams throughout the United States, Germany, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. During his military career, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for distinguished service; led as many as 1,200 servicemen and women as a Deputy Brigade Commander; and was recognized as the #1 Deputy Director at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is passionate about leadership development and mentorship and has coached youth football and baseball programs in his community.

Larry holds an M.A. in Military Arts & Science (Leadership & Strategy) from the U.S. Army Command and General Officer Staff College and a B.A. in Political Science from Central Washington University.  He is an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy (USMA) and completed the two-year Master Teacher Certification Program, also offered at USMA.  Larry is married to Jamie Shepherd and they have three sons, Nathan, Kevin and Nolan.

Rise Against Hunger Board of Directors

anne bander

Anne Bander

Board Chair

Anne Grimsley Bander retired from North Carolina State Government in 2013. During her long career with the State, she served as Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Administration, where she was responsible for managing and monitoring the day-to-day activities and operations of the Department and taking a leadership role in the establishment of performance indicators; she also worked with the Office of the State Controller on a new data analytics program. Prior to her work with NCDOA and NCOSC, most of her career was with the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, where she was the Assistant State Budget Officer for Government Evaluation and Review, and where she had also served as the Assistant State Budget Officer for Education. She is the recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Prior to coming to North Carolina, Anne worked for the American Bar Association, a major consulting firm, and the University of Maine.

A native of South Carolina, Anne lived in many places around the country and in Europe as an Army “brat.” She received a B.A. from the University of Maine at Orono and her M.A. from University College Dublin (part of the National University of Ireland).

Anne served on the Board of Trustees at Temple Beth Or, where she also served as Executive Director and Temple President, and long-time Finance Committee member. For over two decades, she also worked a regular route delivering Meals on Wheels.

After more than 30 years in North Carolina, Anne now resides in Beaufort, South Carolina, where she continues her volunteer work with Rise Against Hunger. She also volunteers as an adult literacy tutor, and with the local Meals on Wheels program.

kate day

Kate Day

Immediate Past Chair

Kate has over 27 years of professional management experience that includes international technology sales and operations, strategy and business development. Her expertise focuses on building new organizations and expanding lines of business. She has been selected as a guest speaker at international conferences in Europe, Canada and the US. Kate was recently awarded the prestigious 2013 Chief Learning Officer Magazine’s Gold Award for Innovation.

As Vice President of Global Workforce Enablement for MetLife, Kate is responsible for building and implementing an early-in-career development program for the Global Technology and Operations Division. She draws upon her industry experience gained over the past decade while working at Cisco Systems, Inc., both in America and overseas in the UK. During her tenure with Cisco, her most recent role was that of Global Director for Cisco’s Graduate Hire Sales Program. The program received three industry awards for talent development, operational excellence and innovation, and has also been highlighted in several books and publications.

Prior to joining Cisco, Kate spent seven years with Oracle Corporation where she held various positions in Sales, Marketing and Business Development Management.

Kate holds a BA in History from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. She attended the University of Michigan for her MBA.

Community work includes:

  • Current Board Member, Rise Against Hunger
  • Current Board Member, United Arts Council
  • Past Co-chair, Connected Women of North Carolina
  • Past Board Member, Triangle Red Cross, RTP
  • Past Board Member, MacMillan Cancer Ball, London, UK
  • Founding member of the Women-In-Technology Incorporated Chapter, RTP
  • Co-founder of the Cisco Women’s Action Network RTP Chapter

Kate and her husband, Stephen, own a restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, which reflects their passion for International travel and love of global food. Kate and Stephen have a son and a daughter, and reside in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Walter Gaskin

Board Vice Chair


Mr. Gaskin is the Chief Executive Officer of La Porte Technology Defense (LAPORTECH). LAPORTECH is focused on becoming the leading engineering Technical Development Plan (“TDP”) supplier with capability to design, test, retrofit, and roll-out new and existing small and medium quantity specialty defense and commercial vehicles using the latest original equipment manufacturer engines, transmissions, parts, and accessories in a seamless single-point solution.

Mr. Gaskin previously served as the Managing Director in Charge of Operation Management Complex of Global Bank in Irvine CA.

