As the Chief Research Officer, Tom Summerfelt, Ph.D., leads the development and execution of Feeding America’s strategic research agenda—a roadmap for developing a deeper understanding of hunger in America, identifying the transformative strategies that will solve hunger and measuring and reporting the organization’s progress along the way. He partners with world-class external research experts to develop and conduct some of the most comprehensive and important studies on food insecurity—studies that are guiding changes in how our country addresses domestic hunger from the ground up. Tom also partners with the Member Engagement team to translate research and best practices around evaluation and measurement to support our network food banks. Tom provides leadership that enhances alignment of data needs and supports the organization and the network in collecting data to inform success toward meeting our strategic priorities.
Prior to Feeding America, Tom served as the North America President of Convergence CT, where he worked collaboratively with health care providers, life science companies and payers in using technology to leverage real-world data to improve outcomes across the health care ecosystem. Before that, Tom served as the Vice President of Research & Innovation at Advocate Health Care, where he led a department that managed over 600 research studies at any given time and produced over 200 publications annually. Tom has spent over 20 years utilizing research and program evaluation as vehicles to create collaboration and partnership among organizations, to make community programs more efficient and effective, and to demonstrate impact in the lives of people. His work has included diverse projects that share a common focus on improving outcomes for vulnerable populations and reducing social disparities.
Tom earned his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and has held faculty appointments at Vanderbilt, Michigan State University and The University of Chicago.