The World Food Prize Foundation

2020 Speaker | Donald Wood

Donald Wood
Executive Director, Just Communities of Arkansas

Donald serves as Executive Director of Just Communities of Arkansas (JCA). A culture change agency with its roots dating back over half a century, JCA builds capacity for systemic change so all people in Arkansas can be treated like human beings and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. JCA’s programming focuses on building the individual, organizational and community capacity to: amplify human potential & relationships, connect diverse groups of people, co-create sustainable paths to inclusive systems, and train individuals to lead equitable and systemic change in their workplace and communities. In addition to guiding the JCA’s strategic vision, Donald’s primary role is training and consulting with organizational executives and managers to be inclusive, equitable culture change leaders.


Donald grew up in Arkansas and received his undergraduate degree from Westminster College in Missouri. After college he worked as a youth program officer in Southeast Asia before returning to the U.S. to earn a master's degree in Communications focusing on civic engagement from the University of Arkansas. During his post-grad years, Donald served as an AmeriCorps Fellow and a program officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters which was the beginning of his 16-year career in the non-profit sector. Prior to JCA, he was the Executive Director of one of the country’s largest non-profit hospice care foundations and Executive Director of Development for a top U.S. private liberal arts college.


Donald’s passion for social equity and being an advocate and ally also can be found in his civic leadership roles. For example, currently he serves as a youth tutor and board officer for AR Kids Read (the state’s leading grade-level literacy organization), as a member of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission’s Community Advisory Council for Health Equity, and as national co-chair of The Racial Equity & Hunger National Learning Network. Donald lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with his two best friends--his wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Cameron. 

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