Additionally, he is an active board member of Savannah State University Foundation, Rise Against Hunger, Consortium For Africa, Marine Corps University Foundation Western Governors University NC and the American College of National Security Leaders (ACNSL).

Military Career

Lieutenant General Gaskin served as the Deputy Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee in Brussels Belgium providing military and operational advice to NATO’s Secretary General and North Atlantic Council from 2010 until his retirement in 2013.

Lieutenant General Gaskin’s first assignment as a General Officer was the Commanding General, Training and Education Command. Other assignments as a General Officer include service as the Vice Director of The Joint Staff, Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Chief of Staff, Naval Striking and Support Forces-Southern Europe and Deputy Commanding General.

Lieutenant General Gaskin also served as the Commanding General of the 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, NC from June 2006 until July 2008. In addition to this role, he simultaneously served as the Commanding General of II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). During this tour, Lieutenant General Gaskin led II MEF (FWD) during its year-long deployment to Al Anbar Province, Iraq as the Commanding General of Multinational Forces-West.

Lieutenant General Gaskin has also served with 3rd Force Service Support Group (Echo and Foxtrot Logistics Support Units); 3rd Marine Division (Division Command Center) in Okinawa, Japan; and with Combined Forces Command C/J-3, Seoul, South Korea as the Head of Ground Forces Branch.

Military and Civilian Education

A graduate from Savannah State University’s NROTC Scholarship Program with a Bachelor of Science, he also earned a Summa Cum Laude Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, and completed the Senior Executive Seminar from the JFK School of Government, Harvard University.

His military education includes Amphibious Warfare School; Army Command and Staff College; Army War College; and the Combined/Joint Force Land Component Command Course.

david hood

David Hood

Board Treasurer

David is an audit partner with more than 20 years of public accounting experience at Ernst & Young. He has served both public and private clients primarily in the technology and life science industries. David has significant experience in coordinating audit and other services for strategic growth companies as well as large public companies with international operations. David has also been involved with equity and debt raising transactions for public and private clients, as well as merger and acquisition transactions on both the buy and sell side.

In addition to his public accounting experience, David worked outside the firm from 1993-2000 as VP Finance at Quintiles Transnational Corp., a Contract Research Organization (CRO). In his corporate role, he managed the financial portions of the IPO process for Quintiles’ successful IPO in April 1994. As part of his operations role, he oversaw the implementation of a consolidation system (Hyperion), ERP system (Peoplesoft) and the financial due diligence and subsequent integration of more than a dozen different acquisitions. He worked alongside the Quintiles Americas CRO Division CEO to manage revenue growth from $40 million to $400 million during his seven-year tenure at Quintiles. David has served several public companies including BTI Telecom, ChannelAdvisor (IPO), Consonus Technologies (IPO), Factory Stores of America (IPO), Ply Gem (IPO), Quintiles (IPO), Sciquest, Sensus, Spectrasite, Triangle Capital (IPO), and others. David earned his B.S. in Accounting from Guilford College in 1984 and is a CPA. He is a member of the AICPA and NCACPA. He is currently Chair of the Finance Committee for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), Chair of the Audit Committee on the Guilford College Board of Trustees and past Chair of Finance (currently member of Trustees) at Highland United Methodist Church. David also chaired the Finance Committee for Waterpartners for several years starting in 2001.

Jessica Graham

Board Secretary

As Cisco’s Community Relations Manager, Global Programs, Jessica designs and directs global programs that inspire and empower Cisco employees to engage in volunteerism and philanthropic giving in their local communities. While the the needs of each market vary, Cisco’s strategic impact focuses on inclusive STEM education and closing the opportunity gap for women, girls, and under-represented minorities, anti-poverty work to support basic human needs, economic empowerment, and leveraging technology solutions to scale and amplify social innovation. In the last five years, Cisco’s employee-driven matching gifts programs have generated over $40M for 2,500+ nonprofits worldwide by leveraging the time, talent, and treasure of 70,000 employees in 65+ countries.

Jessica has been with Cisco for five years and brings to the role 15 years of experience around civic engagement and volunteer management with nonprofits, board stewardship, corporate volunteerism and private/public partnerships.

