WASHINGTON, April 3, 2019 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) today announced that Janie Simms Hipp, President and CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund and founding director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law, has been elected to its Board of Directors.
“We are truly fortunate to have Janie on our Board,” said Judy Whittlesey, Board Chair of FRAC. “Her leadership, expertise, and vision will help guide and strengthen FRAC’s efforts to end hunger and poverty in America.”
In her role as the President and CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund, Hipp is responsible for guiding the work of the Fund, a new philanthropic organization responsible for distributing the remaining funds created by the Keepseagle settlement. She also founded the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) at the University of Arkansas School of Law — the nation’s first law school-based initiative focusing on tribal governance, strategic technical policy assistance, and Native youth and professional education supporting Native food systems.
Prior to founding the IFAI, Hipp served as Senior Advisor for Tribal Relations to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Director of the USDA Office of Tribal Relations. She also worked at USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture as National Program Leader for Farm Financial Management, Risk Management Education, Trade Adjustment Assistance and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
In 2017, Hipp received the Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year Award from the National Center for American Indian Economic Development, and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award for Lifetime Achievement, awarded by President Barack Obama.
Hipp graduated from the University of Oklahoma (BA), Oklahoma City University (JD), and University of Arkansas School of Law (LLM, Agriculture and Food Law). She is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation.
The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States.