The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) has hired Nicole Negowetti as its new senior director of policy. Negowetti is an attorney, educator and scholar whose work focuses on the laws and policies shaping the U.S. agriculture and food system, and a widely recognized expert on the legal and regulatory issues affecting the plant-based foods industry. She has extensive experience developing and leading federal, state and local initiatives to advance sustainable, equitable and healthier food systems.
“I am thrilled to share the news of Nicole’s appointment with PBFA to lead our policy work into expanded and exciting areas in support of the plant-based foods industry and our members,” said Rachel Dreskin, who in March joined the organization as its first CEO. “Nicole’s vast knowledge of the industry and policy arena, combined with her sharp strategic skills and collaborative approach, will contribute greatly to PBFA’s ability to ensure the landscape is one in which the plant-based food industry can continue to grow and thrive.”
Before joining PBFA, Negowetti was a clinical instructor and lecturer on law at Harvard Law School, where she worked at the Animal Law and Policy Clinic and the Food Law and Policy Clinic at the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation. Before that, she was the policy director of the Good Food Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization working to accelerate alternative protein innovation. Negowetti was also an associate professor of law at the Valparaiso University School of Law, in Indiana, and is a founding member of the Academy of Food Law & Policy. She’s a co-founder of the Crown Point-based Northwest Indiana Food Council, whose mission is to build a just, thriving and regenerative food system for all.
“I’m thrilled to join the PBFA team, and I look forward to working closely with member companies, the board, and staff to amplify the plant-based foods industry’s positive impact in creating an equitable, resilient and healthy food system,” noted Negowetti, who officially came aboard on May 21.
Also, last November, Beverly Paul, of Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm Gordley Associates, joined PBFA to head its federal lobbying initiatives. Paul has represented clients on a wide variety of agriculture and nutrition issues at Gordley since 2002. Her practice areas include agricultural conservation and sustainability, nutrition, research and agriculture data issues. Paul was a legislative assistant in the areas of agriculture and trade for Sens. Bob Kerrey and Ben Nelson, both D-Neb., and was detailed to the staff of then-Majority Leader Tom Daschle for the 2002 farm bill.
“This dynamic team is not only well positioned to defend the interests of the industry, but the team’s vast skill, ingenuity and proactivity puts PBFA in a fantastic position to represent and carve out opportunities for the most exciting sector of the food industry,” observed Dreskin.
These key executive moves in the area of government relations come as the trade group advocating for an increasingly popular sector of the grocery industry looks to increase engagement with lawmakers on a wide range of regulatory issues.
Founded in 2016, New York-based PBFA is the first and only trade association in the United States representing more than 200 of the country’s leading plant-based food companies.