Nessa leads the Council in achieving its mission to promote a more accessible, equitable, and sustainable food system in Rhode Island. Externally, she represents the network in a variety of settings. Internally, she cultivates leadership within each of the organization’s staff. She works closely with Rhode Island’s Director of Food Strategy and other state leaders to advance good food policy and implement the Rhode Island food strategy, Relish Rhody, which is a comprehensive five-year plan unveiled in May 2017 to grow and sustain markets for locally grown food for the good of communities, the environment, and the economy. Nessa is a native Rhode Islander who returned to her hometown of South Kingstown ten years ago after living and working in Austin, Texas and the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Nessa has earned a self-designed degree in Political Economic of Natural Resources from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.