Our Team

David Denkenberger

Director & Co-founder, Assistant Prof. Mechanical Engineering

Dr. David Denkenberger received his B.S. from Penn State in Engineering Science, his M.S.E. from Princeton in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Building Systems Program. His dissertation was on his patented expanded microchannel heat exchanger.

He is an assistant professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks in mechanical engineering. He is also an associate at the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute.

He co-founded and directs the Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters (ALLFED) and donates half his income to it.

He received the National Merit Scholarship, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, is a Penn State distinguished alumnus, and is a registered professional engineer.

He has authored or co-authored >90 publications (over 1250 citations, h-index = 16), including the book Feeding Everyone no Matter What: Managing Food Security after Global Catastrophe. His food work has been featured in over 25 countries, over 200 articles, including Science, Wikipedia, Discovery Channel Online News, Gizmodo, Phys.org, and Science Daily.

He has given interviews on 80,000 Hours podcast and Estonian Public Radio, WGBH Radio, Boston, and WCAI Radio on Cape Cod, USA. He has given over 90 technical presentations, including ones on food at Princeton University, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Sandia National Lab, Los Alamos National Lab, Cornell University, Imperial College, University College London, University of Cambridge, and University of Oxford.

Ray Taylor

Co-founder, Food System Recovery & Preparedness

Ray Taylor, the other co-founder of ALLFED, focuses on research amplification/implementation, preparedness and recovery. He comes from a health, international development and disaster preparedness background.

At FJKM, a large Madagascar NGO, he worked on vaccine promotion, vetiver and involved church networks and development NGOs in cyclones preparedness and response. Since Madagascar is like a world in itself, this work led to the idea of doing something similar at global scale.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was a consultant in eastern Europe for UK and EU funding and knowledge transfer.

Currently Ray shares his time between Oxford, UK, where works as our coordinator on food importing countries, financial mechanisms, response planning and preparedness, and Chennai, India, where he coordinates our South Asia programme.

Ray is also our main networker and outreach person, so find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Outside of ALLFED, Ray also works with the international Nonviolent Communication network as a project coach, especially for Global South countries, and has developed a 24/7 response network.

Sonia Cassidy

Director of Operations

With a varied career spanning social enterprise, management and leadership, Sonia is the key liaison between ALLFED’s 2 co-founders and our organisational linchpin.

With a particular interest in SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) Business Continuity, Sonia has helped to pioneer SME BCM in the UK both through her contributions to Continuity (the magazine of the Business Continuity Institute) and her own ventures and practice. During the 2005 London bombings (7/7) hers was reportedly “the only business open in Covent Garden”  with the Kings Cross and Russel Square victims finding refuge at the time of chaos.

Sonia brings to ALLFED strong international operational and project management skills as well as a solid understanding of business continuity, finance, HR, PR, crisis management and communications.

Al Hundley

Director of Communications

In a career spanning half a century Allen Hundley has worked in broadcast engineering, completed most of a PhD in political science (ABD), and was an executive producer for some years at NPR in Washington. Along the way he won an Emmy award, an Armstrong award, and was one of twelve mid career journalists out of 2,000 applicants to be selected to be a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellow.  The fellowship was modeled after the Nieman program at Harvard and entailed a year of independent study at the University of Michigan.   Al chose to study philosophy of science and epistemology.

After leaving the network Al spent two decades in more than a dozen poor and often war torn nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America working as a technical consultant for various organizations including the UN, NATO, USAID, several large international corporations, a refugee aid organization, and medical missionaries.  The educational broadcast station he designed and built for the International Rescue Committee was identified as the most successful USAID funded project in Honduras during that period.

Currently he hosts a weekly one-hour radio program The Next Chapter which deals with science, technology, and public policy and is heard over much of the US and southern Canada.  Al now lives in the little town of Manistique in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Ariel Conn

Media & Communications Consultant

Ariel Conn oversees media and outreach at the Future of Life Institute, and she founded Mag10 Media, an organization dedicated to improving science communication. She’s studied English, physics and geophysics, and her background is a mix of advertising, marketing, and scientific research. She’s worked with NASA, multiple National Labs, and multiple universities, including MIT and Virginia Tech.

Gareth Jones

Crisis & Catastrophe Planning Consultant

Gareth has 35 years experience in organisational resilience and risk management related issues gained over 14 years intensive international commercial consulting, focusing on crisis management and organisation level resilience, experience underpinned by a 21 year military career in operational resilience. His specialities are Crisis Management, Exercises and Organisational Resilience and Business Continuity Management (BCM). ISO 22316, ISO22398, ISO 22301.

Sahil Shah

Specialist Advisor

Sahil is an entrepreneur, running a MarTech company focused on the travel and media sectors and an Agritech company, looking at seagriculture to mitigate climate change and contribute to food sustainability. He also advises a number of other non-profits, such as Asha for Education and is a TEDx Speaker and University of Cambridge alumni.

Finan Adamson

Communications Associate

Finan Adamson is beginning a career in reducing Global Catastrophic Risks. He has a BA/BS in evolutionary biology from The Evergreen State College. He is working for ALLFED and running events for the Seattle Effective Altruists through a grant from the Centre for Effective Altruism.

Ryan Black

Research Associate

Ryan Black is an Electrical and Computer Engineering Major at Tennessee State University. He is proficient with various types of computer software and developing improvised systems. He is the primary research associate for our Nashville area.