Kevin Gaughan

Kevin Gaughan is a Buffalo civic leader and nationally-known expert in government reform and community renewal.  For his efforts to improve local governance and preserve Buffalo’s heritage, The Buffalo News has called Kevin “the conscience of our community.”

Kevin created the American Food Equity Conference in the aftermath of the May 14, 2022 racially-motivated mass shooting in East Buffalo, vowing to try to “have some good emerge from the unspeakable sorrow.” 

He is a graduate of Harvard University, Georgetown University Law School, and he studied international relations at The London School of Economics.  He is the author of At First Light: Strengthening Buffalo Niagara in the New Century, and he’s written and spoken throughout the nation on governance, Buffalo’s history and community renewal.  His civic work has been profiled in USA Today, The Yale Law Journal, and the international radio station, Voice of America.

The Buffalo News and The League of Women Voters of New York State have both named Kevin an Outstanding Citizen of the Year.  He is the youngest recipient ever of the Red Jacket Medal, presented by the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society for civic leadership.

After conceiving the conference, Kevin enlisted the assistance of his lifelong friend, John Thornton, Chairman Emeritus of The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, and retired president of Goldman Sachs.  John was instrumental creating opportunities for Kevin to approach appropriate national leaders to join the summit.

As well, as an ally to the Buffalo Black community, and the Buffalo Food Equity Network, Kevin extends special gratitude to Rita Hubbard-Robinson, Allison DeHonney, Alex Wright, Rebekah Williams, Thomas Beauford, Mark Blue, and Broderick Carson for their invaluable guidance and assistance.

You can reach Kevin at