Bruce Friedrich

Bruce Friedrich
Bruce Gregory Friedrich

August 7, 1969 (1969-08-07) (age 50)
ResidenceWashington, D.C.
Alma materGeorgetown University Law Center, Johns Hopkins University, London School of Economics and Political Science, Grinnell College
OccupationExecutive Director, The Good Food Institute
Alka Chandna (wife) (m. 2002)
Parent(s)Gustav William Friedrich
Erena Rae

Bruce Gregory Friedrich (born August 7, 1969) is co-founder and executive director of The Good Food Institute (GFI).[1]

Friedrich is a TED Fellow,[2] Y Combinator alum,[3] and public speaker on food innovation. He spoke at TED 2019,[4][5] has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC, and has presented at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, and more.[6] Friedrich is the author of two books, including Clean Protein with Kathy Freston,[7] as well as several book chapters and law review articles. He holds degrees from Georgetown Law, the London School of Economics, and Johns Hopkins University.[6]

Friedrich lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Alka Chandna, Ph.D.[8][9]

Work with The Good Food Institute[edit]

From September 2015 to the present, Friedrich has been Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Good Food Institute (GFI).[10] He leads GFI’s team of scientists, business analysts, and policy experts in accelerating the plant-based and cell-based meat industries.[10]

Friedrich is also an active contributor to the public discourse around meat production, climate change, and antibiotic resistance. He has penned opinion pieces for USA Today,[11] the Los Angeles Times,[12] New York Daily News,[13] and many other publications.

Friedrich is a frequent lecturer and debater on college campuses, including Harvard University,[14] Yale University,[15] Princeton University,[16] Cornell University,[17][18] Stanford University,[19] and dozens of other colleges and universities across the country.

His April 2019 TED talk has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

Work with Farm Sanctuary[edit]

From May 2011 to September 2015, Friedrich worked for Farm Sanctuary in the Washington, D.C. area. As Senior Policy Director, Friedrich led Farm Sanctuary's policy and litigation efforts and introduced the world to who farm animals are as individuals through the Someone, Not Something project, which he created.[20]

Teaching at Baltimore Freedom Academy[edit]

From August 2009 to May 2011, Friedrich was a teacher at the Baltimore Freedom Academy.[21] He taught English, social justice, and government to 10th and 11th graders in the Baltimore inner city area.

Work with PETA[edit]

Friedrich worked for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) from May 1996 to August 2009 in the Washington D.C. area. Friedrich wrote and made an audio recording of "Veganism in a Nutshell,"[22] a popular synopsis of the reasons some choose to go vegan. He appeared as a candidate on the 2004 Showtime reality series American Candidate.

As Director of Vegan Campaigns, Friedrich was responsible for producing Meet Your Meat, a video about factory farming narrated by Alec Baldwin.

In a 2010 essay, Friedrich explained his view of God's direction in working on behalf of animals:[23]

As a result of my prayer over [Andrew] Linzey's work and conversations with my spiritual director at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, my focus turned to animal protection, where it's stayed for the last 15 years. Since that time, I've occasionally been asked why I focus my efforts on protecting animals, rather than humans. So, as this Advent season begins, I decided to offer some thoughts on why I view working on behalf of animals -- and especially farmed animals -- as God's work.

In promoting vegetarianism from a Christian perspective, Friedrich has said, "The heart of this campaign is Jesus' call for mercy and compassion."[24]

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk gave Bruce the nickname "Bruce Poppins"("Mary Poppins") due to his unrelentingly positive demeanor.[25]

Early life and education[edit]

Friedrich was born in West Lafayette, Indiana on August 7, 1969.[26] Friedrich's father is Gustav William Friedrich, Ph.D. (b. March 2, 1941) and his mother was Erena Rae (February 15, 1941 - May 19, 2006).[27] Gustav Friedrich is a Rutgers University distinguished professor and was Dean of the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies at Rutgers for ten years.[28][29] Erena Rae was an art director, graphic designer, and commercial illustrator.[30]

Bruce Friedrich graduated from Norman High School (Norman, Oklahoma) in 1987.[31] He served as president of the Cleveland County Young Democrats during his last two years of high school and campaigned for the late Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) in 1987 during his first year of college. From 1990 to 1996, he worked in a shelter for homeless families and a soup kitchen in Washington, D.C. as a part of the Catholic Worker Movement.[23] While he was working in the homeless shelter, a friend gave him Christianity and the Rights of Animals[32] by Andrew Linzey, an Anglican Priest and professor of theology at Oxford University. "It changed my life," Friedrich later said.

Friedrich graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell College with a B.A. in English, Economics, and Religion.[33][26] He received an M.A. in Education from Johns Hopkins University. He received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center, graduating magna cum laude, Order of the Coif.

