For over a decade, Prof. Elizabeth Kucinich has been a powerful advocate working with domestic and international organizations, members of Congress and their staffs, to advance sustainable and regenerative, science and integrity-based policies with a core focus on air, water and land as the basis of human security and flourishing.
Elizabeth works to promote regenerative agricultural practices, protect organic agricultural standards, emphasizing the importance of soil carbon sequestration and ecological restoration to prevent desertification and enhance human and planetary health.
Elizabeth has produced two award-winning environmental documentaries, GMO OMG and Hot Water. She lectures and leads panels in the United States and internationally on the critical role of ecologically based systems ‘appreciative’ thinking, the adoption of integrated industrial processes, monetary reform, the circular economy, agroforestry and plant-forward lifestyles for health, conflict prevention, national security and climate change mitigation.
Drawing from her extensive experience working inside the U.S. political system, paired with a sincere desire and international reputation for working to bring social, economic, health, agricultural and ecological systems into balance, Elizabeth works to strengthen the institutional capacity of organizations that support these goals.
Elizabeth employs a combination of systems thinking and strengths-based appreciative inquiry bringing to the table approaches that underscore the primacy of eco-logical design. She is a champion for business as an agent of world benefit and the evolution from degenerative, to sustainable, to regenerative systems.
A Professor at Coventry University in the UK, Elizabeth serves on the Vice Chancellor's advisory council and is a board director for several notable international organizations including, Board Policy Chair for the Rodale Institute, the oldest organic research institute in America, est. 1947; and UNRWA USA, a charity supporting the UN agency who provide for the extensive humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees. She was a founding board member of J/P HRO, Sean Penn's Haitian relief organization.
Understanding the power of documentaries as a medium for education, Elizabeth is an advisory council member of DC EFF, the world’s largest environmental film festival; is the executive producer of GMO OMG, which, among many accolades, won the 2014 Environmental Media Award for best documentary; producer of 'Hot Water' (2016), exploring radioactive contamination of ground water across America and 'Organic Rising' (2016). Elizabeth is also an advisor to the documentary "Ground Operations: from battlefields to farm fields" about veteran farmers and the healing power of engagement in food production.
As the director of policy at the Center for Food Safety (CFS) in Washington, DC. (2013-15), Elizabeth worked on issues of GMO labelling, drugs in meat, chemicals in agriculture and pollinator protection. From US Congress to Hollywood, Elizabeth travelled extensively internationally, raising awareness about the present state of our industrialized, chemical intensive, monopolized food system. Her message emphasizing the regenerative potential of truly sustainable agriculture as the foundation not only for a healthy population, but resource efficient production, carbon sequestration, flood mitigation and drought tolerance.
Prior to joining CFS, Elizabeth was director of government affairs at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). There she worked to advance alternatives to the use of animals in medical education and research, and shaped initiatives to reform US federal nutrition policies to emphasize the disease prevention and reversal potential of plant-based (vegan) approaches. Through Congressional engagement, the Army ended its use of monkeys in chemical casualty training and NASA halted radiation experiments on squirrel monkeys and HHS drastically reduced the use of chimpanzees in research. Elizabeth also helped to establish the Congressional Staff Vegetarian Association.
"Low tech, low cost, easily applied regenerative agriculture techniques could sequester as much CO2 as we put into the atmosphere each year - through photosynthesis and soil carbon storage - thereby providing
A Path to Climate Change Reversal.[read link]
This approach not only leads to mitigate the effects of climate change but also increases plant resilience, plant nutrition and yield,
bolstering human and ecological security." Elizabeth Kucinich
International & Humanitarian Work
Over the years, Elizabeth has been engaged in many humanitarian and international endeavors. Prior to coming to America in 2005, Elizabeth worked for the Mission to Seafarers, lived and worked in the bush in Tanzania with a subsitance farming community for 16 months, volunteered in a Missionaries of Charity home in Agra, India and helped establish an education project for 'untouchable' (Dalit) children in a village near the Taj Mahal.
