John Ruff, MS

Nominations & Elections Committee Candidate
Current Title:
IFT Past President

Why do you want to serve in this role?

The future of the food science profession is threatened by increasing misinformation on the heathiness of "natural" and "unprocessed" foods, and the dangers of food additives or ingredients with unfamiliar names. R&D investment in food has been declining in both govenment and industry, partly due to this demonization of science. IFT's mission to advance the science of food and its application across the global food system is critical to counterbalance these forces and to ensure that the growth in enrollment at food science universities worldwide over the past decade continues. The role of the Nominations and Elections Commitee is key in identifying the best possible leaders to face these challenge. Having served as Past President and an IFT Board Member, I can think of no more important role and would be honored to serve on the N&E committee.

Please describe how your attributes and experiences have prepared you for board service.

40 years food industry experience, working in 6 countries and leading technical groups in numerous others worldwide. Extensive interaction with academic, govenment and industry scientists globally, through my varied employment roles and a number of advisory boards and volunteer roles since retirement. Broad understanding of IFT, historically and currently through past roles as IFT President, Board member and IFT Foundation Chair as well as current volunteer activites for IFT and the Chicago section. Experienced in  developing partnerships and science communications; current IFT Food Science Communicator. Finally I have a passion that IFT can and should continue to play a key role in ensuring that science and innovation are universally accepted as essential to a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply for everyone.

Please provide a short narrative biography of important career and personal accomplishments.

I gained an MS from Cambridge University, majoring in Biochemisty and joined P&G in the UK before a challenging 36 year career across 6 countries with General Foods/Kraft. I demonstrated successful experiences in product and process development of beverages, confectionery, desserts, and meals leading to increasing positions of responsibility. Led major basic research programs in sugar and salt substitutes, food safety initiatives, and “greenfield” site startups. I headed research and development groups for both Kraft International and North American businesses successfully integrating the technical operations of numerous acquisitions establishing global centers of expertise. Before retiring in 2008,  I led Kraft’s  global health and wellness initiatives including the establishment of an external advisory council of worldwide experts. I served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee on strategies to reduce sodium intake. In addition my IFT service I have served as President of the International Life Sciences Institute, and Chair of the Food Processors Association (NFPA).


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