Emily R. Lyons
Director of Regulatory Affairs and Counsel
International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA)
Emily Lyons is responsible for working with members and government agencies on environmental, worker safety and sustainability issues, as well as food safety and food defense. She also serves as legal counsel on issues involving contracts, antitrust, and statutory and regulatory interpretation.
Originally from a small dairy farm in Northern Illinois, Lyons has a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences and a minor in Environmental Economics and Law from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She earned her law degree from Vermont Law School and is a licensed attorney in the District of Columbia and the State of Illinois. Lyons has held a series of internships with agricultural organizations and companies. She also served as a summer associate with Brown, Hay & Stephens LLP in Springfield, Ill., where she managed complex environmental cases, and as a law clerk for Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC in Washington, D.C.
Joseph A. Levitt
As the FDA's former top food regulator, Joe Levitt brings a true insider's knowledge to helping food industry clients deal effectively with the FDA. Whether influencing policy making or confronting a threatened compliance action, Joe's 25 years of FDA experience puts clients in the best position to succeed. In the private sector, Joe was on the ground floor when Congress developed the landmark FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Joe was also a leading voice for the food industry when the FDA developed regulations that all food companies must now follow. No one can help navigate the labyrinth of FDA’s FSMA regulations better than Joe and his team, and no one can better put your company in the driver's seat when the FDA inspector knocks on your door for your first FSMA inspection.
Joe adeptly handles high visibility recalls and compliance actions. If a company finds itself in trouble with the FDA, they need someone with a deep insider's understanding of what works and what doesn't. Joe knows what the agency expects in the compliance arena, and the bar clients will be expected to meet. Joe is among the most decorated officials in FDA history, with his achievements being recognized by multiple U.S. presidents, cabinet secretaries, and FDA Commissioners. He maintains close working relationships with senior FDA officials and has served as the Board Chair of the FDA Alumni Association.
Ryan Newkirk, Ph.D., MPH
Food Defense and Emergency Coordination Staff
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration
Ryan Newkirk, Ph.D., MPH, is a member the Food Defense and Emergency Coordination Staff at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition(CFSAN) of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this position, Newkirk serves as a member of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) intentional adulteration working group and played a key role in the development of the IA final rule. In addition, Newkirk has provided significant contributions to efforts related to economically motivated adulteration, and planned and conducted several food defense awareness workshops.
Prior to joining FDA, Newkirk held a post-doctoral position with United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Food Defense Assessment Staff where he focused on food defense vulnerability assessments and education and outreach. He completed his doctorate in epidemiology and food defense research at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Newkirk has also completed an MPH degree at Saint Louis University.