Jennifer C. Acuff, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Food Microbiology and Safety, Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Jennifer C. Acuff, Ph.D., was appointed assistant professor of food microbiology and safety at the University of Arkansas in 2020. She leads a food microbiology lab focusing on low-moisture food safety with projects centered around understanding the persistence of foodborne pathogens in a low-moisture food environment and validating and optimizing thermal and non-thermal interventions used for low-moisture food treatments. After receiving a B.S. in Biology at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX, Acuff attended Kansas State University for an M.S. in Food Science, where she studied strategies for mitigation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in beef during post-harvest processing. She earned a Ph.D. in Food Science at Virginia Tech, conducting research in low-moisture food safety and evaluating foodborne pathogens’ survival on dried fruits and nuts surfaces during low-temperature vacuum-steam treatments.
Anthony Adeuya, Ph.D.
Chemist and Mycotoxin SME, FDA Office of Food Safety and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Dr. Anthony Adeuya is the Program Manager and Subject Matter Expert for Mycotoxins in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Office of Food Safety. He is also the technical expert for the United States Delegation to Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods. Dr. Adeuya joined FDA in 2008 and has served various roles as a chemist, including mass spectrometry specialist, laboratory technological expert, and science program coordinator for chemical contaminants. Before joining FDA, he served as a research associate at the USDA Agricultural Research Service laboratory in Peoria, IL, where he conducted research studies on human milk oligosaccharide utilization by infants. Dr. Adeuya obtained his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Purdue University, specializing in mass spectrometry.
Branch Chief, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs
Linda Arrington has spent 33 years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Office of Pesticide Programs. She graduated from Frostburg State University with a B.S. in General Science in 1985. Upon graduation, she worked as a contractor for the Office of Pollution Prevention. She was hired by the Registration Division in 1989 as a product reviewer, where she worked until 2013, when she became a Branch Chief in the Pesticide Re-evaluation Division, her current position. She has been a Black Employment Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager, working with the Office of Civil Rights, Office of Environmental Justice, and Black in Government.
Chemical Review Manager, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs
Susan Bartow has worked for EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs as a Chemical Review Manager for 19 years. During that time, she has worked on various risk management and label implementation issues for various pesticides. Before working for EPA, Susan worked in the private sector for ten years as a contractor to EPA’s Office of Water and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Susan has extensive experience in nonpoint source water pollution control under the Clean Water Act and conducting environmental assessments on U.S. military installations under the National Environmental Policy Act. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Ithaca College and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Duke University.
Gail Charnley, Ph.D.
Independent Consultant, HealthRisk Strategies LLC
Dr. Dr. Gail Charnley is an independent consultant specializing in environmental health risk assessment and risk management science and policy. Her career centers around the biological, chemical, and social policy aspects of environmental and public health protection and focuses on strategic analysis and risk communication of complex scientific and regulatory issues. Dr. Charnley recently served on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology as well as on numerous peer review panels convened by EPA, FDA, and Health and Welfare Canada. Additionally, she was the director of the Toxicology and Risk Assessment Program at the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, and the executive director of the Presidential/Congressional Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management. She is a lifetime fellow and a past president of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), for which she also served as the first Sigma Xi distinguished lecturer, and holds an AB in biochemistry from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in toxicology from MIT.
Dave Edwards, Ph.D.
Chief Deputy Director, OEHHA
David Edwards, Ph.D., has worked as Chief Deputy Director at the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) since September 2021. In this role, he oversees day-to-day activities at OEHHA, including Proposition 65, CalEnviroScreen development, fish advisories, and other projects. Before joining OEHHA, Dr. Edwards worked for 13 years at the California Air Resources Board (CARB), where he was most recently an Assistant Division Chief for the Air Quality Planning and Science Division, working on projects ranging from air emissions inventories to consumer products. Dr. Edwards received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Princeton University and his B.S. in Chemistry from St. Mary’s College of California. He also received a certificate in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy while at Princeton.
