Small Planet Institute Team Members

Small Planet Institute Team Members



Natalie Vaughan-Wynn

Natalie Vaughan-Wynn is the Small Planet Institute’s Manager. Working from the Cambridge office, she is responsible for coordinating research, program and project development, events, strategic planning, and the overall management of the Institute. Her diverse experiences, from working in an Alaskan cannery to piloting a food stamp acceptance program for the Spokane Farmers’ Market to consulting for Winrock International in Central Asia, shape her perspective around Small Planet’s sphere of work. She has worked in multiple countries, including Niger, where she served as a Hausa-speaking Peace Corps volunteer in the Tahoua region. She is also an Americorps alum and in 2008 received the President's Volunteer Service Award. Most recently, she earned a Master’s in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University while working in varying capacities with Oxfam America. A west coast transplant, she now lives in the Boston area with her husband and their son.

Joanna Dillon

Joanna Dillon is the key project manager and developer working with Anna on the Real Food Media Project. She has worked with farmers and the public to build strong, resilient agricultural systems in the Northeast, California, and nationally. She most recently was the Communications Director at the Ecological Farming Association, where she created the promotion and outreach strategy for education programs and advocacy campaigns. Previously, she ran the education and communication initiatives at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey and farm-to-school programs in northeastern Vermont. In addition to a dedication to supporting sustainable agriculture and healthy, just food systems, Joanna brings experience in program development, grants management, and design/technology to the Real Food Media Project. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from Bennington College in Vermont and is currently pursuing an MBA in Design Strategy at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.


Giulio Caperchi

Born and raised in Rome, Giulio Caperchi has recently moved to Boston and is now a research fellow at the Small Planet Institute. He holds a Master’s Degree in Social and Political Theory from the University of London and has been professionally trained as a cook. In his spare time he enjoys making fresh hand-made pasta and writes political theory essays for The Genealogy of Consent Blog.

Richard Rowe, PhD

Richard Rowe is a Senior Fellow of the Small Planet Institute and the publisher of Small Planet Media. He is founder, chair and CEO of Open Learning Exchange (OLE) International. Dr. Rowe has focused his career on national and international policies and services that strengthen children, families and communities. A clinical psychologist by training, he was Director of the Test Development and Research Office of the West African Examinations Council, a former Associate Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of Harvard’s interfaculty doctoral program in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice; he has served on the Massachusetts State Board of Education, chairing the Board’s education reform task force, and on the MIT Press Board of Directors. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Technology and Education and of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Ashley Higgs

Ashley graduated from the University of Oklahoma this past May with a bachelor's degree in biology. She recently moved to Boston to begin studies in the Gastronomy program with an emphasis in food policy at Boston University. With her love for learning all things food, she is particularly interested in U.S. and global food systems and issues related to food access. She is therefore excited to have joined the Small Planet team and learn more about the roles non-profits play in our food system today. When not at Small Planet, Ashley can be found cooking, studying, or exploring her new home.

Anthony Lappé

Anthony Lappé is Media Advisor and Producer of web documentaries for the Small Planet Institute (See Getting a Grip on Money and Politics, Part 1 and 2). He is a founder of INVISIBLE HAND, a production company dedicated to helping groups and individuals create powerful media for change. After graduating from NYU and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Anthony worked as a freelance feature writer for The New York Times while a producer for MTV News. In 2000, he helped found the Guerrilla News Network, whose groundbreaking web shorts won numerous awards including the Sundance Online Film Festival. He produced GNN’s award-winning Showtime documentary about Iraq, BattleGround: 21 Days on the Empire’s Edge. He has taught documentary video at NYU, Mediabistro and to Palestinian journalists in the West Bank. He has appeared on numerous media outlets around the world, including the BBC, Sky News and NPR, and has been a guest host on Air America Radio. In addition, Lappé has spoken at numerous college campuses and institutions, including the Library of Congress and London’s Institute of Contemporary Art. He has written for Details, New York, Paper, Vice and Salon, among many others. He is the co-author of True Lies (Plume) and author of Shooting War (Grand Central), which was called “scary smart” by Rolling Stone and one of the top graphic novels of all time by Rough Guides. It has been republished in France, Spain, Italy and the UK, where it’s being developed into a TV mini-series. In 2009, he was the story producer for Brink, a weekly news magazine on the Science Channel produced by CBS News Productions.