Her key priority since her marriage to Dennis Kucinich is to work for international relations break throughs. She and her husband have made many trips to the Middle East, to speak with national leaders and citizens, to learn about and support community building efforts for peace building, reveal the dynamics of the 'international game of nations', and to informally assess war crimes.
Elizabeth is a founding board director of J/P HRO, Sean Penn's Haitian Relief Organization, and is a board director of UNRWA USA, who promote a life of dignity and human development for Palestine refugees.
A Whirlwind Romance
Elizabeth is married to former eight-term congressman and two-time Democratic presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich.
On Elizabeth's first day working with the American Monetary Institute (her second week in America), she was asked to schedule meetings in Congress for a trip the following week. "I don't mind who we meet with as long as we get a meeting with Dennis Kucinich. I've been trying for 2 years," said her new boss, Stephen Zarlenga. "Who is he?" asked Elizabeth. And that was the beginning. Elizabeth and Dennis met on May 4th, 2005 during an eight-minute meeting on monetary policy and without talking to each other, both knew they had met their soul mates.
By chance, they happened to be in New Mexico on the same day 3 weeks later. They met. They talked. They decided to get married. Three months later on August 21, 2005, they did and are reknowned in Washington, D.C. as love birds. There are a couple of lovely newspaper stories detailing the magical elements of their meeting, "How Kucinich Found Love" and "The Love Song of Dennis J. Kucinich".
As described by others on Elizabeth's Wikipedia page, "Kucinich's appearance has been noted in the media. Vanity Fair magazine named Elizabeth Kucinich among the nation's "best dressed" political wives and Cleveland Magazine pegged her as "Cleveland's most interesting", while the Washington Post described Kucinich as "if not a national obsession, then certainly a treasured District landmark" who as "an excellent example of genetics could easily have made it in the other Hollywood."
Elizabeth organized the American Monetary Institute’s first international conference on monetary reform in October 2005. After working with her husband Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Congressional legislative counsel for 5 years, landmark monetary reform legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives in the form of The NEED Act: The National Emergency Employment Defense Act. The NEED Act would transform our present debt-based money system by ending fractional reserve banking, put the FED under the US Treasury, provide for a full employment economy and facilitate the funding of much needed infrastructure reforms. - Sounds too good to be true, but it's possible!
Elizabeth has a Bachelors degree in Religions Studies and Theology, and a Master of Arts in International Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent, U.K. Elizabeth's final exam for her Master's degree was on the topic of 'Conflict Resolution and World Politics'. She wrote her paper on terrorism and after learned that the attacks of 9/11 had taken place during the time she was in the examination hall. It was then Elizabeth decided she should come to America one day to work on international relations, diplomacy and peace.
She has completed a number of vocational training courses in topics including, core skills in U.N. Human Rights fieldwork, SPHERE: implementation training in Minimum Standards in Disaster Response, and Child Protection. She also has a certificate in Peace and Reconciliation Studies from Coventry University, U.K., is a qualified TESOL teacher and has taught appreciative inquiry at executive MBA level.
British born Elizabeth Harper arrived eight years into her parents' marriage. Her sister, Verity was born four years later. Their parents created a home life akin to a real life Beatrix Potter storybook. They kept dogs and cats, hens, ducks, guinea fowl, doves, pigeons, pheasants, a rabbit named Allsorts, a goose named Simon and the occasional visiting peacock. Jimmy-James, their Muscovy duck, was frequently wheeled up and down the drive in the doll's pram. William, the English Pointer had been hand reared so he considered himself human. Elizabeth would adorn his neck with a bib as he sat on the chair at the end of the kitchen table at Maytree Cottage, while the family ate dinner listening to The Archers on Radio 4.
Weekends were invariably spent doing something that necessitated wearing Wellies, like playing in one of the large organic compost heaps (Elizabeth says she owes her height to this), collecting flints and bones from the Anglo Saxon archaeological excavations in the back field, or jumping in muddy puddles in the bluebell woods.
2010 - present
2010 - present