Mark Woulf, Madison's food and alcohol policy director, will be leaving the city to pursue a master's degree in public administration at the University of Colorado in Denver.
After earning the two-year degree, Woulf said he could see himself continuing to work in the public sector, with an eye toward environmental impact and racial equity.
"There is something very rewarding about doing something for work that gives back to the community,” Woulf said. “I truly believe that public service through working within government can not only be a good thing but a rewarding thing personally."
Woulf’s last day with the city is July 28.
As the food and alcohol policy director, Woulf staffs the Alcohol License Review Committee and Food Policy Council, providing general oversight and leadership on policies and programs related to food and alcohol.
Woulf was originally hired in 2011 to join former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's staff to focus on alcohol policy. An emphasis on food was added in 2012 after Mayor Paul Soglin took office.
He has lived in Madison for 10 years and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010.
As the city has taken on more food-related initiatives like community gardens programming, expanding summer meals and the health retail access program in addition to Food Policy Council agendas like pollinator protection and food waste production, Woulf’s position has shifted to about 75 to 80 percent food-related projects.
“The food movement is really important,” Woulf said. “I think it relates to our environment and how we’re treating the earth and how we're looking long term at our climate.”
Woulf recommended modifying his position to focus on just food policy and shift alcohol policy to a position within the city clerk’s office.
“The two jobs — food policy and alcohol policy — they relate very well practically,” Woulf said. “They do not relate in the sense of a full time position.”
The salary for the current food and alcohol policy director position ranges from $63,061.96 - $75,788.96 annually.