Olivia Peña (she/her) leads CSPI's Engagement and Capacity Building Team, which supports the organization's grantmaking portfolio. The Engagement Team's work helps to build the power and capacity of local and state community partners who are working to advance more equitable food systems through organizing and advocacy.

Prior experience

Before joining CSPI, Olivia worked at the Building Movement Project where she supported the development of Building Blocks for Change, a race equity assessment for nonprofits, and managed cohorts of nonprofit leaders and staff. Olivia founded the Vermont Releaf Collective, a BIPOC network focused on land, environment, agriculture, and food. She has worked in a variety of food and agriculture related roles ranging from organic flower farming to Farm Bill engagement with the US Senate, from research to BIPOC community organizing. Olivia earned both a BS and an MS from the University of Vermont in Food Systems.

Joined CSPI

Olivia joined CSPI in April 2023.

What's the most inspiring part of your job?

"I believe in both the power and strength of community. It's inspiring to support on-the-ground power building and advocacy by funding local and state initiatives, sharing tools, and contributing capacity to support communities as they advocate for more equitable and just food systems."