About Food Justice by Design
Jeannette is an international development professional with a life-long passion for food justice, food security and sustainable agriculture. With over 25 years of experience that encompass agriculture, law and environmental design, Jeannette brings a creative and interdisciplinary approach to the complex issues of global food security.
Jeannette is a Senior Legal Officer with the Organization of American States. She has worked with the United Nations and the Canadian Department of Agriculture, practiced law in the private sector and taught international law. She also has experience as an agricultural economist and has worked as an environmental planner on various issues in sustainable development in Canada and around the world.
Areas of Expertise
Jeannette has training and experience in agriculture, law and environmental design, thus “food, justice, by design” encapsulates her passion, expertise, and methodology. Examples of her skills in the use of law as an instrument for change are included below:
- global food systems evaluation in relation to sustainability principles
- deconstruction of the four pillars of food security
- use of international law in the realization of SDG #2
- design of private/public partnerships for sustainable agriculture
- participatory development of national cross-sectoral plans for food security
Private International Law
- improved access to credit with better secured lending legislation
- enhanced agricultural financing through use of warehouse receipts
- simplified business incorporation and registration for MSMEs
Public International Law
- analysis of WTO Agreement on Agriculture; impact on food systems
- human rights-based evaluations of food sovereignty and right to food
Environmental Design and Planning
- identification and mapping for protection of local food sheds
- urban design and environmental planning for urban agriculture
- “closing the nutrient loop” – food production and food waste management
- participatory planning using "Asset Based Community Development"
- environmental and social impact assessment as tools for food security
- critical analysis of international agricultural trade policy and law
- design and development of producer/consumer price-spread methodologies
Author / Speaker / Facilitator
Jeannette conducts high-quality research and analysis through an interdisciplinary lens. She has published in numerous academic journals in Canada, the United States, Latin America and in various online newsletters and bulletins.
Jeannette delivers engaging presentations as an innovative and thought-provoking speaker. She adapts her communication style to suit the audience and speaks frequently at law schools, international conferences, and community workshops.
Jeannette is skilled at group facilitation; she chairs meetings, leads and manages multidisciplinary, international teams, builds and maintains strategic partnerships, and fosters collaboration among multiple stakeholder groups.
- Jeannette serves on the Board of Directors of Groundswell International, a non-profit that empowers family farmers to use environmentally sound agricultural practices - agroecology - to transform local food economies.
- Jeannette serves as a mentor to several aspiring international law students, interns, and those at the beginning of their legal careers; she also mentors other young professionals in the fields of sustainable agriculture and food security.
Sustainable Development Goal #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Jeannette’s mission is to support and encourage the transition towards more sustainable food systems and actualization of SDG #2.
Jeannette’s passion began early – a high school research project on “slash and burn” agriculture in Brazil that inspired her to learn about more about what we now refer to as “sustainable” methods of food production.
An exchange program with Canada World Youth to Malaysia confirmed her life-long commitment to this endeavor.
This was followed by agricultural studies, a summer position to assist with development of a genetic seed bank in Germany, and a volunteer teaching placement with CUSO (Canadian University Services Overseas) in Tanzania. That was how it all began…