Rafi Taherian '95

Rafi Taherian

Rafi Taherian ’95 is associate vice president for Yale Hospitality. Rafi believes that campus dining operations can be a testing ground for positive and pragmatic change. He has forged collaborative partnerships within Yale University and in the food industry that have created a benchmark reputation in dining services for one of the most prominent institutions of higher learning. Since 2008, he has guided the continued development of Yale Hospitality’s sustainability initiatives and robust culinary concepts by merging principles of a healthy, plant-based Mediterranean diet with an operational approach that promotes regionally-based and sustainable food systems. Yale Hospitality serves more than 15,000 meals per day with a staff of 840. Rafi’s organization is comprised of three operational divisions with shared business and administrative support and an annual budget of $55 million. Before joining Yale, Rafi was the executive director of dining at Stanford University. Prior, he held various management positions in the hospitality industry. As an undergraduate, he studied architecture at Università Iuav di Venezia in Italy and later earned a hospitality degree at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Rafi has received numerous awards for his vision and leadership, including the Food Service Director of the Year award in 2013, the Illuminating Excellence and Leadership award from Premier (one of the industry’s largest procurement organizations) in 2014, and Yale University’s Seton Elm-Ivy Award in 2016. That year, Rafi was also awarded both the Silver and the Gold Plate Awards by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA). (New Haven, CT)