IFT Leadership Applications Timeline

September 25, 2023
Applications Open

November 1, 2023
Applications Due

Week of November 20, 2023
All candidates will be contacted by the Leadership Development Committee. Reference calls for candidates moving to the second round of the process.

December 7, 2023
Interviews via video conference. All candidates will need to be able to participate in the video interview.

Week of December 11, 2023
All candidates will be contacted by the Leadership Development Committee.

Mid December 2023
Announcement of candidate slate and petition process to the membership.

January 2024
Petition Deadline (3 weeks from slate announcement to membership)

May 20-22, 2024
Board Orientation (Chicago, IL)

September 1, 2024
Terms begin for new IFT President-Elect and Board members

Announcing New Members of the 2024 IFT Board of Directors


Peggy Poole, PhD
Vice President, Tea Division, R. C. Bigelow, Inc.

Peggy Poole is currently vice president of the Tea Division for Bigelow Tea Company, based in Fairfield, Connecticut. The position has responsibility for R&D, Quality, and Tea/Ingredient Procurement. Bigelow Tea is the market leader in the Specialty Tea category.

Peggy has over 40 years of experience in the food industry working for companies including Leprino Foods, HP Hood LLC, Kraft Foods, and Häagen-Dazs. She has held leadership positions in research & development, technical/regulatory affairs, and quality assurance. She has been responsible for leading both quality and R&D initiatives including the introduction of numerous new products such as Simply Smart Milks; Peak Treasures Premium Ice Creams; Carb Countdown dairy beverages, yogurts, smoothies, and juice beverages; Oscar Mayer’s “Hotwiches”; and Häagen-Dazs’ Vanilla Milk Chocolate Almond Ice Cream Bar and Deep Chocolate Peanut Butter pints.

Peggy serves as a member of the external advisory boards for Rutgers University and the University of Massachusetts Department of Food Science.  She has also served on the Penn State Creamery Advisory Board.

Peggy was an active member of the Biosecurity Task Force for the International Dairy Foods Association. She was a founding member of the Food Safety Operating Committee for the Innovation Center for US Dairy and served as an SME (subject matter expert) for the Dairy Plant Food Safety Workshops.

Peggy has been a member of IFT for 45 years. She currently serves on the IFT Board of Directors. She served on the Chief Research Officers Council, was a judge for the IFT Student College Bowl, and served as a reviewer for Feeding Tomorrow’s Dr. Elwood Caldwell Graduate Fellowship.

Board Members

Girish Ganjyal, PhD, MBA
Professor and Extension Food Processing Specialist, Washington State University

Girish Ganjyal is a Professor and Extension Food Processing Specialist at Washington State University (WSU) within the School of Food Science (SFS). He established the Food Processing Extension and Research program at WSU in 2013. He is recognized in the industry for his contributions to extrusion processing, food ingredient technology, and food safety. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles and has 5 U.S. patents. He and his team at WSU have provided training and project assistance in food processing and food safety to over 7,000 industry professionals since 2013. Before joining WSU, from 2009 to 2013, Dr. Ganjyal worked as a Principal Engineer in the Advanced Research Team at PepsiCo, where he made significant contributions to extrusion processing and the frying process. He also worked as a Principal Scientist at MGP Ingredients, Inc., from 2004 to 2009, making considerable contributions to extrusion processing and protein ingredients.

Through the extension program, he interacts with numerous stakeholders across Washington state, the PNW region, and the nation. The stakeholders include growers (all types and sizes), value-added food processors (of all types and sizes), and organizations that work with the farmers and processors (including farmer/processors groups, non-profit organizations, and regulatory bodies). His extension activities include assisting with technical issues, providing training, and serving as a liaison between the stakeholders as a technical expert.

