Jennifer Zuckerman has dedicated her life to improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians through thoughtful food and land policy. Beginning her career at NC State University, where she received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, she created the Parks and Recreation Partnership for a Healthier Wake, a collaboration between the 12 municipal parks of Wake County to merge park initiatives with public health initiatives and increase physical activity and improve the diets of its communities. She went on to work for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation for more than a decade, developing strategies and partnerships to enhance access to healthy food and safe recreational environments for all North Carolinians. BCBSNC is the primary supporter of Kids in Parks. She continues this work in her current position at the World Food Policy Center at Duke University, an initiative launched in 2017 with the goal of facilitating a connection between researchers and policymakers to improve the growth, consumption, and protection of the world’s food supply. Jennifer currently chairs the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Network Steering Committee and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems Board of Advisors, and is the Vice Chair for the National Academies of Medicine Early Childhood Innovation Collaborative. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Triangle Land Conservancy.
Jennifer spent the first five years of her life in Western North Carolina, and the mountains will always be home to her. She loves the Blue Ridge Parkway because it offers a wide variety of ways to experience the scenic and cultural wonders of Appalachia; even hiking the same trails again and again, she finds something new to appreciate every time. Jennifer is especially interested in Kids in Parks; she loves how simple and yet how important the program’s mission is, and would love to see it implemented in every state in the country. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys being outdoors – running, hiking, and skiing – and practices Systema, a Russian martial art. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her son Cade, a budding filmmaker, and their beagle, Waddles.