Jiwon Ma

Jiwon is a senior at Lesley University majoring in global studies, and minoring in psychology. Her academic interest centers on empowering women, eradicating world poverty and extreme hunger, developing quality education for youth, and the elimination of transnational organized crimes. Jiwon is a member of the Model United Nations team at Lesley, and the delegation will be representing Tunisia at the Harvard National Model UN Conference in February. She is a Community Advisor, commonly known as a Resident Assistant, at Lesley. During her free time, Jiwon loves to go on a venture in search of good foods in Boston, play the guitar, and spend time with her friends, and family.

Kristen Fiore

Kristen Fiore is a graduate from Roger Williams University with a degree in graphic design, as well as a minor in sustainability. At Small Planet, she hopes to study sustainable food systems more in depth and hopes to incorporate that knowledge into her designs. She is excited to see where her designs will take her. When she is not running, she is painting, baking, or out exploring.

Emily Nixon

Emily graduated from Connecticut College in May with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Her primary focus was on industrial agriculture and the future of genetically modified crops in the United States, and she is excited to continue exploring these themes and the more promising alternatives with the Small P​lanet team! While at Conn, Emily had the opportunity to research and study abroad in Ecuador, work with dining services to increase the amount of organic and locally-sourced produced on campus, play club soccer, and volunteer for four years with the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. When not at Small Planet, Emily enjoys running and hiking with friends, testing out her vegetarian cooking skills on her family, scouring Pinterest for the next dream vacation, and drinking excessive amounts of coffee.

Olivia Goolkasian

Olivia Goolkasian is a senior at New York University, where she is pursuing a major in chemistry and a minor in studio art. At Small Planet, she hopes to apply her scientific background while learning more about food systems and sustainability as they go beyond the scientific world. Having spent the past three years in New York City, Olivia cherishes time near the ocean and hiking, and also has a love for art that she strives to bring to her everyday life.​​

Annie Wittenberg

​Annie Wittenberg is a junior at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), where she is pursuing a degree in Psychology and a minor in English. Annie is taking classes at Boston University for the summer term and returns to UNCG in the fall. During her internship at Small Planet, Annie hopes to learn more about sustainability and environmentalism. In her free time, Annie enjoys running, reading and exploring Boston (particularly Boston's pastry shops).

Caroline Campbell

Caroline is a junior at Carleton College, where she is pursuing a major in biology and a minor is neuroscience. Her interest in food and sustainability developed through her involvement in Carleton's food group, which works to promote an understanding of different cultures through the universal language of food while education people in healthy and sustainable cooking. At Small Planet, she hopes to learn more about world hunger and sustainable food practices, specifically as they relate to public health. Caroline spends most of her free time reading and exploring Boston, as well as going for runs every chance she gets.

Rachel Gilbert

Rachel graduated from Dickinson College in May 2012, where she majored in Environmental Studies. She recently returned from volunteering with an organic, fair trade coffee company in Cameroon, where she worked teaching high school students and women's groups about organic agriculture. Rachel recently moved to Boston and hopes to explore sustainable agriculture and food policy, with a particular interest in urban agriculture. Rachel loves to curl up with a good cup of tea and a good book, and enjoys exploring new foods and eateries around Boston.

Kelly Toups

Kelly became a Registered and Licensed Dietitian after graduating with a nutrition degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she is a graduate student in the Boston University Gastronomy program, concentrating in food policy. Kelly is interested in the role of nutrition and sustainability in the greater food system and is excited to be working for the Small Planet Institute. Kelly enjoys good books and warm bowls of oatmeal, and loves exploring her new east coast home. See Kelly's website


Trent Mutchler

Boston Business Printing, Boston, MA
Many thanks to Boston Business Printing for printing our fact sheet on organic agriculture!