Executive DirectorFarzana Serang

Farzana brings more than 15 years of experience in leadership development, food system innovation, racial equity advocacy, philanthropy, and community development to her role as Executive Director of the Castanea Fellowship.

Most recently, Farzana led the Multicultural Fellowship at The San Francisco Foundation, a program that has cultivated leaders of color in philanthropy for nearly thirty years. Prior to her time with the Foundation, she was the first Executive Director of the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED). While there, she deepened CoFED’s impact and infused racial equity as the driving principle of the nonprofit’s work. Prior to CoFED, Farzana cultivated her organizing, management, and public policy skills at PolicyLink, where she managed the Civic Engagement Learning Year, a multimillion-dollar initiative that networked W.K. Kellogg Foundation grantees committed to advancing democracy. Alongside her commitment to equity in her professional service, she is dedicated to fostering food equity in her community, as a board member of Sustainable Economies Law Center and an active member of the Oakland (CA) Food Policy Council.

Farzana holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters in City Planning from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at M.I.T. She is an alumni of the 2018 Leadership Academy 2.0 at the Aspen Institute, 2016 East Bay class of LeaderSpring, 2015 Uptima Business Bootcamp, and 2015 Cooperative Development Fellowship.

She resides in Oakland, California and if you meet her she’s likely to hug you, just like her Mom taught her.


Join the numerous foundations, nonprofit, and business leaders in this multi-sector collaborative committed to shaping an equitable future for food. Grants, gifts, and individual donations are welcome.