Sapna Thottathil

Associate Director, University of California, Office of the President

Sapna E. Thottathil, PhD is currently an Associate Director of Sustainability in the University of California’s Office of the President. She has worked on environmental policy and sustainable food supply chains for the Environmental Protection Agency, School Food Focus, and Health Care Without Harm, and has contributed to several articles on sustainable meat procurement, featured in Civil Eats and the American Journal of Public Health. She earned her BA from the University of Chicago, where she was awarded the Udall Scholarship for environmental leadership, before going on to receive an MSc from Oxford University and a PhD in Geography from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship. She currently sits on the Board of Pesticide Action Network and serves as an Advisor to Plant Based Foods Association. She is also the author of India’s Organic Farming Revolution: What it Means for Our Global Food System and editor of Institutions a Conscious Food Consumers: Leveraging Purchasing Power to Drive Systems Change. Sapna lives in Oakland, California with her husband and two children. In her spare time, she enjoys raising chickens, identifying wildflowers and birds, and relearning how to play the piano.

My Sessions

Learn more about how colleges and universities, K-12 schools, hospitals, local governments, and other institutions are deliberately using their purchasing power to make change in the food system, through the creation of sustainable procurement policies, changes in contract language, partnerships with suppliers, and other strategies. This session will ultimately make the case that institutional purchasers … read more >>

Strategies for sustainable food procurement, from packaging to supporting local vendors

College campuses are seeking to use purchasing power to drive sustainability goals, yet lack the leverage, as single institutions, to shift supplier behaviors. This workshop aims to identify strategic areas that colleges and universities can work together on to drive sustainable procurement. Workshop activities include: • Strengthening the network of peers in higher education that … read more >>

Workshop - Higher Ed Working Group