Jessica earned dual B.A. degrees in English and Spanish from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama and a Master’s in Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.  An AmeriCorps alum, she remains dedicated to “getting things done” and serves on the National Board of Directors for Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization and the Advisory Council for Techbridge Girls, a national nonprofit that inspires girls to discover a passion for technology, science and engineering through hands-on learning. Jessica resides in Washington, D.C.

Robin Hager

Board Member

Robin Hager is Director of Global Logistics and Transportation at Hanesbrands Inc. In this position, she is responsible for the logistics and transportation of materials and finished garments into and between Hanesbrands global manufacturing facilities, U.S. and International Distribution network. Currently working to leverage Hanesbrands logistics coverage for the expanding global markets in China, India, and Brazil, as well as, continued growth in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Central America markets. Prior to this, Robin worked to establish the logistics services to support Hanesbrands manufacturing start up in Asia with factories in China, Vietnam and Thailand.

Before working in Global Logistics, Robin’s 20-year career with Sara Lee apparel companies, now Hanesbrands Inc., included work in manufacturing supporting growth in operations in Central America and the Caribbean, as well as U.S. distribution. Robin’s work on supply chain strategists was featured in Apparel Industry Magazine, and she is a licensed U.S. Customs Broker.

Robin received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with a core in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989, and a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Wake Forest University in 1992.

Robin hails from Denver, North Carolina, and has been a resident of Winston-Salem, North Carolina for over 15 years. As part of Robin’s undergraduate studies, she participated in language programs in Quebec, Canada, and Bordeaux, France. Robin worked at Kokusai Securities in Tokyo, Japan as part of her graduate studies. Through studies, work, personal travel, and mission work, Robin has travelled to over 35 countries and territories, and currently serves on the Board of Advisors for UNC Global at Chapel Hill, and Forsyth Technical College.

Robin’s personal interest include: being a private pilot, a Rescue Level scuba diver, mountain and road cycling. Robin is an active member of Maple Springs United Methodist Church where she serves on the Church Council and is the chairperson of the Discipleship Committee responsible for community outreach and missions.

Richard Skinner

Board Member

As a native North Carolinian, Richard grew up in Hertford, North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina State University in 1987 with a B.S. in Applied Sociology. He is a Project Manager at Allscripts. Prior to joining Allscripts, Richard has also worked with the North Carolina Medical Society, the Durham-Orange County Medical Society, GE Capital Mortgage Insurance and Capitol Broadcasting Company, where he held various positions in Sales, Marketing, Project Management and Business Development.

Richard has over 25 years of professional management experience that includes business development, project and account management, marketing, fundraising and leadership development. One of his areas of expertise focuses on building successful internal and external relationships.

He has served in numerous leadership and volunteer roles including the following civic and charitable organizations: American Red Cross, Triangle Area Chapter- Board of Directors, Triangle United Way, Jimmy V Golf Classic, American Heart Association, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Works of Heart, Avon Breast Cancer Walk, International Affairs Council of North Carolina and Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. He is also member of Edenton Street United Methodist Church.

Richard and his family reside in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also appreciates spending weekends at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, with family and friends.

Greg Guidotti

Board Member

Greg Guidotti is the Head of Marketing for Oscar Mayer at Kraft Heinz, and currently leads the iconic brands of Oscar Mayer (Hot Dogs, Cold Cuts & Bacon), Lunchables and P3.  Growing up in Stamford, Connecticut, Greg has a BA from Bates College in English & Spanish, and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut. With over 20 years of experience across U.S. and international assignments with Grey Advertising, Gillette/P&G and Kraft Heinz, Greg has had the opportunity to lead many extraordinary brands like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Velveeta Shells & Cheese, Stove Top, Capri Sun, Kool-Aid, Post Cereals, Duracell Batteries & Gevalia Coffee. He is a highly skilled marketer, proven brand-builder and an expert in developing highly-functioning organizations. Greg currently resides in Wilmette, Illinois with his wife Paige – and their three kids Thomas, Peter & William.

Don Wight

Board Member

Don Wight is an operational sales leader with a proven track record of revenue creation and successfully scaling a sales organization in hyper-growth phase. Don focuses on scaling the Demandbase organization through improved sales process, laser focus on delivering more new customers and extending the company’s rapidly extending partner ecosystem. Wight is a dynamic leader, whose success is attributed to a collaborative approach, inquisitive nature and a commitment to deliver success through hard work and focus.

