Workshop – About Our Speakers



Dr. Manojit Basu, Managing Director Science Policy, CropLife America

Dr. Manojit Basu, is the Managing Director Science Policy at CropLife America in Washington, DC, the U.S. national trade association representing manufacturers, formulators, and distributors of crop protection products. His primary areas of responsibility include development, refinement, and implementation of regulations and guidelines for premarket government approval and continued product support of crop protection products and uses. This work involves extensive interaction with the Environmental Protection Agency, other government agencies, agricultural industry organizations, scientific societies, and public interest groups. He also works on international trade issues to facilitate markets for U.S. crop protection products and the crops that are treated with them.

Dr. Basu also holds an adjunct faculty position at the Johns Hopkins University and previously worked for the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) as the Vice President Regulatory Affairs responsible for managing programs like Food Additive Safety, the Generally Recognized as Safe Modernization initiative, California Prop65, and Pesticides Residue in Food. Before joining GMA, Dr. Basu served as a Regulatory Scientist at Monsanto and was responsible for allergenicity and toxicity testing of Monsanto’s biotechnology derived products. He joined Monsanto after completing his post-doctoral fellowship at the Oak Ridge National Lab.

Dr. Basu received his B.S. in Agriculture from Gujarat Agricultural University in India, M.S. in Biosciences, and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Nottingham in the U.K.

Brian Colas, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Senator Tom Cotton

Brian Colas is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Tom Cotton and the lead senate staffer working on the Stephen Hacala Poppy Seed Safety Act. He was formerly Senator Cotton’s General Counsel. Before working for Senator Cotton, Brian was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Co. Brian graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2011 and from Liberty University in 2008.

Conrad Choiniere, Director, Office of Analytics and Outreach, FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Conrad Choiniere is the Director of the Office of Analytics and Outreach at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Dr. Choiniere provides executive leadership for a broad portfolio of scientific and regulatory functions including risk and decision analysis, social and behavioral sciences, epidemiology, bio statistics and informatics, education and outreach, and food defense. Dr. Choiniere has a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University.

Danielle Dalheim, RD, Regulatory Affairs Manager, Frito-Lay Inc.

Danielle Dalheim, RD is currently a Regulatory Affairs Manager for Frito-Lay Inc. Frito-Lay North America is the snacks division of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. In her role Danielle leads US regulatory compliance for the enitre Frito-Lay portfolio, ensuring that products are compliant with all FDA regulations and have accurate ingredient and nutrition information. She and her team are responsible for substantiating a variety of claims from gluten free, to protein, to organic and non-GMO. Danielle also represents PepsiCo with external organizations such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association and SNAC International as they provide input to future FDA and USDA regulations and policy. Specifically she has been a leader in developing industry positions on the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Act and leading PepsiCo efforts as they embark on their journey of digital disclosure and transparency beyond the label.

Prior to joining Frito-Lay in 2007, Danielle received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Oklahoma. She is a registered dietitian and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

James S. Dickson, Professor, Iowa State University

Dr. James S. Dickson is currently a Professor in the Department of Animal Science and the Inter-Departmental Program in Microbiology at Iowa State University. Dr. Dickson’s research focuses on the control of bacteria of public health significance in foods of animal origin. Prior to his appointment at Iowa State University in 1993, he was employed by USDA-ARS as a Research Food Technologist and lead scientist of the Meat Safety Assurance Program, located at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE. Dr. Dickson was employed in the food industry for three years before joining USDA-ARS.

He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, and is a Past President of the International Association for Food Protection. He is also active in the American Society for Microbiology and the Institute of Food Technologists.

Dr. Dickson holds a B.S. in Microbiology from Clemson University, a M.S. in Dairy Science (Manufacturing) from University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Nebraska.


Joanna Drake, Partner, Verto Legal Solutions (ASTA’s General Counsel)

Joanna Drake has been providing legal counsel to the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) for over two years and took over as ASTA’s General Counsel in July of 2019.  As a partner for Verto Legal Solutions Joanna’s focuses her practice on food and regulatory-related issues to provide sophisticated legal counsel to trade associations and companies in the food and beverage industry. Ms. Drake brings over a decade of industry experience to her clients. Prior to joining Verto Legal Solutions, she served as Assistant Counsel to WILD Flavors, Inc., where she structured and negotiated a variety of commercial transactions, counseled on corporate confidentiality issues and provided strategic guidance on a wide variety of FDA regulatory compliance matters.

