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Leadership Team

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Michael Dykes

President and CEO

Michael Dykes, D.V.M., a long-time government affairs strategist, agricultural policy expert, and veterinarian, became president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association in January 2017. In this role, he represents members that make more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.

Since joining IDFA, Dykes has been a strong advocate for the importance of global competitiveness to the future of the U.S. dairy industry. He has made preserving trade partnerships with Mexico and improving Canadian market access for U.S. dairy exports in all future trade agreements a priority for IDFA.

Prior to assuming his role at IDFA, Dykes served as vice president of government affairs for Monsanto, where he was responsible for developing and implementing a portfolio of U.S. government relations strategies and programs that included agricultural biotechnology policy. He led Monsanto's office in Washington, D.C., and served as the company's primary point of contact for elected officials, regulatory authorities, U.S. farm organizations, key industry participants, trade associations, international organizations and embassies. He directed the company's efforts in state and local government affairs, in addition to government affairs in Mexico and Canada.

Dykes is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Academy of Practitioners. He has served on the Farmhouse Fraternity board for 3+ years. He is also a member of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and has served on the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21).

Dykes grew up on a small dairy and tobacco farm in Kentucky. He earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Auburn University. He also attended the University of Kentucky where he received a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. See LinkedIn profile.

Clay Hough

Clayton L. Hough

Senior Group Vice President and General Counsel

Clay Hough oversees IDFA's international trade, regulatory and scientific affairs, and serves as general counsel. He helps develop regulatory strategies and association policies in such areas as biosecurity, food safety, federal standards of identity, nutrition guidance, labeling and biotechnology. In addition, he serves as the primary contact on international trade issues and manages the association's legal affairs. Hough also is responsible for the Membership and Meetings and Educational Services departments. 

Prior to joining IDFA, Hough was an associate and partner for 13 years in the public policy practice group at the law firm of Patton Boggs LLP, where he specialized in commodity and trade policy. While at Patton Boggs, he established strong relationships with federal agencies and Congress during his work on the federal sugar program, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and dairy import rules. Before joining Patton Boggs, Hough worked for two members in Congress. See LinkedIn Profile.

Dave Carlin

J. David Carlin

Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Economic Policy

J. David Carlin leads the association's legislative, political and economic policy activities. He was a partner with the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP until joining IDFA and has extensive experience in food and agriculture policy. Carlin has represented numerous food and agricultural companies, cooperatives and trade associations before the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

After graduating from Harvard Law School, Carlin joined Akin Gump in 1988. In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed him to serve as Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations under Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman at USDA. As head of the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, Carlin served as the primary USDA liaison with Congress and the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. He returned to Akin Gump in 1998 to focus his practice on public law and policy matters. His interest in agricultural and public policy began on the family dairy farm founded by his grandfather in 1940. See LinkedIn profile.

Neil Moran

Neil Moran

Senior Vice President, Finance, Administration & Trade Show

Moran directs the association's financial and accounting activities, as well as those related to human resources, information technology, administration and the biennial trade show.

Prior to joining IDFA, Moran served as chief financial officer for the National Capital Revitalization Corporation and for the RLA Revitalization Corporation, where he provided financial guidance relating to valuation, pricing and modeling of the corporations’ real estate development projects. Before that, Moran served as vice president of finance and CFO for Black's Guide, Inc., a commercial real estate information service, where he guided the company through the acquisition phase, as well as its subsequent sale. As CFO and director of finance and administration for the National Center on Education and the Economy, Moran was responsible for all financial and administrative functions.

Moran also served as the CFO for the Drug Policy Foundation, vice president of finance and administration for Sky Courier Network, and as vice president of finance for the Aeromaritime Group. After graduating from Georgetown University, he began his career in the Washington, D.C., office of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Peggy Armstrong 2016Peggy Armstrong

Vice President of Communications

Armstrong provides strategic communications counsel to IDFA staff, serves as the association's primary spokesperson and oversees IDFA's external and member communications.

Armstrong has worked for a number of government and public sector organizations in the Washington, D.C., area. Prior to joining IDFA, she served as senior director of communications and research for the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that promoted major economic development projects. Before that, she was communications director and press secretary for Anthony Williams during his tenure as mayor of the District of Columbia.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Armstrong has served as special assistant for communications for the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She began her career developing broadcast programming in Baltimore.  See LinkedIn profile.

(202) 220-3508 |

Heather Soubra

Heather Soubra

Chief of Staff

Soubra manages the office of Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, while working closely with the association's leadership team to ensure that IDFA’s strategic initiatives and activities are streamlined within the association and reflect the priorities of the CEO. In addition, Soubra serves as the executive office liaison with the boards of directors, members, a large network of trade association executives and others to advance the image and efforts of IDFA. She also handles special projects and will be creating a summer internship program for IDFA in 2017.

Soubra joined IDFA in 2008 and most recently held the title of director of industry relations and special projects, where she focused on strengthening the IDFA brand, increasing the visibility of the association’s subject matter experts and enhancing its marketing campaigns.

A graduate of George Mason University, Soubra earned her degree in intercultural communication and has a long-term commitment to international communications and facilitating bridges across worldwide cultures. She also is a graduate of The Protocol School of Washington where she earned certification in corporate etiquette and international protocol. She is fluent in Arabic. See LinkedIn Profile.

(202) 220-3551 |