Robert Dandrew '83, director of the New World Foundation's Local Economies Project.

Hartwick to Host Robert Dandrew ’83 as Part of Campus Theme

March 28, 2016

Robert Dandrew ’83, director of the New World Foundation’s Local Economies Project, will visit campus Monday, April 11 in support the 2015-16 Hartwick College Campus Theme, “Food and the Community.” Dandrew will meet with students in the morning, deliver a public presentation at lunchtime, and tour the College’s Center for Craft Food & Beverage.

His presentation, titled “Building and Sustaining Local Food Systems,” will focus on the power of local food. It will take place at 12:20 p.m. in the Chesboro Room, Dewar Hall, on the College campus and is open to the public. Space is limited, so reservations are strongly suggested.

Dandrew will address the transformative power of healthy local food systems, focusing on the intersection of economics, environmentalism, and culture with an eye toward locally owned business, resilient agriculture, and democratic participation in decision making.

“We are pleased to welcome Bob to campus as a Hartwick alumnus and recognized local food systems expert,” said Professor of Economics Carli Ficano. “Bob’s visit is especially important because he brings deep knowledge of local food systems at a time when both the Hartwick and greater Oneonta communities are making demonstrated strides in leveraging value-added agriculture as a tool for regional economic development.”

The New World Foundation (NWF) supports community activists across America and around the world through grant-funding and coalition building. Its Local Economies Project supports vibrant, interconnected communities that are powered by the people who live there.

According to the NWF website, “We see food and farming as a cornerstone of every region, so our major initiatives revolve around food hubs (infrastructure and marketing), farm hubs (farmer training and services), and education (farm-to-school and community). We’re using a range of philanthropic tools to help these efforts take root and grow.”

Dandrew, who has been with the NWF since 2009, supervises a 20-person staff and is responsible for $3.5 million in grant funding.

After graduating from Hartwick College in 1983 with a B.A. in English, Dandrew held several development and alumni affairs positions in academia. In 2003, he became director of the east coast office of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation until 2006, when he became executive director of the NoVo Foundation, a billion-dollar philanthropic organization in New York City. He joined the New World Foundation in 2010.

Dandrew’s visit reflects the College’s leadership role in supporting the region’s continued growth as a hub for agricultural development.

“Hartwick’s developing expertise in and commitment to agricultural entrepreneurship is evidenced clearly through the recent launch of the Hartwick College Center for Craft Food & Beverage,” said Ficano. “Our Center complements parallel efforts being undertaken by Otsego Now, under the direction of Alexander “Sandy” Mathes, Jr., to develop a food innovation district downtown.”

To RSVP for the lunchtime presentation, please contact Ficano at

For more information on the 2015-16 Campus Theme, contact Associate Professor of Education Dr. Mark Davies at (607) 431-4 235 or or visit