The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced that Barbara Sido has been named its executive director.

“We are thrilled to welcome Barb into a key role for our industry,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and the NRAEF. “With more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of non-profit management, specializing particularly in organizational transformation, Barb is uniquely qualified to lead the NRAEF during this time of growth. She has a strong record of outstanding management and leadership, and I know she will be a driver of our future success.”

Prior to joining the Association, Sido served as vice president of knowledge and professional practice for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) where she provided strategic oversight to a $28 million annual budget and 50 staff members. While at AIA, she led areas including branded events and programs, educational program development and delivery, and scholarships. Her previous positions included serving as foundation director and chief knowledge officer at the American School Food Service Association/School Food Service Foundation, and deputy executive director of Business and Professional Women/USA. Sido holds a master’s degree from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“The restaurant industry is one of the nation’s largest employers and job creators. Barb’s tremendous experience and talent will enhance our industry’s continued growth in her new role with the NRAEF,” says Bill Hyde, vice chairman of the NRAEF and chair of the search committee. “Barb will bring renewed focus and support of the NRA to the industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement, and a focus on jobs and careers.”

“The potential of the NRAEF to positively impact the restaurant industry on behalf of the public it serves is unlimited,” Sido says. “I am eager to work with the NRAEF Board of Trustees, the many generous NRAEF supporters, and the NRA and NRAEF leadership and staff to make this inspiring vision a reality.”