January 23, 2024

International Food Information Council Expands Food, Nutrition & Agriculture Expertise To Advance Its Mission, Serving The Public Good

IFIC Welcomes New Board of Trustees and Milton Stokes, PhD, MPH, RD, FAND as IFIC Senior Director, Food & Nutrition 

(Washington, D.C.) — The International Food Information Council (IFIC) recently expanded its team and confirmed a new slate of Trustees to further strengthen its food, nutrition, and agriculture expertise as well as guide and execute its new strategic vision. IFIC is led by a public-private Board of Trustees comprised of academic and food industry leaders with expertise in nutrition, food safety, risk communications and biotechnology, along with government liaisons. The majority of IFIC’s Board is comprised of independent academic researchers.  

As a food-focused research and educational nonprofit under new executive leadership, IFIC is set to release new consumer behavioral research and insights; enhance its science communication capabilities, including its digital and social media platforms; and broaden its multi-sector stakeholder engagement partnership platform this year. IFIC remains proactively invested in the mission-driven priorities most necessary and valuable to support multiple stakeholder needs, including those of consumers, in making informed food decisions. 

“IFIC’s mission is to effectively communicate accurate and actionable information at the intersection of science, food, and the consumer,” said IFIC President & CEO Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN. “Through best-in-class consumer research, science communications and convening thought leadership, we look forward to working with our Trustees to advance the food systems dialogue and science-based decision-making.”  

At the December 2023 Annual Meeting, IFIC confirmed the following Board of Trustees:  

  • Arti Arora, PhD (The Coca-Cola Company) 
  • Regan Bailey, PhD, MPH, RD (Texas A&M University System) (Co-Chair) 
  • Regina Benjamin, MD (Bayou Clinic Inc., & Former U.S. Surgeon General) 
  • Susan Bond (Kerry, Inc.) 
  • Jessica Campbell, PhD (General Mills) (Secretary & Treasurer) 
  • Russ Dyer (Mondelēz International) (Co-Chair) 
  • Mario Ferruzzi, PhD (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences) 
  • Jeneen Fields, PhD (Purdue University) (Co-Vice Chair) 
  • Simin Meydani, DVM, PhD (Tufts University) 
  • Amy Preston, PhD, RD (The Hershey Company) 
  • Tia Rains, PhD (Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc.) 
  • Dojin Ryu, PhD (University of Missouri-Columbia) 
  • Barbara Schneeman, PhD (University of California, Davis) 
  • Timothy Sellnow, PhD (Clemson University) 
  • Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD (University of Massachusetts- Amherst) 
  • Jessica Smith, PhD (Mars, Inc.)  
  • Jeffrey Zachwieja, PhD (PepsiCo) (Co-Vice Chair) 

A full list of IFIC Trustees and Public Liaisons can be found here 

Additionally, IFIC named Milton Stokes, PhD, MPH, RD, FAND as Senior Director, Food & Nutrition. Stokes will lead the organization’s food and nutrition strategy in support of its mission to effectively communicate science-based information on food safety, nutrition, and sustainable food systems.  

A registered dietitian and communications professional, Stokes previously served as a consultant to IFIC and held other leadership positions in food, nutrition, and agriculture. He has experience building strategies and communication plans, executing engagements with strategic stakeholders, and creating and delivering education globally. A former professor of food and nutrition, Stokes has taught courses in nutrition communication, food science, and the fundamentals of nutrition. 

“Our work at IFIC is to design and deploy science communications based on research and consumer insights,” Reinhardt Kapsak stated. “I am thrilled to add Milton with his leadership and expertise to the IFIC team to accelerate our endeavors of serving the public good.”   

“IFIC is a prestigious organization that I’ve admired for more than 20 years,” Stokes said. “I’m honored to join under new executive leadership, and I look forward to creating food and nutrition programming for health professionals and other stakeholders to promote accurate information about healthful eating.” 

Stokes joins IFIC after serving as a consultant to commodity boards, public relations agencies, restaurants, and startups in food, nutrition, and agriculture. Milton has a master’s degree in public health from Hunter College – City University of New York, and his clinical training was conducted at Yale-New Haven Hospital, affiliated with Yale University School of Medicine. His doctoral degree, from the University of Connecticut, is in communication and marketing with a specialization in health communication. 



The International Food Information Council (IFIC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization with a mission to effectively communicate science-based information about food safety, nutrition, and sustainable food systems, serving the public good. To fulfill this mission and demonstrate its thought leadership in action, IFIC: 1) delivers best-in-class research and consumer insights to inform food, nutrition, and health stakeholders; 2) promotes science communications to positively impact consumer behavior and public health; and convenes critical thought leaders to advance the food systems dialogue and science-based decision-making. For more information, visit https://ific.org and our resource hub http://foodinsight.org; Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and sign up for our newsletter here.