Colin Barthel is a policy analyst with FDA’s Food Defense and Emergency Coordination Staff in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Mr. Barthel has been working in food defense for over 10 years and has been involved in FDA’s vulnerability assessment program since 2006. Mr. Barthel serves as a major contributor for the Food Safety Modernization Act Intentional Adulteration rule, and is a lead for the development of the implementation strategy for the IA rule.
Dr. Buchanan, Director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Food Safety and Security Systems, received his B.S, M.S. M.Phil, and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science from Rutgers University, and post-doctoral training in mycotoxicology at the University of Georgia. Since then he has 30 years experience teaching, conducting research in food safety, and working at the interface between science and public health policy, first in academia, then in government service in both USDA and FDA, and most recently at the University of Maryland. His scientific interests are diverse, and include extensive experience in predictive microbiology, quantitative microbial risk assessment, microbial physiology, mycotoxicology, and HACCP systems. He has published widely on a wide range of subjects related to food safety, and is one of the co-developers of the widely used USDA Pathogen Modeling Program. Dr. Buchanan has served on numerous national and international advisory bodies including serving as a member of the International Commission on Microbiological Specification for Foods for 20 years, as a six-term member of the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods, and as the U.S. Delegate to the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Hygiene for 10 years.
Ricardo Carvajal works with manufacturers and marketers of food and dietary supplements, OTC drugs, and cosmetics on a range of FDA, USDA, and FTC regulatory issues. Mr. Carvajal advises clients ranging from start-ups to multinational companies at all points in the supply chain, including bulk ingredient manufacturers, distributors of packaged goods, and retailers. He counsels clients on the regulatory status of ingredients and finished products, and provides advice on compliance with labeling and advertising requirements. He helps clients interpret and comment on the implementation of new requirements, such as those arising from the Food Safety Modernization Act. He also has expertise in FDA’s regulation of bioengineered plants and animals.
In enforcement matters, Mr. Carvajal counsels clients on managing inspections, responding to warning letters and other enforcement actions by federal and state regulators, and resolving import detentions. He also helps clients navigate product recalls and related corrective actions. Mr. Carvajal applies his subject matter expertise to corporate transactions, issuing opinions and conducting due diligence for acquisitions and IPOs.
Mr. Carvajal’s approach to counseling clients draws on insights gained in his former role as an Associate Chief Counsel at FDA, where he counseled the agency on a variety of rulemaking and enforcement activities and policy initiatives. Mr. Carvajal has served on the Food and Dietary Supplements Committee and the Global Committee of the Food and Drug Law Institute, and as Chair of the Public Policy Outreach and Implementation Task Force of the Institute of Food Technologists. He is also a member of the American Bar Association.
Veronica Colas counsels clients on the regulations and policy issues affecting food companies from farm to table. She represents all segments of the food industry, including manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, and food service companies, as well as their trade associations.
Using her keen awareness of today's litigation environment, Veronica helps develop new products, label claims, advertising materials, and promotional campaigns. She has a deep understanding of both current and forthcoming food labeling and production requirements ranging from nutrition and menu labeling, to the regulatory issues surrounding genetically engineered foods and organic food production.
Veronica provides clear advice and practical solutions for compliance with labeling, advertising, and safety regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Consumer Product Safety Commission. She has significant experience in helping clients navigate regulatory enforcement challenges, such as Warning Letters, import detentions, and investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, Congress, and state Attorneys General. Veronica works closely with trade associations and food companies to craft comments and develop strategies in response to public policy issues such as agency rulemaking. She is a frequent speaker and contributor to industry publications.
Elizabeth (Beth) Johnson, MS, RD, founded Food Directions LLC in February 2010. Johnson’s unique experience and skill set helps clients gain valuable insight into the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Capitol Hill. Johnson also has strong relationships with thought leaders at NGOs, food associations, and consumer groups, which help Food Directions gain a diverse perspective on food issues. Johnson is regularly tapped to speak at food related conferences and events.
Prior to starting Food Directions LLC, Johnson served as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association where she oversaw government affairs, public policy and communications for the organization. In 2008, Johnson was named Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA where she lead and oversaw the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), USDA’s public health agency that ensures the nation’s commercial meat, poultry, and certain egg products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. In addition to her service as Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety, Johnson was deputy chief of staff and senior advisor for the Secretary of Agriculture at USDA, where she focused on agricultural trade, animal health, food safety and nutrition. She joined the department in 2002 after nearly four years at Fleishman-Hillard, Inc., where she was a vice president with clients in the food and agriculture arena. Her previous experiences include positions as a senior professional staff member at the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; a nutritionist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and a research dietitian at USDA. Johnson also worked at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association as associate director for food policy.
