Gene Grabowski is a distinguished communications professional and former journalist with more than 30 years’ experience working with food and agribusiness companies, trade associations and non-profit organizations.
Grabowski oversees the Communications team’s work to promote, enhance and protect the image of the dairy industry. He provides strategic counsel to IDFA’s Executive Team, staff and members, and directs communications initiatives, member communications, and marketing of IDFA events and programming. He also serves as the association’s spokesman on industry issues.
A veteran of the food and agribusiness sectors, Grabowski has previously led communications at two major Washington trade associations and managed communications for more than 200 food, drug and consumer product recalls. He has been named PR News’ Crisis Manager of the Year for his work on national spinach and lettuce recalls, North American pet food recalls and global lead-paint toy recalls. He has also directed communications for the sweeping national ice cream recalls of Blue Bell ice cream, the Dole Food Company and CRF Frozen Foods.
Grabowski’s issues-management clients have included The American Egg Board, Bayer CropScience, Syngenta, Kraft Foods, Nestle, Campbell’s Soup and Perdue Farms.
For more than six years, Grabowski has been a Partner at kglobal, a Washington-DC based public affairs firm, where he has specialized in crisis communications, issues management, and media relations. Prior to his work at kglobal, Grabowski served 11 years as Executive Vice President at LEVICK, a litigation communications and crisis firm based in Washington, DC, where his clients included many food and agribusiness companies and more than a dozen food trade associations.
Grabowski also was Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Grocery Manufacturers Association (now the Consumer Brands Association), an organization representing brand-name food, beverage and consumer-product companies, including ConAgra, Pepsico, Kraft, General Mills and Nestle. In addition to developing and implementing GMA’s media outreach programs, he was the organization’s chief communications strategist, spokesperson and liaison with industry analysts. He led the industry’s strategic efforts on food biotechnology, childhood obesity and global food safety in North America and Europe.
Before GMA, Grabowski served as a Director in the Washington office of Burson-Marsteller, where he developed and managed national advocacy and media relations campaigns for agencies of the federal government, major universities and leading global corporations, including Perrier, Motorola, Sun Microsystems and Johnson & Johnson.
A former White House news reporter for the Associated Press and The Washington Times, Grabowski covered global arms summits in the United States and Russia between President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, the federal budget process and international trade relations.
Grabowski is a Pittsburgh native who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing and History at the University of Pittsburgh, and who has done graduate work in Management at the University of Michigan. He is a member of the board of ISS USA and a mentor in the Washington, DC College Bound program for the city’s high-school students. An avid chess player, he holds a rating with the U.S. Chess Federation.