Prior to this role, Wight held leadership roles at Power Reviews (acquired by Bazaarvoice), Jaspersoft, Open Harbor and Netcentives, Inc. In these roles he was responsible for creating scale through growth, for dramatically increasing revenue and the customer-base, and for extending operations from North America to EMEA, LATAM and APAC. Don holds a BA in International Business from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Anne L. Matthews

Board Member

Dr. Anne L. Matthews is president of Matthews and Associates, an educational consulting firm in Columbia, South Carolina. Anne is an educator by profession, a published author, an education accreditation commissioner and a public speaker. She has three earned degrees, including a doctorate from the University of South Carolina and an honorary doctorate from Coker College.  Anne served as president of several national educational organizations, including the National Business Education Association, and on numerous boards, including her undergraduate alma mater. She is the recipient of honors, including two appointments from U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Anne has spoken in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries on educational issues and/or The Rotary Foundation. She has served on NID teams and participated in humanitarian work in several developing countries. Anne’s passion is feeding the hungry and she is heavily involved in this effort in her state.

Anne has served Rotary in numerous capacities. These include: president of the Rotary Club of Columbia East; governor of D7770; COL delegate; International Assembly Trainer in Anaheim in 2003 and 2004; Zones 33 and 34 Institute Chair; Zone 33 Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator; International Assembly Lead Seminar Trainer in San Diego 2008 and in 2009; D7770 Rotary Foundation Chair;  RI President’s Representative;  member of the Future Vision Committee; Moderator, Speaker and Panelist  RI Conventions; Chair, Rotary Reunion, New Orleans Convention; Trustee, The Rotary Foundation; RI Director, and RI Vice President in 2013-14.

Presently, Anne serves as vice chair of the Rotary Peace Centers Committee and the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force for the US. She also serves as a member of RI Finance Committee and the RI Investment Committee.

Anne is a Paul Harris Fellow, Major Donor, charter member of The Rotary Foundation Bequest Society, Benefactor, and a charter member of the Paul Harris Society in District 7770.

Gina Loften

Board Member

Gina Loften is a corporate executive, board member and consultant with a distinguished 20+-year career. She is recognized for her success in implementing strategies to drive growth in new and competitive markets. She has a proven track record in applying technical innovation, creating high value differentiated offerings, positioning emerging businesses and technologies for sustainable growth and consulting with CxOs to drive enterprise transformation for their business and industry.

Currently, Gina is the Chief Innovation Officer for IBM’s Federal business. In this role, she leads the efforts for technology commercialization, innovation management and innovation strategy.

Prior to this role, Gina was the Vice President and Global Public Sector Leader for Watson. She successfully delivered the first cognitive computing solutions to governments, civilian agencies, and public and private education institutions around the world. She also established an ecosystem of large enterprises, universities, small business and entrepreneurs to develop apps on Watson.

Gina has held strategic executive roles across IBM’s services, software, research and corporate technology creating partnerships and driving enterprise transformation for global businesses.

Personally and professionally, Gina has worked tirelessly to drive advances in STEM education. She drives innovation and provides leadership to enhance academic success; develops programs to drive attainment of in-demand technology skills and promotes access to opportunities. Gina also works with startup incubators advising entrepreneurs on how to launch new ventures to commercialize emerging technologies.

Gina is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Electrical Engineering and a member of the Board of Directors for Rise Against Hunger, George Mason University Research Foundation and the North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair.

Bart Norman

Board Member

Bart Norman is a partner at Smith Anderson in Raleigh, North Carolina, and focuses his law practice on debt transactions for public and private companies and lenders.  He has a BA from North Carolina State University, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a JD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He currently is a member of the board of directors of Transitions LifeCare (founded as Hospice of Wake County, 1979), where he also is the board secretary and chair of the governance committee.  Previously, he was a member of the board of directors of Staff of Hope, a nonprofit focused on water and education in East Africa, and an elder and finance committee chair at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church.  Bart and his wife, Cate, and their two sons, live in Cary, North Carolina

Abdullah Antepli

Board Member

Imam Antepli completed his basic training and education in his native Turkey. From 1996-2003 he worked on a variety of faith-based humanitarian and relief projects in Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia with the Association of Social and Economic Solidarity with Pacific Countries. He is the founder and executive board member of the Association of College Muslim Chaplains (ACMC) and a board member of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA). From 2003 to 2005 he served as the first Muslim chaplain at Wesleyan University. He then moved to Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, where he was the associate director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program & Interfaith Relations, as well as an adjunct faculty member.

