Leslie Hatfield

Leslie Hatfield
HEFN Position: 
Steering Committee Member

Leslie is the senior partnership and outreach advisor at GRACE Communications Foundation, where she advises internally and collaborates with like-minded funders and non-government organizations on strategies, movement building, grantmaking and meeting planning. Leslie has contributed to publications including Civil Eats, The Huffington Post, EcoWatch, Alternet, Edible Hudson Valley, and Acres USA, and has taught a masters level food policy course at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Prior to joining GRACE, she spent a decade working in the restaurant industry, including several seasons in Yellowstone National Park.

Leslie earned her bachelor’s degree from Evergreen State College and her master’s degree in public communication from American University, in Washington, D.C. In addition to serving on the HEFN Steering Committee, she is a board member of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) and the Plastic Solutions Fund, and previously served as a steering committee member of the Food and Farm Communications Fund.

My Grantmaking Focus Is On: 

GRACE works in three ways – running public education campaigns out of our family office, making grants and providing in-kind communication support – and focuses on key issues including industrial agriculture and its environmental, social and health impacts; sustainable and just agriculture systems including regenerative agriculture; aquaculture including both promotion of recirculating farms and challenging unsustainable net pen finfish farming; plastic pollution, and farm training and therapy programs. My personal areas of focus at GRACE are increasing communication capacity among grassroots partners, movement building and environmental justice.

What Drew Me Into HEFN Leadership: 

HEFN has created such a welcoming and trusting space for funders, nonprofit leaders and government officials to dig in on tough issues together for a healthier and more just future. I attended my first HEFN meeting in 2017 and immediately felt at home among the membership and staff, and was energized by the level of trust and learning.hefn

I See the HEFN Community Making a Difference: 

In prioritizing its commitment to racial justice work. I was fortunate to participate in a learning cohort (Making the Case for Equity and Grassroots Funding) with HEFN in 2018, which was an incredible opportunity for professional and personal development. The cohort really helped me think through an important project I was working on at the time and forge deep connections with other funders.

When I'm Not at Work You Might Find Me: 

At one of New York’s beautiful beaches, at home with my partner, or at a local yarn store – wherever I am, I’m probably working on a crochet project.

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