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Nate Mook

United States

Special Advisor on Ukraine, Howard G. Buffett Foundation

A seasoned leader and gifted storyteller, Nate Mook knows what it takes to turn words into action and ideas into impact. Thanks to his extensive experience in the fields of technology, filmmaking, and non-profits, he understands the power of a well-crafted story to bring people together and change the world.

After completing a nearly 5-year tenure as CEO of World Central Kitchen, where he worked side-by-side with world-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés, Nate is serving as Special Advisor on Ukraine for the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, HGBF has donated hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian support and food security assistance.

Nate began working with José Andrés in 2012 and formally joined World Central Kitchen to launch and oversee WCK’s food relief efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in September 2017. He then led the organization’s dramatic growth and shift to its current work delivering meals during humanitarian crises––building WCK from one employee and under $1 million per year to $400 million in global impact in 2022. WCK is now one of the largest privately funded non-profits in the world, and Nate spearheaded the organization’s massive relief efforts in Ukraine, where it has served 200 million meals.

Prior to World Central Kitchen, Nate produced the HBO Documentaries film "Baltimore Rising." The award-winning 2017 film documents the peaceful protests and destructive riots that erupted following the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in police custody. A commentary on the social tensions affecting the US today, the documentary highlighted the deep divisions between the authorities and the community––and underscored the urgent need for reconciliation and systemic change.

Nate is an executive producer of the 2022 Emmy-nominated film “We Feed People,” from Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, which spotlights World Central Kitchen’s evolution to becoming one of the most highly regarded humanitarian aid organizations. Nate also served as consulting producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary “The Slow Hustle,” which premiered in 2021.

Nate has been a producer and filmmaker with the international production company, What Took You So Long, since 2012. His career as a filmmaker has led him to produce, direct, shoot and edit projects in Somalia, Haiti, Colombia, Panama, Uganda, Kenya, Iraq, and Liberia. He has worked with a myriad of prestigious clients including UN Women, USAID, UNDP and the World Bank, along with smaller NGOs and startups. In 2013, Nate was tapped by President Bill Clinton to travel throughout Africa and document the Clinton Foundation’s 8-country humanitarian tour. In 2015, he conceived and directed the documentary “Undiscovered Haiti” with José Andrés, a project that was co-produced with National Geographic and PBS.

A not-so-secret tech-geek at heart, Nate spent his early career as an entrepreneur in the internet and software industries. He has founded/co-founded multiple tech companies, including online publisher BetaNews, developer ConeXware, and the events platform Localist.

Nate has also worked extensively with TED Talks, helping grow the TEDx program from its start in 2010 to 2012 and leading the global TEDxSummit gathering in Doha featuring 750 leaders from 94 countries. He has curated and organized conferences in locations such as Mogadishu, Baghdad, Tripoli, Mt. Everest, and co-founded TEDxMidAtlantic in Washington, DC. He was named a “Change Hero” by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his work with TEDx around elevating voices in underserved communities in Somalia.

Nate serves on the board of March For Our Lives, a gun violence prevention organization founded by students in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

When he’s not working in Ukraine, climbing mountains in the Himalaya, or driving from London to Mongolia, Nate lives in Washington, DC with his cat Jinx Furdinand.

For more information on McCain Institute programs, visit our Democracy ProgramLeadership Programs, and Human Rights and Freedom.