Paula Daniels

Good Food Purchasing

Paula is Co-founder, Chief of What's Next, and Founding Chair of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, a social enterprise non-profit founded in July of 2015 as a national spin-off from the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, which Paula founded in 2011. The Center for Good Food Purchasing uses the power of procurement to create a transparent and equitable food system that prioritizes the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment, through the nationally-networked adoption and implementation of the Good Food Purchasing Program by large institutions. There are numerous institutions in cities across the US enrolled in this Program.


Paula is a lawyer and public policy leader in environmental food and water policy, with extensive experience in developing and leading local, state and national environmental initiatives that include government, civil society, and private sector partners. Her most notable work is in urban forestry, green infrastructure (for stormwater management) and food system policy (all award-winning initiatives); she has also had key roles in other aspects of public policy and municipal infrastructure.

She has extensive experience in government: she served as Senior Advisor on Food Policy to Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles; as a Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner (a full-time executive position overseeing a large city department); a commissioner with the California Coastal Commission; appointed board member of the California Bay-Delta Authority (overseeing the California State Water Project); and as a commissioner with the California Water Commission.

Paula has received recognition through academic appointments and other awards, including: the Ashoka Fellowship (2018); the Resident Fellowship at the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation (2016); the Stanton Fellowship of the Durfee Foundation (2012-2013); the Pritzker Environment and Sustainability Education Fellow at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (2015); the Lee Chair in Real Estate Law and Urban Planning at UC Berkeley (2013); Top Ten People Making LA a Better Place (LA Weekly, 2012); 2012 Honoree, Green LA Coalition; Water Quality Leadership Award (LA Regional Water Quality Control Board, 2007); Environmental Leadership Award (California League of Conservation Voters, 2005); Super Healer Award (Heal the Bay, 2005).

She is a registered Native Hawai’ian.


    Paula Daniels
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