Meet Our New Executive Director, Nanya Chiejine



Mike Houston, Board Chair‬‬‬

Montgomery County Food Council Introduces New Executive Director Nanya Chiejine 

The Montgomery County Food Council (MCFC) is excited to announce our new Executive Director Nanya Chiejine (Nī  ́- ya Shay ́- zhen – nay)Ms. Chiejine will begin with MCFC on February 1st, 2024.  She was most recently the Director of Well Connected Communities at the National 4-H Council.  Her work at the 4-H Council focused on building the capacity of Cooperative Extension staff at our nation’s land grant universities.  Ms. Chiejine has over 13 years of experience in public health and food systems work with a focus on diverse populations and exploring social determinants of health.  

“The Food Council Board of Directors is thrilled to announce Nanya’s role and to begin working alongside her,” said Board Chair Mike Houston.  “She brings experience from across the various parts of our food system and collaborative leadership that will benefit the Food Council and our county.”

MCFC would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Massa Cressall who served as Interim Executive Director and will now continue in her former role as Deputy Director.  Her leadership over the past year has been invaluable in helping the organization continue to cultivate positive changes in our local and regional food system.  

Ms. Chiejine brings passion and commitment to reducing health disparities.  At 4-H, she oversaw the implementation of policy, systems and environment changes that reduce systemic health inequities in the areas of food systems and mental health across 23 land grant universities and 50 communities.

“I am passionate about food systems and the collective benefits to our health, our children’s education, our neighborhoods, and local farmers,” said Ms. Chiejine. “I am driven to explore opportunities to address food insecurity because I believe that food is a human right and nobody, particularly children, should lack access to food or go hungry.  I am looking to work on scaling up best practices to strengthen the food system and expand local food access.”

Ms. Chiejine holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health from the University of Michigan.  She is currently a Bloomberg Fellow in Food Systems at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health where she is pursuing a doctorate in Implementation Science.  

The Montgomery County Food Council is an independent council that brings together a diverse representation of stakeholders in a public and private partnership to improve the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of Montgomery County, Maryland through the creation of a robust, local, sustainable food system. Our vision is to cultivate a vibrant food system in Montgomery County that consciously produces, distributes, and recycles food, making it accessible to all residents while promoting the health of the local food economy, its consumers, and the environment. 

Upcoming Events

May 30

Resident and Community Gardening Collaborative Call

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Jun 12

HarvestShare’s Food Gardening – June

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Jun 21

On-Farm Composting Tour w/Compost Crew at One Acre Farm

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Jun 25

SNAP Work Group Call

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Jun 26

Food System Advocacy Community Call

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Jun 27

Local Food Procurement Working Group Meeting

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