Ruth Jones Nichols, Ph.D., Named Chief Movement Officer at Feeding America

October 25, 2021

Ruth Jones Nichols, Ph.D., has been named Chief Movement Officer at Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. She joins Feeding America on November 1 and will be based in the organization’s Washington, D.C. office.

In this newly created position that oversees External Affairs and Communication, Dr. Jones Nichols will have a critical leadership role in our efforts to engage the public in a movement to end hunger in America, position Feeding America as a thought leader on issues related to food insecurity, promote civic engagement in our mission and mobilize the public to support solutions that help the people we serve. Essential to the work she will be leading is deepening our understanding and elevating the voices of people with lived experience in the cultivation of solutions within their communities. Dr. Jones Nichols and her team will work closely and collaboratively with Feeding America’s Government Relations, Equity, and Marketing teams. 

“Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols is a proven leader who has thoughtfully designed and implemented programs within communities that have informed legislators, rallied community leaders, uplifted the voices of the people her organizations have served and inspired public action and support,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “I have been impressed by the deep collaboration and dignity she has cultivated within her community and am confident that she can help ignite a national movement to engage the public in the fight to end hunger.”

With more than 25 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, Dr. Jones Nichols has helped lead transformational efforts to address the root causes of hunger. Most recently, she served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, a member of the Feeding America network. There, she led the evolution of the organization’s business strategy to eliminate hunger through innovative partnerships and direct distribution programs focused on social justice and racial equity. 

Earlier in her career, Dr. Jones Nichols was the Executive Director of the YWCA South Hampton Roads and Director of Resource Development for the District of Columbia Public Schools. She began her career as a social worker and has worked in urban, suburban, and rural communities on the East Coast. 

“I am honored to join the Feeding America team and build upon the organization’s success of ensuring equitable access to nutritious food for children, adults, and families,” said Dr. Jones Nichols. “I am also humbled by the opportunity to collaborate with Feeding America colleagues, our network of 200 food banks, community stakeholders, and people facing hunger toward the goal of catalyzing a national movement that will one day fully realize the promise of our vision for a country where everyone can experience food security.”

Dr. Jones Nichols holds a doctorate in social work from the Catholic University of America, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of William & Mary.  


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About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.3 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.