Partner, Global Regulatory, Hogan Lovells
Elizabeth’s work on behalf of food industry clients with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) since its inception and her understanding of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems provides her with the experience and perspective needed to counsel clients on how to comply with new requirements under the law. Elizabeth is also a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) and has completed the FSPCA PCQI training. As a Partner, Elizabeth provides real-time advice during factory inspections, helps clients prepare 483 responses, and drafts inspection manuals. She assists clients in lawfully and creatively promoting their products, such as developing labels, claims, websites, and promotional campaigns. She supports clients in advertising disputes and with responses to FTC and Attorney General investigations. She graduated from Northwestern University School of Law, Order of the Coif, in 2005 with a B.A. from Princeton University in 1998.
Partner, Hogan Lovells LLP, and ASTA General Counsel
Maile Gradison is a Partner with Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., and serves as General Counsel for ASTA. As a “food lawyer,” she keenly understands the food industry’s issues, from product development through production, distribution, and retail sale. Gradison has considerable experience with FDA and FSMA, including advising companies on what FSMA means for their business, 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 or following the receipt of FDA Warning Letters. She graduated with high honors from The George Washington University Law School and summa cum laude from Tulane University.
Linda J. Harris, Ph.D., CFS
Professor of Cooperative Extension and Microbial Food Safety, Department of Food Science and Technology, Western Center for Food Safety, University of California
Dr. Linda Harris is a Professor of Cooperative Extension in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California Davis and a collaborator in the FDA-funded Western Center for Food Safety. She oversees a research program on microbial food safety of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and other low-moisture foods and provides expertise on food safety microbiology throughout the food chain. The scientific output of her staff and students has been widely recognized. Professor Harris is a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists, the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2020, she was awarded the UC Davis Academic Federation’s highest honor, the James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award, in recognition of her distinguished career-long contributions to the university’s mission.
Paromita Hore, Ph.D., MPH
Director, Environmental Exposure Assessment and Education, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Dr. Paromita Hore is an Environmental Health Scientist, working with the New York City (NYC) Health Department’s Bureau of Environmental Disease and Injury Prevention for almost 20 years. Dr. Hore’s expertise is in risk assessment, evaluating exposures to various environmental contaminants of potential concern, specifically focusing on non-paint sources of lead exposure. Dr. Hore oversees the bureau’s community investigations of hazardous consumer products. These investigations have led to removing thousands of lead-contaminated products from NYC businesses. Dr. Hore received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, an MPH, and a Ph.D. in Public Health from Rutgers University.
Chief Executive Officer, Long Point Advisors
The founder and Chief Executive Officer of Long Point Advisors, Craig M. Johnson, has been a long-respected figure in New York politics. He is regarded as an insightful leader and trusted counselor to individuals and businesses as they navigate the New York State government ecosystem. With over two decades of experience in elected office, government affairs, law, politics, and business, Craig has earned a reputation for being a skilled negotiator, accomplished lobbyist, seasoned campaign strategist, and savvy business evaluator who possesses a track record of accomplishments and success for his clients at various levels of government. Craig will join ASTA to discuss the latest advocacy initiatives for practical and achievable regulations.
Senior Manager, ASTA Regulatory and Scientific Affairs
Shannen Kelly began working closely with ASTA’s staff and member companies on various scientific initiatives in 2020 before formally joining the ASTA team in 2022, where she serves as ASTA’s Senior Manager of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs. In her current role, she guides members on complex regulatory and scientific issues affecting the spice industry. She also works to execute ASTA’s regulatory and technical affairs strategy by monitoring regulatory developments and creating member resources on regulatory and technical affairs matters to assist compliance activities. Before joining ASTA, Shannen held several scientific roles working with trade associations, including the International Organization of the Flavor Industry (IOFI), the International Association of Color Manufacturers (IACM), and the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA). Shannen received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Hollins University and her MS in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts & Sciences in May 2022.
General Manager, Belchem Corporation
Chris Klosen is the General Manager of Balchem’s Performance Gases – Americas business, which supplies ethylene oxide and propylene oxide for spice pasteurization; Balchem also supplies ethylene oxide to the medical device sterilization market. He has been with Balchem Corporation for 23 years, serving in a variety of operations and commercial-facing roles. For the past four years, Chris also served in the role of President of the Ethylene Oxide Sterilization Association (EOSA). Chris holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University.
