- Jack Cooper, Executive Director
- Angela Anandappa
- Steve Armstrong
- William Fisher
- Bill Gill
- David Meeker
- Matthew Moore
- Jessica O’Connell
- Damanna Ram Rao
- Bill Roenigk
- Kathleen Smith
- Jessica Wasserman
- Jesse Zuehlke
Jack Cooper, Executive Director
Jack Cooper is the founder and Executive Director of the Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative. He retired in 2017 from the Food Industry Environmental Network (FIEN), the regulatory and policy email update service he founded in 1990. Mr. Cooper has had a long career in service, including: he worked with the National Food Processors Association (now Grocery Manufacturers Association) for 16 years, he is an Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) fellow, he served as chair of the Food and Beverage Environmental Conference, he served on the Leadership Board of the UC Davis Food Science and Technology Department, and he is a member of the International Association for Food Protection. Mr. Cooper has a BS and MS in Food Science from the University of California at Davis.
Angela Anandappa, PhD is currently the Executive Director of the Alliance for Advanced Sanitation and a Research Assistant Professor with the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was instrumental in establishing the Food Systems Innovation Center at the University of Kentucky. She is currently leading the effort to develop improved tools for sanitation through a public-private partnership of industry and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Anandappa has a BS in Biology, MS in food microbiology, and earned her PhD in Animal Science and Food Safety from the University of Kentucky.
Steve Armstrong, JD, is an independent advisor at EAS Consulting Group who has over 20 years of experience advising leading consumer products companies on marketing and regulatory matters. Prior to EAS, Mr. Armstrong served as the Chief Food Law Counsel at Campbell Soup Company, where he counseled Campbell businesses on food safety, food policy, labeling and regulatory compliance. Steve also served as a marketing and regulatory counsel for Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive before coming to Campbell, and he enjoyed a brief career as a newspaper reporter and editor before going to law school. Steve served on FDLI’s Board of Directors from 2014 to 2017 and currently teaches food law at Georgetown University Law Center and at Rutgers University. He frequently speaks on food law and policy issues and especially enjoys participating in FDLI events and writing for FDLI’s Update magazine. Steve earned his BS degree from Harvard College and his JD from Columbia University.
William Fisher, MS, CFS, most recently served as Vice President of Science and Policy Initiatives with the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), serving as liaison with government agencies, elected officials and organizations that share a common commitment to the science of food and its application. As the lead executive in charge of science and policy initiatives, he ensured that IFT played a critical role in the identification and analysis of emerging food issues; oversaw development of programs addressing issues on the science of food and its application; and lead the development of key science reports, public comments, and policy-oriented documents. Mr. Fisher served as the first Executive Director of IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center.
Bill Gill serves as assistant vice president of sustainability for Smithfield Foods, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for expanding and accelerating Smithfield’s long-term sustainability vision, including identifying and prioritizing proactive sustainability initiatives across the company’s operations, supply chain, and products. This includes activities involving Smithfield’s hog farming operations. During his more than 30 years with the company, Bill has been instrumental in strengthening Smithfield’s reputation and its leadership position in environmental performance. He has held various project engineering and environmental positions at Smithfield. He is a current member of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) Environmental and Sustainability Committee and Board Chairman for the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI). He is also a current participant in the PMMI OPX Sustainability Solutions Group and a board member of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Bill is also a member of the ProFood World Editorial Advisory Board. For several years, he has served as a member of the Environment Virginia Symposium Advisory Committee. Bill is a licensed professional engineer. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech where he earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.
David Meeker, PhD, MBA is senior vice president, Scientific Services of the National Renderers Association (NRA) in Alexandria, VA. He serves as the scientific/technical advisor to the North American rendering industry on science, animal disease, and feed safety issues. He is also Research Director for the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation. He is past president of the U.S. Animal Health Association, a member of the scientific advisory panel of the World Renderers Organization (WRO), and a former member of the USDA Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health. Dr. Meeker received his BS, MS, PhD, and MBA degrees from Iowa State University.
Matthew Moore, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Moore is currently a Young Ambassador of the American Society for Microbiology representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, an active member of the International Association for Food Protection and Institute of Food Technologists, and is one of seven chosen internationally to receive the Young Scientist Award by the International Union of Food Science and Technology. Dr. Moore has a BS in Food Science from Cornell University and a PhD in Food Science from North Carolina State University.
Jessica P. O’Connell is Partner at Covington & Burling’s Food and Drug practice group in Washington, DC. She advises companies and trade associations on complying with US regulatory requirements enforced by FDA, USDA, FTC, and state regulators for the manufacture and sale of foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, OTC drugs, and animal products, and the import and export of all FDA and USDA-regulated products.
Before joining Covington, she was an Associate Chief Counsel in FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel from 2008 to 2014. While at FDA, Jessica counseled various components of FDA and HHS on legal issues primarily related to foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics, including the implementation of FSMA and nutrition labeling initiatives, and import-specific issues. Prior to joining FDA, Jessica was a law clerk for Hon. Nancy B. Firestone at the US Court of Federal Claims. Jessica has a BS in biology and physics from University of Virginia, an MPH from Johns Hopkins, and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
Damanna Ram Rao
Damanna Ram Rao, PhD worked for 25 years at Alabama A & M University teaching courses in food science, food safety, and biochemistry and nutrition, along with research resulting in 70 peer-reviewed publications in flagship journals. After this academic stint, Dr. Rao joined the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)-USDA as National Program Leader in Food Science and Technology. In this capacity, he worked with universities and other stakeholders in determining the direction of science. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists. Dr. Rao graduated from Auburn University with MS and PhD degrees in Animal Nutrition and Biochemistry.
Bill Roenigk is an agribusiness consultant focused on the poultry industry and market. An important part of his work includes analyzing the situation and outlook for competing meat and other proteins. For most of his 40-year career with the National Chicken Council (NCC), he served as Senior Vice President and chief economist. Prior to joining the NCC, he was an agricultural economist with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and Economic Research Service and the Cost of Living Council.
Kathleen Smith, RDN, LDN, is a nutrition and regulatory consultant, providing guidance to the food and beverage industry, as well as, nonprofit health organizations in the areas of nutrition, health, labeling, packaging, ingredients, and strategy. Previously, she served as a Health Scientist at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where she participated in the development of food labeling regulations and nutrition policies. In the health and nutrition space, Ms. Smith was a Chief, Clinical Nutrition, Education and Research at the Department of Veterans Affairs and worked at the Office of Inspector General on health policy.
Jessica Wasserman is the founder of Wasserman & Associates, a policy advisory firm with clients in the global food industry. A specialty of the firm is labeling and packaging, where increasingly food businesses are seeking sustainable packaging opportunities and alternatives, including opportunities to brand products as sustainable. Ms. Wasserman previously worked at the US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service and at the Department of Commerce where she represented the agency at the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment.
Jesse Zuehlke, PhD, METM, is General Manager of Prime Label Consultants, a regulatory consulting firm supporting food and beverage industry clients. They specialize in labeling, including third-party certification of environmental and sustainability factors. Previously, he served as Science Program Manager with the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), coordinating public health and nutrition projects in alignment with industry, academic, and government stakeholders. Dr. Zuehlke holds a PhD in Food Science and MS in Engineering Management with Supply Chain Management Certification from Washington State University, and a BS in Microbiology from Michigan State University.