The Culinary Institute of America

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Spotlight On: Greg Drescher

Vice President—Strategic Initiatives and Industry Leadership

Greg Drescher is vice president of strategic initiatives & industry leadership at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). He is responsible for the college's thought leadership, strategic partnerships and initiatives, industry conferences, and new media. Mr. Drescher assumed his current title in 2011 after serving as executive director of strategic initiatives for the CIA. In this role, he created the college's influential Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival series, Worlds of Healthy Flavors Leadership Retreat in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health, and other CIA "think tank" initiatives.

Mr. Drescher joined the CIA in 1995, and served nearly 10 years as the first director of education for the college's campus in St. Helena, CA, where he oversaw the development of the CIA at Greystone's program of continuing and advanced studies.

Previously, Mr. Drescher was co-founder and program chairman of the Boston-based Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust. In this capacity, he designed programs in the United States and throughout the Mediterranean region, and jointly spearheaded a collaboration of some of the world's leading health experts and organizations—including the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization—in researching and authoring "The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: A Cultural Model for Healthy Eating." The results of this research were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1995, creating much of the academic, public policy, and media interest in the Mediterranean Diet that followed.

In the 1980s, he served as national program director and later as associate director of the American Institute of Wine & Food, an organization co-founded by Julia Child and Robert Mondavi.

Mr. Drescher was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2005. The following year, he was honored with Food Arts magazine's Silver Spoon Award. He has shared two James Beard Awards for his work in developing the CIA's "Savoring the Best of World Flavors" DVD and Web cast series.

In 2008, he was appointed by the President of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine to its "Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake," whose final report was published in 2010.

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