Rita M. Hudetz is a 2007 Switzer Fellow. She recently joined natural food company Hu Kitchen as Chief Commercial Officer of Hu Products, to drive expansion of their retail product line. Prior to joining Hu, Rita was Director of Strategy for Global Nutrition at PepsiCo where she supported global strategy development for the Quaker, Tropicana, and Naked juice brands, driving annual planning and global innovation platform coordination, emerging market expansion and M&A initiatives. Prior to leading strategy, Rita also spent 4 years in nutrition marketing and innovation helping to build the Quaker brand through category expansion into dairy and by building the China nutrition business unit.
Rita received an MBA and a Masters of Environmental Management at Yale. She did her masters work in environmental health, focused on global chemical regulation and 3rd party certification (including Fairtrade and GMO Free labeling). Following grad school, Rita spent two years in management consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton. While there, Rita acted as program Manager for Booz Allen’s Center of Excellence on Climate Change which focused on issues of climate change adaptation.
Rita worked at the UN General Assembly in 2006 and in 2007 was recruited for an internship at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in the Chemical and Waste Governance division. Prior to Yale, Ms. Hudetz co-founded an environmental health nonprofit, worked for four years in CPG marketing consulting for Fortune 500 companies at Loran Marketing Group and developed consumer insights for green media and marketing firm, Ideal Bite which was acquired by Disney in 2008.
Despite having traveled to and worked in over 40 countries on 5 continents, Rita is a midwestern farm girl at heart. She grew up Yorkville, IL (population 2000 at the time) on on a working horse farm about two hours outside of Chicago. She grew passionate about environmental and food issues after witnessing increased illness rates in her small town where suspected endocrine disrupting herbicides were commonly used on crops. Rita currently resides in Manhattan with her husband, two cats, and far too many houseplants. She is an avid gardener and looks forward to having a garden (and perhaps a farm!) again some day soon.