A Seat at the Table: Creating Opportunity for Vulnerable and Often Excluded Populations with Chef Jose Andres

"Simplify, Adapt, and Act Like a Startup, Chef José Andrés Advises Development Community"

The development community should simplify its goals, focus more on adaptation than on planning, and behave more like startups, award-winning chef and humanitarian José Andrés tells a standing-room-only audience at the World Bank. After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Andrés formed t... view more


Part 1: Alison Evans, Director-General of Evaluation for the World Bank Group, presented insights from several recent evaluations by the Bank Group’s independent watchdog on how the organization can better reach minority and excluded populations that are still poor.


Part 2: After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, José Andrés formed the charity World Central Kitchen, went to Haiti, and began serving meals. Andrés talks about community development projects, in addition to work in tourism, employment and agriculture. 


Part 3: Andrés—who had just returned from a week helping communities in Mozambique that were destroyed by flooding after Cyclone Idai—offered several lessons learned from his charity work to the development community


Part 4: How do you connect trainees to opportunities? How do you ensure that the trainings impact them in the long-term? 


Part 5: 3 billion people in the world today cook with charcoal and wood. Andrés talks about investing in clean cooking stoves and the role of women in impacting the most vulnerable populations. Local input and expertise is critical to successful delivery of aid. Being able to adapt to conditions on the ground is more important than having an elaborate plan.


Part 6: What role does environmental sustainability eg. zero waste, carbon neutrality, play in the restaurant industry? How can crisis generate a more urgent and collaborative response? 

About the Presenters

José Andrés

Award-winning chef, Owner, Think Food Group, & Founder, World Central Kitchen @WCKitchen

Named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in both 2012 and 2018, and awarded the 2015 National Humanities Medal, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, New York Times best-selling author, educator, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he has been recognized as “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation and is known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of 31 restaurants located throughout the country and beyond. As a naturalized citizen originally from Spain, Andrés has been a tireless advocate for immigration reform. In 2010, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that provides smart solutions to end hunger and poverty by using the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies. Notably, his team served over 3.7 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, an experience about which he wrote the bestselling book We Fed An Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time. World Central Kitchen’s food first responders have continued to deploy to natural disasters in California, Guatemala, North Carolina, Indonesia, and Colombia, reaching 8 million meals served and counting.

Alison Evans

Director-General, Evaluation, World Bank Group

Alison Evans, a United Kingdom national, assumed her position as Director-General, Evaluation at the World Bank Group on January 3, 2019. Before her current role, Dr. Evans was the Chief Commissioner of the UK’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) based in London, England where she provided strong leadership and vision to the transformation of that organization's scrutiny mandate. Alison Evans brings more than 25 years of international development experience, spanning policy, research and evaluation across diverse geopolitical and multicultural environments. Prior to joining ICAI, she was Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the UK’s leading international development think tank, helping to steer new strategic directions and a strong results focus for the organization. She worked for six years as a Senior Economist at the World Bank, as a member of the team producing the WDR 1997 and as a Senior Evaluation Specialist in OED (former name for the Independent Evaluation Group). She earned a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the University of Sussex and a Master's in Economics and Politics from the University of Cambridge.

Julie Gathoni Sumira Gichuru


Ms. Julie Gichuru is an entrepreneur and media personality with investments across media, ICT, retail and entertainment sectors. She is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative EA and hosts the pan African television show Africa Leadership Dialogues. Ms. Gichuru’s career in the media over the past 18 years has seen her work across the fields of broadcast, print and digital media, pioneering an impressive number of celebrated shows. Ms. Gichuru is the first African woman to receive the Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness for peace advocacy in Kenya in 2007 and 2008. Through her company ARIMUS MEDIA Limited Julie drives African conversations on leadership and development and oversees the production of quality African content. She is a Fellow of the United Nations Foundation Global Journalist Corps, she has been recognized by Women in Enterprise as one of the 60 Most Influential African Women in the World and is a Fellow of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Program. Ms. Gichuru has been recognized as a Young Global Leader under the World Economic Forum, and received the Order of the Grand Warrior from former President Mwai Kibaki for her contributions to nation building in Kenya.