Johnson is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), serves on the National Food Policy Conference Advisory Committee, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) host committee, and on Dunkin Brands’ Nutrition Advisory Board and is a Food Cowboy Advisor. Johnson has been quoted in numerous media outlets including USA Today, HealthDay, Supermarket News, Food Navigator USA, AdWeek, Washington Times, Politico, and The Hill, among others.
Johnson holds a BS in Dietetics from Ball State University and an MS in Nutrition from the University of Maryland. Johnson lives in Maryland with her husband Bill and daughters Hanah and Sara.
Emily counsels agriculture, food and beverage, and dairy industry clients on a wide variety of legal and regulatory compliance matters.
With a strong background in food, environmental, and safety regulation of livestock operations and food processors, Emily has a deep understanding of the food processing business and leverages her experience to help clients navigate the complex and often changing regulatory environment. She is experienced in obtaining successful outcomes in issues that arise with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Prior to joining Michael Best, Emily served as counsel and director of regulatory affairs at the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). As an in-house attorney with the association, she was responsible for overseeing active litigation, handling in-house discovery, monitoring association activities for antitrust issues, and managing trade association trademarks and intellectual property. Her representation included appearing at hearings and briefings, and meeting with Congress, the FDA, USDA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), EPA, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)-OSHA, and other administrative agencies. She also negotiated, drafted, and managed trade association contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and licensing agreements, among other documentation.
In her role at IDFA, Emily analyzed and communicated complex regulatory matters to more than 500 member companies, including food safety and defense, food labeling and marketing, environmental, worker safety, sustainability, and organic standards. Additionally, she oversaw various association committees, task forces, and working groups, including IDFA’s Genetic Engineering Labeling Task Force, Food Waste and Date Labeling Task Force, and Environmental and Worker Safety Committee.
Emily started her legal career as a law clerk with the National Pork Producers Council. She served as a summer associate with a full service Illinois firm, focusing on pollution matters, and was previously a legal and government relations intern with the National Farmers Union.
Ryan Newkirk, PhD, MPH, is the lead for the Food Safety Modernization Act Intentional Adulteration rule writing workgroup, and is the Senior Advisor for Intentional Adulteration on FDA’s Food Defense and Emergency Coordination Staff at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition(CFSAN). Dr. Newkirk has worked in terrorism prevention for 15 years, with a specific focus on food defense for ten years. Prior to joining FDA, Dr. Newkirk held a post-doctoral position with United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Food Defense Assessment Staff. Dr. Newkirk completed his doctorate in epidemiology and food defense research at the Food Protection and Defense Institute at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Stephen Ostroff, M.D., is the Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a position he assumed in May 2016. In that role, he oversees the food and animal health activities of FDA, including FDA's responsibilities in the areas of food safety and nutrition, food labeling, food and color additives, cosmetics, dietary supplements, animal drugs and animal feed, and research to support the food and veterinary medicine mission of FDA.
Dr. Ostroff has also served as the acting FDA Commissioner on two occasions, from April 2015 to late February 2016 and again from January to May 2017.
Dr. Ostroff served as the FDA's Chief Scientist starting in February 2014. The Office of the Chief Scientist works closely with FDA's product centers, providing strategic leadership and support for FDA's regulatory science and innovation initiatives.
Dr. Ostroff joined FDA in 2013 as Chief Medical Officer in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and Senior Public Health Advisor to FDA's Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine.
Prior to that, he served as Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At CDC Dr. Ostroff focused on emerging infectious diseases, food safety, and coordination of complex outbreak response. He retired from the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service at the rank of Rear Admiral (Assistant Surgeon General). Dr. Ostroff was also the Director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Acting Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has consulted internationally on public health projects in South Asia and Latin America.
Dr. Ostroff graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1981 and completed residencies in internal medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and preventive medicine at CDC.
Tony Pavel is Cargill Inc.’s Senior Food Lawyer responsible for food and feed law across Cargill’s North American businesses. Prior to joining Cargill, Tony was the Deputy Chair of the FDA Practice at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, served as General Counsel and Secretary to the Enzyme Technical Association, and as the past Chair of the Institute of Food Technologist's Food Laws and Regulations Division. During his undergraduate and legal studies, he worked for a food HACCP consulting business. Tony has been named one of the leading food lawyers in the US by Chambers and Partners and Law360.