In addition to her J.D., Ms. Drake received her M.A. in Applied Economics from the University of Cincinnati and her B.A. in International Affairs from Xavier University where she also majored in German. Ms. Drake holds memberships with the Ohio State Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association, Washington, DC Bar Association, Food and Drug Law Institute and the DC section of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Dr. Donna Garren, Executive Vice President of Science and Policy for the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI)

Dr. Donna Garren is currently Executive Vice President of Science and Policy for the American Frozen
Food Institute (AFFI) and leads the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs and Legislative Affairs programs
for AFFI. Her extensive background and expertise in food safety, food science, nutrition, and
regulatory affairs are instrumental in building and enhancing strong and effective regulatory and
legislative programs for the food and beverage industry.

Maile Hermida, Partner, Hogan Lovells

Maile Hermida is a Partner with Hogan Lovells in Washington, DC. As a lawyer for the food industry, she has a deep understanding of the regulatory issues affecting food companies, from product development through production, distribution, and retail sale. Maile also has considerable experience with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), including advising companies and trade associations on what FSMA requires, helping to develop compliance strategies, and providing strategic advice on public policy issues. Her practice also focuses on enforcement and compliance matters, particularly involving recalls, outbreaks, or following receipt of FDA Warning Letters.

John Johnson III, Senior Associate and Managing Attorney

John Johnson III practices food and drug law where he focuses his practice on representing clients regarding FDA investigations and enforcement actions, including import detentions and refusals, recalls, facility inspections, Form 483 Observations, Untitled Letters, Warning Letters, and judicial actions. To minimize the risk of FDA scrutiny and enforcement actions, Mr. Johnson advises firms on regulatory compliance. This work includes assisting firms with labeling, marketing, and formulation compliance. Additionally, he assists firms with current Good Manufacturing Practices and HACCP obligations, and with developing and implementing Standard Operating Procedures to strengthen internal programs and ensure compliance. Additionally, he counsels and represents clients concerning other federal agencies, including NOAA, USDA, and Customs.

Scott Klinger, Director of Global Quality and Technical Services, BCFoods

Scott has been in the food industry for over 25 years now and has been the Quality manager for FDP USA and BCFoods for 21 years. In his current position with BCFoods is Director of Global Quality and Technical Services. Scott has also conducted over 100 Food Safety Audits in those years in over 10 countries, and worked closely with all the multinational food manufacturers in the world. He has been a part of recent validation studies on dehydrated garlic, Onion and vegetables which have been accepted by multinational food manufacturers for their RTE applications.

Mark Moorman, Director of the Office of Food Safety, FDA

Mark Moorman is the Director of the Office of Food Safety at the Food and Drug Administration where he leads a team of professionals focused on improving the safety of our food supply. Prior to joining the FDA, Mark was the Senior Director of Global Scientific & Regulatory Affairs for the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, MI with responsibilities for emerging food safety and nutrition technical and regulatory issues. Prior to joining the Kellogg Company in 1998, Mark spent 10 years with Silliker Laboratories as the Technical Director of Microbiology responsible for assisting clients with microbiological food safety and quality issues. Mark has his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University in Microbiology and Food Science.

Lisa Patel, Executive Director of Global Regulatory Compliance, Kalsec®

Ms. Patel joined Kalsec® as Executive Director of Global Regulatory Compliance in 2017 with almost 20 years of combined flavor and regulatory experience. She leads a team responsible for compliance of Kalsec products around the world and works with international customers to support use of spice ingredients in their consumer products. Kalsec is the leading global producer of natural spice and herb flavor extracts, colors, antioxidants, and advanced hop products for the food and beverage
industry. For more than 60 years, Kalsec has consistently delivered high-quality, innovative ingredient solutions that make products look better, taste better and last longer. Kalsec is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with facilities in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Over her career, Lisa has held leadership positions in the Flavor Extract Manufacturing Association (FEMA), including vice-chair of the Alcohol Tax and Trade Committee and the executive leadership of the FEMA Regulatory Affairs Committee. She is currently the Vice-Chair of the FEMA Science Committee and has joined ASTA as a member of the Government Relations Committee.