Founder, Global Food IQ
Sarah Levy is the Founder of Global Food IQ, a strategic consulting firm specializing in global food and nutrition affairs. Sarah helps food and beverage organizations navigate the ever-changing nutrition policy and regulatory environment by building advocacy and communications strategies that help businesses thrive. She launched Global Food IQ in 2023 following successful experiences with FoodMinds, Fleishman Hillard, and the Consumer Brands Association. Sarah is passionate about discovering and developing private-sector solutions to public health challenges. Sarah holds a Master’s in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is a registered dietitian nutritionist.
Dr. Charlotte Liang is a chemist with over ten years of scientific and policy review, guidance and regulation development, and qualitative risk assessment experience with FDA. Dr. Liang provides expert policy, scientific, and technical advice and regulatory assistance to industry, federal, state, and local public health officials on issues related to honey, sugar, and pesticide residues in foods. Additionally, she represented FDA as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues between 2016 and 2018. Currently, Dr. Liang serves as the U.S. delegate to the Codex Committee on Sugars, is the subject matter expert in honey and honey products for the Office of Food Safety, and has been a Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee member since 2017. Dr. Liang earned her Ph. D. in Food Science from Rutgers University, M.S. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia, and B.S. in Agricultural Chemistry from the National Taiwan University.
Dr. Douglas L. Marshall
Chief Scientific Officer, Eurofins
Dr. Douglas L. Marshall is Chief Scientific Officer with Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories. Formerly, he served as the Associate Dean and Professor of Public Health in the College of Natural and Health Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado and was a Contributing Editor of the scientific journal Food Microbiology. His career focus is to improve the microbiological quality and safety of foods, with numerous publications and consultations in the area. In recognition of his contributions to food science, he has received awards such as the Mississippi Chemical Corporation Award of Excellence for Outstanding Work, the International Association for Food Protection Educator, and the Harold Barnum Industry Awards. He additionally serves as a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists.
Executive Director, Pure Earth
Drew McCartor is the Executive Director of Pure Earth—an international non-profit organization dedicated to reducing exposure to toxic pollutants in low- and middle-income countries. Drew is a lawyer and a recognized leader in pollution management and environmental health with 14 years of experience designing and leading diverse programs across Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas focused on reducing public health impacts from lead, mercury, and other toxins. In recent years, Pure Earth has implemented various programs to assess and eliminate heavy metal adulteration and contamination in spices.
Special Assistant to the Director, FDA’s Division of Import Operations (DIO)
Ted Poplawski is currently Special Assistant to the Director in FDA’s Division of Import Operations (DIO). The Division is responsible for evaluating and developing FDA import policies and procedures. The Division is also responsible for developing training programs for FDA import staff, coordinating coverage of imports, and is responsible for FDA’s Import Alert system.
I have been part of the import team in DIO for the last 33 years. My primary duty is working with other federal and international government agencies and international trade issues to assure consistency with United States legal and regulatory policy. Before moving to DIO, I was a chemist for 13 years at the FDA laboratory in New York where I performed a wide range of analysis but specialized in heavy metals and food additive analysis.
Honorable Jessica Ramos
New York State Senator, New York’s 13th District
Senator Jessica Ramos represents New York’s 13th District in the State Senate, which includes the Queens neighborhoods of Corona, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights, as well as parts of Elmhurst, Rego Park and Forest Hills. Ramos chairs the Senate Committee on Labor, where she’s fought to pass historic legislation to grant farm and domestic workers basic labor protections, tackle wage theft and worker safety, and secured $2.1 billion to create a fund for workers who have been excluded from pandemic-related relief. Senator Ramos was born at Elmhurst Hospital to undocumented Colombian immigrants, grew up in Astoria, and now lives in Jackson Heights with her two sons.
Michelle Ranville, Ph.D.
Senior Economist, USDA Office of the Chief Economist, Office of Pest Management Policy Company
Michelle Ranville is a senior economist in USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist, Office of Pest Management Policy. Her work at OPMP focuses on analyzing the economic impacts of pesticide mitigation decisions on users of pesticides and other stakeholders, including costs and availability of alternatives and unintended outcomes of pesticide policy changes. Ms. Ranville previously worked as an economist at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs. She evaluated the impacts on growers and other pesticide users of EPA mitigation decisions that limited or eliminated chemical pesticides. Ms. Ranville leads efforts at OPMP to promote the adoption of precision application technology and other tools designed to reduce occupational and environmental pesticide exposure.