Robert C. Post, Ph.D., M.Ed., M.Sc., is the Senior Director, Chobani Health and Wellness/Corporate Affairs, at CHOBANI, LLC, the leading yogurt manufacturer. He drives nutrition, health, and wellness strategies around the brand’s current and future offerings, and navigates critical H&W issues toward the goal of improving community health through access to better food for more people. He also leads initiatives in government affairs related to agriculture, food, and nutrition policies. To help Chobani reach its goal of universal wellness, he designs and uses research in nutritional/physical, social (including workplace), and environmental wellbeing to support innovation, and partners with health organizations to improve trends in diet and health-related community health.
Dr. Post previously served as key nutrition advisor to the former White House/First Lady’s Office and collaborator on the White House Let’s Move! initiative. He was the senior executive leading USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion where he established national dietary guidance, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, created USDA’s Nutrition Evidence Library, as well as directed Federal nutrition promotion, creating the MyPlate (ChooseMyPlate.gov) initiative. Previously, he was an administrator at Federal food and nutrition regulatory agencies, led Federal labeling policy and food standards programs, and was an R&D scientist in the food sector.
He currently serves as an appointed advisor to the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research; as a member of the National Academies of Medicine Food Forum Advisory Board; on American Society for Nutrition research advisory groups; on the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Board of Trustees; and on the Board of Directors for the International Food Information Council, among other boards. From 2004 until 2012, Dr. Post was an adjunct professor in the Nutrition and Food Science Department at the University of Maryland.
Michael C. Rogers is the acting assistant commissioner for human and animal food (HAF) operations in the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), focusing on inspection and compliance related issues in the human and animal food programs, overseeing the program directors for east and west HAF operations as well as state cooperative programs. Mr. Rogers joined the FDA in 1991 as a field investigator in the Baltimore District. He then became a supervisory investigator at the Northern Virginia Resident Post, a branch director at FDA headquarters, the director of the Division of Field Investigations, and was later selected as the director of FDA's Latin American Office.
Mr. Rogers has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and zoology from North Carolina State University, and a master’s degree in management from the University of Maryland University College.
Randy M. Russell was born and raised in Virginia. Randy attended George Mason University, where he was a proud member of the school’s baseball team, and where he did his undergraduate studies in public administration and graduate work in economics. Before joining the firm in 1986, he worked in a number of agricultural policy positions both inside and outside of government. Randy served as Chief of Staff to Secretary of Agriculture John Block and also as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Economics. He also served as agricultural aide on Capitol Hill for the Senate Agriculture Committee and former U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz.
Randy has been actively involved in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program in Northern Virginia. He served as a Big Brother for ten years and has served as President, Vice President and Treasurer of the Northern Virginia Council of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He also served on the Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the National Capital Area. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the World Food Program/USA which raises awareness and funding in order to fight global hunger. Randy also serves on the Bryce Harlow Foundation Board of Governors, which works to promote the highest standards for professional lobbying and government relations.
Randy and his wife Beth are co-founders of The Golden Phoenix Foundation, focused on addressing the issue of childhood abandonment around the world. He and Beth are also actively involved in the National Council for Adoption which helps promote domestic and foreign adoptions.
Randy and Beth live in McLean, and have six children. The family recently purchased a small farm in Round Hill, VA and has since added over a dozen alpacas to the clan. When Randy isn’t at the farm, he can be found at one of his daughter’s cheerleading competitions or soccer games.
Jenny Scott is a Senior Advisor in the Office of Food Safety with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, where she leads the FDA teams on the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule and guidance. She is a past-president of the International Association for Food Protection and a fellow of both IAFP and the Institute of Food Technologists. In addition, she serves as the U.S. Delegate to the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene.
Captain Jon Woody is currently the Director for the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Defense and Emergency Coordination Staff at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. In this role he leads a senior staff of subject matter experts that work to develop policies, tools and resources aimed at preventing intentional adulteration of FDA regulated food products. CAPT Woody has over 12 years experience working on food defense initiatives at FDA. Most recently, CAPT Woody has served as one of the lead technical writers for the Food Safety Modernization Act Intentional Adulteration (IA) proposed and final rules and is the Agency lead for training initiatives in support of the IA final rule. CAPT Woody has extensive experience developing and delivering food defense training, has led numerous training courses both domestically and internationally on food defense concepts, and has worked collaboratively with government and industry stakeholders in numerous countries.