Friedrich married Alka Chandna in October 2002.[34]




  • Bruce Friedrich (2019). The next global agricultural revolution (Video). TED2019.[4]
  • Bruce Friedrich (2018). Market Forces and Food Technology Will Save the World (Video). TEDxSonomaCounty.[35]
  • Alfre Woodard, Bruce Friedrich (2018). The Long Conversation 2018: Alfre Woodard Interviews Bruce Friedrich (Video). Smithsonian Institution.[36]
  • Rich Roll, Bruce Friedrich (2018). The Clean Meat Revolution (Video/Podcast). Rich Roll Podcast.[37]
  • The Good Food Institute (2018). The Future of Meat (Video). The Good Food Conference.[38]
  • Nil Zacharias, Bruce Friedrich (2018). How to Create a Just and Sustainable Food System with Bruce Friedrich (Podcast). Eat for the Planet.[39]
  • Bruce Friedrich (2004). American Candidate (TV series).[40]
  • Bruce Friedrich (2003). Vegetarianism in a Nutshell (audio file). Directed by Bruce Friedrich.
  • Alec Baldwin (2003). Meet Your Meat (DVD). Directed by Bruce Friedrich.[40]
  • Bill O'brien, Bruce Friedrich (1995). The Plutonium Circus (VHS tape). Amarillo, TX. Directed by George Whittenburg Ratliff.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Team". The Good Food Institute. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  2. ^ "Meet the 2019 TED Fellows and Senior Fellows". TED Blog. January 23, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Peters, Adele (August 21, 2018). "Y Combinator is funding a nonprofit that advocates for meat alternatives". Fast Company. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "The Next Global Agricultural Revolution". TED 2019. TED. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  5. ^ "Bruce Friedrich, Food innovator". TED 2019. TED. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Our Team". The Good Food Institute. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "How Clean is Your Protein? 9 Questions for Kathy Freston and Bruce Friedrich". Blue Zones. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Friedrich, Bruce. "Does God Support Factory Farms? Why You Should Care about the Faith-Based Arguments for (and against) Animal Liberation". Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians.
  9. ^ "Farm Sanctuary Staff Leadership". Farm Sanctuary. 2014-12-15. Retrieved 2016-02-23. Bruce shares his life with his wife, Alka Chandna, Ph.D., and three perfect cats named Rena, Tigger, and Angie.
  10. ^ a b "Our Team". The Good Food Institute. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  11. ^ Friedrich, Bruce (2013-08-17). "From petri dish to backyard grill: Column". USA Today.
  12. ^ Friedrich, Bruce (2014-02-10). "Which should come first, healthier chickens or cheaper eggs?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  13. ^ Friedrich, Bruce. "Articles by Bruce Friedrich". Daily News (New York).
  14. ^ Mclease, Alex M. (2009-09-12). "PETA Debate: On Tolstoy and Bonsai Trees". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  15. ^ Everett Rosenfeld, "PETA VP On Hand for Meaty Debate Archived February 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine," Yale Daily News 4 April 2010
  16. ^ Rachel Jackson, "Singer Wins Vegetarian Debate, 75-35 Archived October 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine," The Daily Princetonian 1 October 2010.
  17. ^ Tajwar Mazhar, "Cornell Forensics Society Debates Meat With PETA Archived December 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine," The Cornell Daily Sun 1 November 2010.
  18. ^ Lew, Gordon (2011). "News". The Chicago Debate Society. University of Chicago. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  19. ^ Throckmorton, Ada (2016-02-24). "Protesters disrupt meat-eating debate". The Stanford Daily. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
  20. ^ "Someone, Not Something: Farm Animal Behavior, Emotion, and Intelligence". Farm Sanctuary.
  21. ^ Hermann, Peter (27 May 2011). "Baltimore police tell teacher to stop leafleting at Inner Harbor". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  22. ^ Friedrich, Bruce (2007). "Veganism in a Nutshell". Animal Liberation Front. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  23. ^ a b Heffern, Rich (2010-12-15). "Bruce Friedrich: Advent and factory farms". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  24. ^ Iacobbo, Karen; Iacobbo, Michael (2004-04-30). Vegetarian America: A History. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 233. ISBN 9780275975197. Foreword by Andrew Linzey.
  25. ^ "They Call Him 'Bruce Poppins'". PETA. 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  26. ^ a b "[Unknown title]". The Des Moines Register. 2004-03-07. p. 34. Bruce Friedrich Director of vegan campaigns, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Born: Aug. 7, 1969, West Lafayette, Ind. Education: High school, Norman, Okla.; Grinnell College, 1996 graduate, Phi Beta Kappa in English and economics
  27. ^ Memorial for Erena Rae
  28. ^ Preston, Hope (2010-11-21). "Betty J. Turock and Gus W. Friedrich will marry today, Sunday, Nov. 21". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2016-02-23. A Rutgers distinguished professor, he was for 10 years dean of the School of Communication, Information and Library Studie s.
  29. ^ Friedrich, Gustav William. "Curriculum vitae" (PDF). Rutgers University. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  30. ^ Friedrich, Erena Rae Bakeberg. "Resume & General Artist's Statement". Thistlewood Press. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  31. ^ Tyree, James S. (2010-09-15). "PETA vice president brings message home to Norman". The Oklahoman. the Norman High School class of 1987 member
  32. ^ Linzey, Andrew (November 1987). Christianity and the Rights of Animals. Crossroad. ISBN 978-0824508753.
  33. ^ "Bruce Friedrich". AngelList. Retrieved 2016-02-23. Grinnell College economics, English, religion Phi Beta Kappa
  34. ^ "1987 Norman High Alumni". Norman High School Class of 1987. Archived from the original on 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2016-02-22. Married my lovely and brilliant and hilarious wife (Alka Chandna) in October 2002
  35. ^ "Market Forces and Food Technology Will Save the World". YouTube. TEDxSonomaCounty. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  36. ^ "The Long Conversation 2018: Alfre Woodard Interviews Bruce Friedrich". The Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  37. ^ "The Clean Meat Revolution". Rich Roll. Rich Roll. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  38. ^ "The Future of Meat". The Good Food Conference. The Good Food Institute. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  39. ^ "How to Create a Just and Sustainable Food System with Bruce Friedrich". Eat for the Planet. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  40. ^ a b c "Bruce Friedrich". Internet Movie Database.

External links[edit]