René Rietra, Ph.D.
Research, Wageningen University & Research
René Rietra, Ph.D., is a soil scientist at Wageningen University & Researchin Wageningen, Netherlands, and works in the Environmental Science in the Sustainable Soil Management team. As a soil chemist, he is interested in the behavior of substances in soil and the relations between soil, crops, water, and air. Dr. Rietra has experience in field and regional scale monitoring and reporting for farmer groups and local and national governments. His expertise lies in using liming and waste materials as fertilizers and their effects on heavy metals in soils, crops, and other compartments. In addition to his extensive professional experience, Dr. Rietra holds a Ph.D. from Wageningen University.
Paul Römkens, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist, Wageningen University & Research
Paul Römkens, Ph.D., is a senior research scientist at Wageningen University & Research in the field of sustainable soil use and management, where his work centers around the origin and behavior of chemicals in soils and their associated risks in the fields of food safety, ecotoxicology, and water quality. His ongoing projects range from local case studies in allotments to risk assessment at the EU level, and he is heavily involved with designing management strategies to reduce risks of contaminants via either soil management or the development of risk-based quality guidelines. Research completed by Dr. Römkens has led to the development of current national guidelines on the presence of lead and other metals and Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in agricultural and urban soils used for food production. He received his MS in Soil Science with distinction from Wageningen University & Research in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Applied Physics from Groningen State University in 1998.
Consultant/Owner, Rossi Regulatory Consulting Group
After reaching 30 years with the Office of Pesticide Programs at EPA in September 2014, Lois formed the Rossi Regulatory Consulting Group in October 2014. She consults on various pesticide regulatory issues, including with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the area of vector control products on a project to increase the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) capacity and many maximum residue limits (MRL)-related issues. Other projects have involved establishing import tolerances for various commodities and MRL harmonization issues and working on pesticides undergoing registration review in the US and other countries. While at EPA, she was the Director of the Registration Division in the Office of Pesticide Programs for 11 years. She additionally served as the U.S. delegate to the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) from 2004 to 2014. She was the head of the U.S. delegation to the Working Group on Pesticides and the Registration Steering Group for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Ms. Rossi has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, and a Master of Science degree in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from Georgetown University.
CEO, Drumfire Public Affairs
Aaron Saunders has the rare distinction of serving as senior staff for both a Republican and a Democrat. This experience has allowed Aaron to maintain meaningful relationships with contacts from across the political spectrum, both on and off Capitol Hill. During his five years with Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Aaron was the national on-the-record spokesperson, including during Senator Stevens’ time as Chairman of the Senate Commerce and Appropriations Committees. After five years at Drumfire Public Affairs, he rose to Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, managing the firm’s day-to-day operations. He has extensive experience communicating complex issues and gaining regulatory and legislative support for products and technologies that upset the status quo and draw intense scrutiny. Today, he performs a variety of public affairs functions for his firm’s diverse group of clients, including strategic planning and counsel, crisis training and management, media engagement, media training, and coalition building.
Executive Director, ASTA
Laura Shumow has been the Executive Director of the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) since September 2018. In this role, 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. Laura has a strong background in domestic and international regulatory advocacy and issue management and a proven track record of success in addressing challenges related to the supply chains of food ingredients sourced from developing countries. Prior to joining ASTA, she previously worked at the National Confectioners Association as the vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs and oversaw the Chocolate Council, a decision-making body that handles issues specific to the cocoa and chocolate industry. Laura received her master’s in health sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a 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 (Past President of DC Divisions, Past Chair of the Food Laws and Regulations Section), and is Treasurer of the Food and Beverage Issue Alliance.
Senior Manager, Global Food Integrity and Risk, McCormick & Company
Zoë Shuttlewood is a food safety professional with over 20 years of experience in factory quality assurance, food safety management systems, and supplier quality. She has worked for McCormick & Company since 2011. Zoë obtained her Masters’s degree in Food Safety Management from the University of Central Lancashire and is a registered food safety manager (RFoodSM) with the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST). Working as a subject matter expert within McCormick’s Global Quality Systems, Zoë is accountable for raw material control program governance within the predict and prevent programs.