He previously served as Duke University first Muslim chaplain from July 2008 to 2014. In his current work at Duke, Antepli engages students, faculty, and staff across and beyond campus through seminars, panels, and other avenues to provide a Muslim voice and perspective to the discussions of faith, spirituality, social justice and more. Imam Antepli also serves as a faculty member in the Duke Divinity School, teaching a variety of courses on Islam and Muslim cultures.

William H. Willimon

Board Member

A bishop in the United Methodist Church, Professor Willimon served as the dean of Duke Chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke University for 20 years. He returned to Duke after serving as the bishop of the North Alabama Conference from 2004 to 2012. Willimon is the author of 70 books. His Worship as Pastoral Care was selected as one of the 10 most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. More than a million copies of his books have been sold. His articles have appeared in many publications including Theology Today, Interpretation, Liturgy, and Christianity Today. He is editor-at-large for The Christian Century. His book, Pastor: the Theology and Practice of Ordained Leadership is used in dozens of seminaries in the United States and Asia. His He has taught in Germany, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia in various seminaries. He is a trustee of Wofford College, Emory University and serves on the Dean’s Committee of Yale Divinity School.

Swati Patel

Board Member

Swati Patel is an Executive Director in Ernst & Young’s Advisory Services practice. As a member of this group, she serves as a trusted business advisor for her client C-suites. Swati has over 15 years of progressive business experience in assurance and business advisory services applying US& CDN GAAP.  She spent two years in the company’s national practice on an internal initiative as the key lead and project manager. Swati has very strong delivery and project management capabilities along with her technical competencies.

Ravila Gupta

Board Member

Caroline Martinez

Board Member

Peggy Bentley

Board Member

Jonathan Ireland

Board Member

Jonathan Ireland is vice president and chief financial
officer – commercial at United. In this role, Jonathan works closely with the airline’s commercial and IT teams to provide financial planning and analytical support with a profit-driven focus while also overseeing United’s investor relations department.

Jonathan has deep financial and leadership experience. He most recently served as managing director of investor relations where he oversaw all of United’s financial results communications, and managed relationships with United’s investors, analysts and credit rating agencies. He has also held positions in financial analysis and corporate budgeting.

He joined United in 2008 as an analyst in financial planning. Before joining United, Jonathan was a credit manager based in Guadalajara, Mexico for Opportunity International, a microfinance non-profit.

Jonathan was named Best IR Professional in Institutional Investor magazine’s 2016 All-America Executive Team. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Augustana College and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He currently leads United’s MBA and undergrad campus recruiting for the financial planning and analysis organizations.

Our Founder

Ray Buchanan: A vision to end world hunger

In 1998, envisioning a world without hunger, Ray Buchanan — a United Methodist minister — founded Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now). After enlisting as a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam War, Ray Buchanan quickly recognized that accomplishing a mission required “commitment to something larger than yourself.” Over the past three decades, that principle has driven Ray’s mission to eradicate world hunger.

As a divinity graduate student at Duke University, Ray began working with the poor and hungry. He continued that work at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his master’s degree in divinity, and as a pastor at five rural United Methodist churches in Virginia. As a pastor, Ray joined the effort to assist Ethiopians who were suffering during the country’s 1973-75 famine.

Driving Ray’s hunger work is the recognition that “ending hunger is more than just feeding people.” So Rise Against Hunger “focuses its feeding programs in areas where we can see transformational development,” he says.

Ray embodies the ideal of a servant leader. And he understands that volunteers and organizations working together can build a global movement that will stimulate the political will to marshal the resources that are essential — and available — to eradicate hunger.

Rise Against Hunger has realized positive, annual growth mainly through expansion of the meal packaging program into new communities. Rise Against Hunger continues to further Ray’s legacy of commitment both to domestic and international crisis response including relief from famine, natural and manmade disasters and health epidemics.