Jim Weill

artists for appleseed honoree Jim WeillJim Weill has been President of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the nation’s pre-eminent anti-hunger public policy, research and action organization, since 1998. His entire professional career has been committed to policy advocacy, research and litigation to reduce U.S. hunger and poverty, protect the legal rights of low-income people and children, and expand health insurance coverage and economic security, nutrition and income support programs.

Under Jim’s leadership FRAC has led efforts to expand participation and improve benefits in SNAP (food stamps), school lunch and breakfast, afterschool and summer food programs, WIC, and income support programs like the refundable Child Tax Credit.

Before FRAC, from 1982 to1998, Jim was Program Director and General Counsel of the Children’s Defense Fund, where he provided leadership on Medicaid expansion and the passage of the CHIP health program, enactment of the Vaccines for Children Program, three major Earned Income Tax Credit expansions, and other initiatives in child care, child support enforcement, nutrition and federal budget issues.

Before the Children’s Defense Fund, Jim worked from 1969-1982 at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, first as a Vista attorney, then as a staff attorney and then as Deputy Director and Director of Federal Litigation and Special Impact Projects. He argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court and was co-counsel on several other cases on plenary review in that court; argued several cases in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals; and oversaw a docket of more than 100 federal class action and impact cases on Social Security, Medicaid, AFDC, Food Stamps, other public benefits, and the rights of children.

Jim is chair of the Children’s Leadership Council, a national coalition of 70 child advocacy organizations; and a member of the board of the National Center for Youth Law. He serves on the advisory council to the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families.

Jim also served previously on the founding boards of the National Clearinghouse for Legal Services and the Poverty and Race Research Action Council; chaired the Alliance for Justice for more than a dozen years, and was on the boards of OMB Watch, the Illinois Civil Liberties Union, and other organizations. He has served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the UNICEF Executive Board.

To RSVP for Artists for Appleseed, Breakfast with Mr. Weill, and/or the Symposium on Health and Nutrition Policy, please click here.

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