Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Michiel Bakker to Become Next President of the Culinary Institute of America

Hyde Park, NY – The Board of Trustees of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) today announced the appointment of Michiel Bakker as the college’s sixth president, effective September 1, 2024. Bakker will further CIA’s eight-decade legacy of leadership and excellence. The Board’s decision follows an extensive, 10-month global search. Bakker succeeds Dr. Tim Ryan, the Institute’s longest-serving president, who held the role since 2001 and who moves into the new role of chancellor.

“In its 78-year history, CIA has had just five presidents—pretty astounding when you consider that the average college president’s tenure is less than six years1,” said Board Chair John Metz, Jr. “We were committed to finding the person who would ensure that CIA continues to be the world’s premier culinary college. Michiel Bakker’s experience speaks for itself, and we are confident he is the president to build on CIA’s strong foundation and usher the college into its next era.”

For the past 12 years, based in Mountain View, CA, Bakker worked in various global leadership roles at Google. From 2012 to 2021, he was responsible for Google’s celebrated Food at Work program, supporting all foodservice-related activities and initiatives, as well as developing internal and external partnerships to explore and tackle the challenges and opportunities in global food systems.

He also led Google’s Global Workplace Programs organization with overall responsibilities for the ongoing delivery of events, health and performance, transportation, and food at work services to more than 250,000 individuals worldwide. Most recently, Bakker steered the Global Workplace Strategy, Innovation, and Sustainability team, leading the work on Google’s long-term workplace strategy, workplace experience, and sustainability efforts for Google’s global office real estate portfolio.

Before joining Google in 2012, Bakker spent 17 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. in various hotel and global food and beverage operations roles. These included creating and building out partnerships, leading hotel food and beverage developments and openings, food experience design, and running hotel and food and beverage operations.

Bakker holds an Executive MSc degree in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business, a Master of Hospitality Administration degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, an MBA from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, and a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration from the Hotel Management School Maastricht in the Netherlands.

He is an active contributor to various advisory boards of organizations including the Yale Center for Customer Insights, the EAT Forum, the World Food Program Innovation Accelerator, and the Beans is How initiative. He is also a member of the James Beard Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the Supervisory Board of the Dutch food waste focused startup Orbisk. In addition, Bakker hosts the Food Lab Talk podcast, which highlights bold visions and inspiring actions for the future of food systems, and he contributed a chapter to the book Food Inc. 2. He has been involved with CIA for many years, serving on the advisory councils for the college’s Sustainable Food Systems master’s degree and its Menus of Change® initiative, and he piloted the college’s ProChef® Plant-Forward Kitchen training and certification program at Google.

“Stepping into the role of president at the Culinary Institute of America is a dream come true for me, as CIA is an organization I have admired and supported for so many years,” Bakker said. “In this new role, I will be able to bring together my deep passion for all aspects of the food and beverage industry, lifelong learning, hospitality, and enabling individuals to be at their best. Building upon the college’s legacy, reputation, and alumni network, I’m excited and eager to collaborate with the incredible faculty, staff, and stakeholders to propel CIA forward, ensuring students continue to graduate with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the dynamic and most amazing and rewarding world of food and beverage.”

Bakker was born and raised in the Netherlands and moved to the U.S. in 1995, to marry his wife Nicolette, a New York State native, who hails from Middletown. Over the subsequent years, they lived and worked in cities including Atlanta, GA; Gleneden Beach, OR; Washington, DC; Philadelphia, PA; Brussels, Belgium; and the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently they reside in Los Gatos, CA, and will relocate to New York for the position.

Bakker, now a proud Dutch-American, is an avid reader, has a deep affinity for food and food systems, and loves to hike, explore cities, and enjoy great meals with family and friends. He and Nicolette have two sons: Brian, a graduate of the University of Oregon, and Andrew, who is looking forward to graduating from Clemson University later this year.

Media Contact:

Amanda Secor
Associate Director—Industry Marketing and Communications

About the Culinary Institute of America:

Founded in 1946, the Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies. The college also offers executive education, certificate programs, and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of more than 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food world. CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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1American Council on Education survey, April 14, 2023

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