My Background


Board Member

Shawn “Pepper” Roussel has served on both private and public institution boards and facilitated development efforts for local schools and political campaigns. She is currently Chair of the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee Board and Advisor to Imagine Water Works; and Member of Louisiana (La) Clinical and Translational Science Center (CaTS) Community Advisory Board (CAB). She is also former Secretary and Trustee on the Board of CrescentCare; Member of the Regional Sustainability Committee, and Member of the Paralegal Advisory Board.

Project Manager

Prior to becoming an attorney, Pepper worked in every phase of software development. Pepper has been a trainer, coder, help desk support, database analyst, business requirements analyst, and last a project manager for a New Orleans healthcare system. Pepper holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Tulane University and an MS in Computer Information Technology with a concentration in eCommerce from Regis University.

Founding Director

Pepper is the Founding Director of Culinaria Center for Food Law, Policy, and Culture. Culinaria is a policy institute currently repositioning itself as a Giving Circle 501(c)(4) non-profit in order to provide direct advocacy assistance to individuals and 501(c)(3) non-profits. Culinaria remains focused on supporting, developing, and promoting substantive strategies to foster a food system beneficial to producers, consumers, and the environment.

Food Lawyer

Pepper was granted a JD from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans with certificates in both Environmental and International Laws. She is admitted to the Louisiana State Bar and the Federal Bar Eastern District. Her writings focus on environmental remediation, consumption of  invasive species for coastal protection, food systems, and environmental impacts on food and justice. Her practice is devoted to the support of food, foodways, and food related businesses; preservation of farm land ownership; and protection of food culture.

A Pinch of Pepper

My Motivations & Values

Food is a building block of life. Unfortunately, people spend more time choosing their wireless plan than they do considering the origins of their food source and the impacts those choices have on the environment, growers, and the sources themselves. I am driven by the pervasive need for common-sense solutions to global problems. And I believe that together we can make a difference with every meal.

Why I changed career from IT to Legal?

I needed to make the time I spend away from home worthwhile to my children and myself. Unhappy with the imprint I was leaving on this world, I looked around and found that the things I am most passionate about are food and beverages. So the career shift was to marry what I love with what I could do to make the world a better more livable place for all its inhabitants.