Directors and Advisors

Meet our Initiative Directors and Advisors below. To join the Initiative, contact us! Advisor responsibilities are described here.

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

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.

Anastasia Bodnar

Anastasia Bodnar, PhD is the Policy Director of Biology Fortified, Inc, a non-profit organization that fosters conversation about issues in food and agriculture, and a founding member of SciMoms, a non-profit organization that promotes evidence-based parenting. Dr. Bodnar is a multi-disciplinary risk analyst as well as science communicator due to her career in government and broad experience in topics such as environmental risk analysis, biotechnology regulation, public health, and integrated pest management. Dr. Bodnar has a PhD in Genetics, with a minor in Sustainable Agriculture, from Iowa State University and BS in Biology from the University of Maryland.

William Fisher

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.

David Meeker

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

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.

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

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.

Jessica Wasserman

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

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.