IFT Leadership Nominations Timeline

January 19, 2021
Leadership nominations webcast

January 29, 2021
Applications due

Week of February 15, 2021
All candidates will be contacted by the Leadership Development Committee. Reference calls for candidates moving to the second round of process.

March 8–10, 2021
Interviews via video conference. Candidates will need to be able to participate in the video interview.

March 12, 2021
All candidates will be contacted by the Leadership Development Committee.

March 19, 2021
Announcement of candidate slate to the membership. Petition process noted.

April 9, 2021
Petition deadline

May 17–19, 2021
Board orientation

September 1, 2021
Terms begin for new IFT President-Elect and board members

Board Leadership Nominations

2021 Board Leadership Nominees

As of 5 p.m. (CT) on April 9, 2021, no petitions were received to the slate presented to the membership by the Leadership Development Committee. Pursuant to the IFT Bylaws, the slate has been deemed elected and shall take office September 1, 2021

Chris Downs headshot

Chris Downs, PhD
General Manager, Crop and Food Science
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland

Leadership statement: IFT is uniquely placed to lead food system professionals in producing foods that are healthy, trusted, and sustainable and that will feed the growing global population. Professionals from across industry, academia, and governments must mobilize and collaborate globally to meet this significant challenge. IFT has a strong profile and proud history but must continue to adapt and change in order to be relevant and continue delivering value to members and customers. COVID has caused radical disruption and is requiring significant strategic and operational repositioning. By serving as a board member/president-elect, I can help guide IFT in developing and delivering its new strategy.

Bill Barrier headshot

Bill Barrier, PhD
Chief Strategy Officer
Pecan Deluxe Candy Company
United States

Leadership statement: Serving on the IFT board would be a continuation of my service to IFT since a graduate student. Over the years I have gained great experience domestically and internationally, having worked for global CPG companies, quick-service restaurant chains, and an ingredient company. I have experience/skills from benchtop scientist to senior management that could help guide IFT toward meeting its strategic plan in the “new normal.”

Nick Bordenave headshot

Nick Bordenave, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Ottawa

Leadership statement: In order to succeed in its mission to feed the minds that feed the world, IFT must be the obvious common denominator between all professionals and aspiring professionals in food science and technology. To hold this place, IFT must continuously adapt to create value for current members and to attract new members. I found this value in IFT, which has been instrumental in my professional and personal growth. So now that I am established as a professional, I am willing to serve and foster the future of our profession by actively helping IFT create value for its members.

Peggy Poole headshot

Margaret (Peggy) Poole, PhD
Vice President, Tea Division
Bigelow Tea Company
United States

Leadership statement: There are three reasons for my interest in serving on the IFT Board of Directors. No. 1 is my belief in IFT’s vision and mission. Secondly, I have been a member of IFT for over four decades, and IFT has enabled me to grow professionally and personally. I believe it’s time for me to give back and help prepare IFT for future generations. And lastly—and certainly not the least important reason—is because Noel Anderson asked me to apply. I admire Noel for his leadership, strategic vision, and his ability to attract and empower individuals to achieve great things. How could I say no to the potential opportunity to make a positive difference for IFT?

Gunnar Sigge headshot

Gunnar Sigge, PhD
Professional Natural Scientist
Department Head & Associate Professor
Stellenbosch University
South Africa

Leadership statement: IFT is ideally placed to bring like-minded, scientifically grounded professionals together to address important global issues by harnessing the combined knowledge of its members, volunteers, and partners. Knowledge promotion, food-related misinformation, food and nutrition security, food safety, and sustainability need to be addressed holistically and in international partnerships. Associations like IFT are essential in advocating the importance of food science and technology. I’m passionate about this and would like to play my part in changing the way people think about food. I have valuable experience in teaching, research, and association management, which would allow me to make an impact in disseminating this important message.


Please contact Charlotte Patterson, Staff Liaison to Leadership Development Committee, for more information or to submit a question.

"Being on the Board allowed me to be actively involved in important decisions to allow IFT to grow as times changed. Though it was hard work, I loved it and have some wonderful memories."

- Michele Perchonok, IFT President , 2018–2019
Image of Michele Perchonok

IFT Governance Task Force Bylaw Recommendations Adopted

In December 2020, eligible members voted on IFT Governance Task Force Bylaw recommended updates to the processes for organization board candidate development, nominations, and elections. The recommendations which were approved unanimously by the IFT Board of Directors at its November 2020 meeting. As the IFT nomination and election processes are outlined in IFT’s Bylaws, the revisions to the election-related Bylaws also required a membership vote. The vote took place December 1–18, 2020.

The recommendations were approved by a majority vote of 82%. Thank you to all who cast their vote and participated in the Town Hall last month. We appreciate your active participation in ensuring IFT’s membership is well represented and positioned for future success and sustainability.

Candidate Guide

To learn more about the Board of Directors nomination process, please review the Candidate Guide.