Matthew Cypher of Steers Center Interviews Chef and Humanitarian José Andrés about Hurricane Relief Efforts
At the ULI Key Leaders Breakfast held on September 19, Matthew Cypher, Atara Kaufman Professor of Real Estate and director, Steers Center for Global Real Estate, interviewed José Andrés, chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup, about recent Hurricane Dorian relief efforts supported by World Central Kitchen. Founded by Andrés and his wife, Patricia, the World Central Kitchen is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization devoted to fighting hunger and providing meals in the wake of natural disasters.
Cypher began the conversation by enlightening the audience of real estate professionals about Georgetown University’s key Jesuit values of cura personalis, which translates to “care for the whole person;” magis, which translates to “more” and embodies the act of discerning the greater good in a given situation; and contemplation in action. He acknowledged Andrés for embodying these values and asked him about his principled leadership style. Andrés believes that the flat management structure of World Central Kitchen allows for his team to make quick decisions and take action.
“We follow hurricanes as soon as they start, because that is what we do,” said Andrés. “We don’t sit around planning. People are hungry and thirsty, everywhere all of the time. Our team gets out there with boots on the ground to serve others. Our mission is simple: we bring food and water to those who need it.”
According to Andrés, World Central Kitchen had approximately 6,000 volunteers who served 35,000 meals a day to victims of Hurricane Dorian. Andrés is proud of the fact that his team supports the local economy of affected areas by partnering with local kitchens and vendors to prepare meals with fresh ingredients.
“Our team goes out into the affected local communities,” said Andrés. “By seeing us daily, we earn the trust of the victims. We practice empathy. It is in times like these that you see the best of humanity.”
The Steers Center for Global Real Estate at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business was a gold sponsor and lead academic partner of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Fall 2019 Meeting.
For more information about the Steers Center for Global Real Estate, visit https://globalrealestate.georgetown.edu/.