Gene White joined the Global Child Nutrition Foundation when it was first organized in 2006. Gene brings to the Foundation a 30 year career as a specialist in the administration, management and operation of school nutrition programs.
She is the former Assistant Superintendent and Director of Child Nutrition Programs, California State Department of Education. In this position she directed federal and state child nutrition programs that served daily over 2.5 million meals to children in schools and other agencies. Prior to this she was Director of School Food and Nutrition Programs, Sierra Sands Unified School District, Ridgecrest California. She has also worked as administrative dietitian in a general hospital and faculty in colleges and universities.
A native of Ohio, Gene received her undergraduate degree in Food and Nutrition from Miami University in Ohio and a Masters Degree in Nutrition from Ohio State University. She is a registered dietitian, American Dietetic Association and a credentialed School Nutrition Specialist, School Nutrition Association.
Gene is Past-President of both the School Nutrition Association and the California School Nutrition Association. She has served in numerous leadership positions to advance nutrition education, state and federal legislation for child nutrition programs, and program quality standards.
Although much of Gene’s work has focused on child nutrition programs in the United States, she has also been actively involved in helping developing countries establish school feeding programs. She has worked in Tunisia on a USAID project, in Paraguay on a World Food Programme assignment, and throughout Latin America helping establish the Latin America School Feeding Network.
Gene lives on Whidbey Island, Washington State where volunteer work includes helping local school districts develop wellness policies to prevent obesity and promote student health.
The Board of Directors of Global Child Nutrition Foundation appointed Arlene Mitchell as Executive Director on April 15, 2014. “I have known and worked with Arlene for more than 10 years,” said GCNF Board President Gene White. “She is a world class leader and child nutrition advocate whose integrity, experience and professional skills will be invaluable to GCNF.”
Ms. Mitchell served for the past six years as Deputy Director for Access and Markets in the Agricultural Development program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She also was an executive in the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), where she led the global school feeding effort; managed international technical assistance and training activities for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and served as both volunteer and staff with the U.S. Peace Corps.
Raised on a family farm in Michigan, Ms. Mitchell has a professional background which includes academic research, program evaluation, restaurant and business management, and invalid care.
“GCNF has accomplished so much on behalf of the world’s poor children over the years,” Mitchell said. “To work in this new role with GCNF’s partners, as well as its incredibly talented and committed Board, is very exciting. The challenges related to hunger both at home and abroad remain significant as millions of children are still malnourished, out of school or unable to learn and thrive.”