Outreach Specialist, Educator, Food Resource Economist
East Lansing, Michigan
As an Academic Specialist with the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University, Cheryl Danley engages with communities to strengthen their access to fresh, locally grown, healthy and affordable food. Previously Cheryl served as the technical assistance liaison to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Food and Fitness Initiative aimed at creating healthy community environments for children, youth and families. Currently she provides outreach as part of the Food and Community Connections program.
Cheryl has worked in academia, philanthropy, and the non-profit sector for more than 20 years on issues of environment and sustainable development, both in the US and abroad. Trained as an agricultural economist, Cheryl has broad international experience in community development, agricultural marketing, natural resource management and policy. She has been involved in teaching and research in a number of African countries. Prior to her current position at MSU, Cheryl served as Country Representative for Africare in Tanzania and South Africa, managing a diverse portfolio of health and agriculture programs, including projects in primary health care, HIV/AIDS, food security, natural resources, social infrastructure development, and refugee relief. Prior to that she was the Assistant Director for MSU's Partnerships for Food Industry Development (Fruits & Vegetables) -- program of the U.S. Agency for International Development designed to strengthen supply chains and improve incomes and retail linkages for farmers in developing countries. Cheryl received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.S. in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida.
Her vision for the food system is one in which people of color participate as experts and resource people in formulating and implementing Good Food policy leading to greater economic development in depressed areas. Although Cheryl was raised in Detroit, Boston and New York City, she takes great pride in the Florida farmland her family has struggled to maintain for five generations.