After receiving her graduate degree from WSU, Lisa moved to the Cincinnati to join Proctor and Gamble where she worked on a discovery team for beauty technology and then with the toxicology group developing product and flavor safety dossiers for brands like Crest, Vicks and Metamucil.Following P&G, Lisa was Senior Manager of North American Regulatory Affairs at Givaudan. Her scope of responsibility and influence included North American and Global regulatory compliance requirements for flavors and foods. Lisa received numerous achievements at Givaudan, including one of the first Global Regulatory Values award for her efforts of representing regulatory affairs as an asset organization.

Lisa Patel received her B.S. degree in Biopsychology from the Honors College at Grand Valley State University, her M.S. degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, and her Master’s Certificate in International Food Law from Michigan State University.

Ms. Patel has 2 grown children in living in Cincinnati and Chicago. She currently lives in Portage, MI with her fiancé and 3 dogs. She enjoys cooking and leading running groups and is on the board for Kalamazoo Area Runners. She has completed multiple half and full marathons as well as 50k races.

Will Rabieh, International Program Specialist, Food Assistance Division, Office of Capacity Building and Development, FAS/USDA 

Will has been with the United States Department of Agriculture for four years. Currently he works with the Food Assistance Division (FAD) of the Office of Capacity and Building Development. In FAD he covers all programming for all of North and West Africa and the Middle East which includes 12 development programs totaling $300M. He is also responsible for setting priorities in the region for the division. Will lends his technical expertise in fields such as finance, market development and regional trade integration to the development of cooperative agreements for the Food Assistance Division.

Prior to Joining the Foreign Agricultural Services he completed his master’s degree in international business from the University of South Carolina.

Laura Shumow, Executive Director, American Spice Trade Association (ASTA)

Laura Shumow has been with the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) since September 2018. She works with the ASTA Board of Directors to set the strategic direction of the association and with the ASTA staff to ensure the goals are met.

Prior to joining ASTA, Laura worked at the National Confectioners Association as the vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs. In this role, she also oversaw the Chocolate Council, a decision-making body comprised of the leaders in the cocoa and chocolate industry. She has a strong background in domestic and international regulatory issues, and a proven track record of success addressing challenges related to the supply chains of food ingredients sourced from developing countries. Laura received her master’s of health sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and bachelor’s degree in food science from the University of Wisconsin. She is an active member of several professional societies, including the Institute of Food Technologists, where she serves as chair of the Food Laws and Regulations Section.

Laura is from the Midwest. Although she met her husband Brendan after moving to DC, they grew up only 20 miles away from each other. They enjoy traveling and cooking together and can often be found hosting BBQs. Brendan is typically in charge of grilling, while Laura usually handles dessert.

Tamika D. Sims, PhD Director, Food Technology Communications International Food Information Council Foundation

Dr. Sims is currently the Director of Food Technology Communication at the International Food Information Council Foundation (based in Washington DC) and has been with IFIC Foundation for three years. Tamika leads IFIC Foundation’s Agricultural Technology and Safe Food Production Committee—which supports IFIC’s focus on sustainability, biotechnology, crop and animal agriculture, and food safety.

Prior to joining IFIC Foundation, Tamika was the Director of Human Health Policy for CropLife America (CLA) where she helped analyze the impact of regulatory initiatives on consumer health and the crop protection industry. Before joining CLA, Tamika was the Director of Science and Research for the International Bottled Water Association where she managed the IBWA Environmental Sustainability Committee, the Packaging Subcommittee, the Virus/Microbial Subcommittee and IBWA’s Drinking Water Research Foundation.

Dr. Sims received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Spelman College, Master of Science degree in Biomedical Science (with an emphasis in Microbiology) from Georgia State University, and Doctorate in Virology and Immunology from Morehouse School of Medicine.