Analytical Service Manager, Eurofins
Vicki is an Analytical Service Manager at Eurofins CAL in New Orleans, the U.S. Food competence center for contaminants testing. A Ph.D. biochemist with more than 20 years experience in analytical testing in foods, feeds, and pesticide products, she has managed laboratory testing for pesticide residues, veterinary drugs, mycotoxins, and vitamins. A significant component of her present role is acting as a technical liaison between the laboratory and clients, interpreting test results, assessing compliance with regulatory limits, and selecting appropriate testing. Having served in several volunteer roles at AOAC, including the Official Methods Board and the Agricultural Materials community, she is currently co-chair of the Environmental, Industrial, and Emerging Contaminants community.
Aparna Tatavarthy, Ph.D.
Microbiologist, FDA/Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Office of Food Safety/Division of Plant Products and Beverages
Aparna Tatavarthy, Microbiologist, FDA/Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Office of Food Safety/Division of Plant Products and Beverages, College Park, MD. Dr. Tatavarthy is a microbiologist in the Office of Food Safety (OFS) in the Division of Plant Products and Beverages in CFSAN/FDA. She is in the Spices and Seasoning Mixes Team. Dr. Tatavarthy is a subject matter expert for spices, flour, and other low-moisture foods and provides expert technical, scientific, regulatory, and policy advice. Dr. Tatavarthy also serves as the alternate U.S. delegate for the Codex Committee for Spices and Culinary Herbs. She is also the CFSAN co-lead for the FSMA Sanitary Transportation rule. Before moving to OFS, Aparna was a bench microbiologist in the Microbial Methods Development Branch in Div. of Microbiology in the Office of Regulatory Science, CFSAN/FDA. Dr. Tatavarthy earned her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida, a Master’s in Human Genetics from Andhra University, India, and a Bachelor’s in Science from AVN College in India.
Domenic J. Veneziano
Consultant, Veneziano Consulting, LLC
As a senior FDA leader, he had prominent roles in the oversight of FDA’s National import operations program, including the development and implementation of FDA’s Targeting System PREDICT and the Import Trade Communication System (ITACS), the integration of Customs and Border Protections Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) with FDA’s systems, and the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Food and Drug Safety and Innovations Act. He was recognized as FDA’s expert in import operations and, as such, has testified in federal court and before Congress, has initiated, approved, and endorsed enforcement actions, has represented the FDA for media inquiries, represented FDA on White House initiatives, the Automated Commercial Environment/International Trade Data System Board of Directors and the Border Interagency Executive Council.
Katherine Vierk, MPH
Director, Division of Public Health Informatics and Analytics
Office of Analytics and Outreach
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Katherine Vierk is the Director for the Division of Public Health Informatics and Analytics in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As Division Director, Ms. Vierk oversees three branches dedicated to internal and external partnerships in epidemiologic research, data analytics, social science research, and hazard signal detection. She brings more than 20 years of experience working at FDA in the areas of foodborne outbreaks, traceability, epidemiology, adverse events, and data analytics. Ms. Vierk has served in multiple leadership positions at CFSAN, served as acting FDA liaison to CDC, and was part of the team that developed FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (CORE). She currently leads FDA’s traceability rule writing efforts and FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS) for foods. Katie has a Master’s degree in Public Health with emphasis in Epidemiology from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Senior Director Supplier Quality, EMEA, McCormick & Company
Liz Ward is the Senior Director Supplier Quality, EMEA at McCormick, where she has worked for over 20 years. Her experience includes operational & customer quality, in addition to roles in food safety and quality systems. In her current role she is accountable for managing the approval and ongoing performance of suppliers delivering raw materials, packaging and copacked product into the EMEA region. The role also includes ensuring that McCormick’s suppliers are aware of supply integrity or horizon scanning concerns and working with them to implement preventative controls to assure our supply chain.
Owner, Smarter FY Solutions
Frank Yiannas is a renowned food safety leader and executive, food system futurist, author, professor, past president of the International Association of Food Protection, and advocate for consumers. Most recently, he served under two different administrations as the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response at the FDA, a position he held from 2018 to 2023 after spending 30 years in leadership roles with two industry giants: Walmart and the Walt Disney Company. Frank has been recognized throughout his career for strengthening food safety standards in new and innovative ways and building effective food safety management systems based on modern, science-based, and tech-enabled prevention principles.