Mark Edwards, who most recently was the director of workforce strategies for New Jersey’s Department of Labor, will become the CEO of the Food Trust, effective October 30.
“Mark has dedicated his career to uplifting communities,” said Angel Rodriguez, chairman of the Food Trust’s board of directors, via an emailed announcement of the appointment. “As our country faces staggering levels of food insecurity, Mark’s leadership and strategic vision are more important than ever as we work to ensure that healthy food is available, accessible and affordable to all.”
Edwards’ appointment to the post comes a little over a year after Yael Lehmann, the Food Trust’s president and CEO for 18 years, abruptly left the organization Sept. 20, 2019. The nonprofit’s founder, Duane Perry, was tapped by the board to help guide the organization through a transition which, within a week of Lehmann’s departure, included a dozen lay offs, as well as senior leadership resignations and voluntary pay cuts. In January 2020, the organization appointed Aaron Felder to lead the organization on an interim basis while a recruitment firm conducted the CEO search nationally.
Before his post at the NJ Department of Labor, Edwards served as the president and CEO of Philadelphia Works for six years. Prior to that post, he served as executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Philadelphia; senior VP and COO of Germantown Settlement; senior VP of the Urban League of Philadelphia; and deputy executive director of the City of Philadelphia‘s Mayor’s Anti-Graffiti Network.
Edwards has served on the board of the workforce development council of the United States Conference of Mayors for seven years, and is a trustee of Pierce College and Community College of Philadelphia. He also served as a community development advisory board member of PNC, and a member of the community empowerment and opportunity board of the City of Philadelphia, among other board posts.
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Edwards holds a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College.-30-
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