Melina Shannon-DiPietro is Executive Director of MAD (Danish for food) the non-profit organization founded by René Redzepi of restaurant noma. MAD inspires and empowers cooks, servers, and eaters to create sustainable change through education programs and publications. Prior to MAD, Melina was a director at Friends of the High Line, the organization that transformed an abandoned elevated rail line into one of New York City’s best-loved public parks. Melina began her work in food as co-founder of the Yale Sustainable Food Program. Helping people to be their best, building organizations, and connecting with nature has always motivated Melina. Melina grew up in Albany, New York, surrounded by a loving and loud Italian-Irish-American family, who is still asking as they wrap up each meal, “what do we eat next?” She lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.
MAD (*Danish for food) empowers the hospitality community with the tools, inspiration, and knowledge to make a difference in their communities and the world. MAD was founded in 2011 by René Redzepi, chef and owner of restaurant noma with the ambition of transforming hospitality and driving change in food systems.
Since the very beginning, MAD has led important conversations about how the restaurant community can contribute to the health of the planet and positively contribute to the lives of those working in food. MAD’s programs include a biennial Symposium; a series of public talks in major cities around the globe; media shared through books, publications, and online videos; and free resources to explore nature through foraging: VILD MAD. Now, MAD is embarking on its most ambitious project yet, creating an Academy supporting the food and hospitality industry with tools and knowledge for changemakers.