Sibella works at the intersection of sustainable agriculture, local food, economic development and resilient metro-regions. Sibella directs Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE) an entrepreneurial nonprofit that develops models and frameworks for revitalizing agricultural places near cities and connecting urban and rural communities through local food systems.
Sibella conceptualizes and leads impactful SAGE initiatives. One current project is the Bay Area Food Futures Roadmap, a vision and action plan for investing in a sustainable, equitable, healthy local food system as an integral foundation of the Bay Area’s regional resilience and shared prosperity. Another current project is San Jose Food Works, an assessment and call to action that identifies opportunities for the City’s food system to advance the City’s innovation economy, placemaking, public health and sustainability. Sibella also developed SAGE’s acclaimed Agricultural Parks model implemented on two public land sites in the Bay Area, and its New Ruralism framework, a place-based and systems-based approach for facilitating urban-rural connectivity. SAGE clients and partners include public agencies, farmers, economic and planning firms, advocacy organizations and community groups in urban and rural areas.
As part of her diverse career, Sibella directed, from 2006-2009, the Agriculture in Metropolitan Regions program at the University of California Berkeley, a stepping stone for the establishment of the Berkeley Food Institute in 2013. From 1991-2000, Sibella was founding director of the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) and created its signature project, the acclaimed San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market. She has also worked as an operations manager for a wholesale specialty produce business, a journalist covering regional food and agriculture, and as a cook and special projects manager at Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley.
Sibella has produced numerous influential publications and is an acclaimed, in-demand public speaker. Sibella has received national recognition for her work from agricultural, food, planning and public market organizations. As two examples, in 2018, she was awarded a Regional Food Economies Fellowship by the Wallace Center, and in 2014, she received the national Growing Green Regional Food Leader Award from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Sibella holds a B.A. in History from the University of California Berkeley.