Suzanne Johanningsmeier, PhD
Research Food Technologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Adjunct Associate Professor, North Carolina State University

Suzanne Johanningsmeier is a Supervisory Research Food Technologist and Lead Scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Area, Food Science and Market Quality & Handling Research Unit in Raleigh, NC. The goal of her research program is to develop the scientific basis for improving product quality and healthfulness, reducing processing wastes, and advancing the science of fruit and vegetable preservation. Current research areas include: 1) characterization of the chemical, physical and sensory properties of pickled vegetables and sweet potatoes in relation to product quality and shelf-life; 2) retention and production of health-promoting compounds during lactic acid fermentation of vegetables; 3) salt reduction in commercial brining operations; and 4) development of advanced analytical methods for metabolite profiling and quantification of small molecules in fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. Suzanne also holds an appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University and especially enjoys mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in scientific research.

Mohamed Badaoui Najjar, PhD
Senior Director – R&D Strategy & Portfolio Management – International Sectors Food & Beverage, PepsiCo

Mohamed Badaoui Najjar is the R&D Senior Director for Strategy and Portfolio Management at PepsiCo. He partners with all international food and beverages teams to set up the future R&D strategy and build the future of R&D across people, programs, and assets.

Mohamed has 14 years of global industry experience in leading and shaping new platforms and strategies from ideation to launch. He started his career as a product developer on Mirinda, Mt Dew, AMP, and Pepsi, then moved to science and technology applications for sugar reduction. Mohamed moved to Europe for four years to lead all beverages before returning to the U.S. for his current role.

He is passionate about building high-performing teams and mentoring rising talent as well as new innovation, trends, and understanding different generational consumer behaviors. He is passionate about exercise, fitness, and the outdoors as well as making and experiencing new food and beverage innovations. Mohamed lives in Connecticut with his wife Lisa and son Leo.

Mohamed believes in the critical role IFT plays in the future of talent and our profession. A dedicated volunteer for 18 years across student, new professional, and his executive career. Mohamed has experienced a broad cross-section of IFT including serving on the IFTSA Board of Directors and as IFT's New York Section President. He has also actively participated in the Product Development Division, International Division, award juries, scientific program reviewer, and AMSPAP as well as being a speaker and moderator.

Mohamed received his BS & MS from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and his doctorate in food science from Rutgers University. He has an executive strategy certification from Cornell University.


Darryl Riley
Retired, Hostess Brands

Darryl Riley has been a servant leader in the CPG industry for 30+ years, working globally across several continents building teams, people, and their leadership for sustainable growth, innovative product development, superior quality, and best-in-class food safety.

Darryl served as the SVP, Chief Sustainability Officer from July 2022 until November 2023 and on the executive leadership team in this same capacity at Hostess Brands, LLC. In this capacity, he led a multi-disciplinary team that advanced corporate responsibility strategy and execution, ensuring Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) was integrated into business and commercial operations. From December 2016 through June 2022, he served as the SVP, Quality, Food Safety, R&D, and Consumer Affairs. From March 2016 through November 2016, Darryl served as President of Total Food Safety Management, a quality and food safety consulting firm assisting small to medium-sized food companies in building their quality and food safety culture. Prior to this position he served as VP, R&D, Quality & Innovation at Kraft Foods from September 2013 through August 2015 and from July 1987 through June 2004. During these times, he spent the bulk of his 19 years in domestic and international roles based in the U.S., Montreal, Suzuka, Bremen, Banbury, and Munich. From July 2004 through August 2013, he served as VP, Research, Quality & Technology at the Kellogg Company.

Darryl received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He and his wife, Katrin, reside in Portage, MI. They have three daughters.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

IFT is committed to ensuring members have access and the opportunity to contribute to their fullest potential. Diversity and inclusion are key to our mission to connect global food system communities to promote and advance the science of food and its application. Therefore, we believe it is critical to attract and engage a diverse population of members and food science professionals to lead IFT through Board service. The Board strives to achieve broad representation of membership demographics and multi-representational factors, including career stage, education, areas of practice type and setting (e.g., academia, government, industry, consultancy), broad global and cultural experience, and diverse special interests and expertise (e.g., food safety, regulatory, engineering, agriculture, sustainability, etc.). Please visit our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page for more information.


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

"Being on the Board of Directors during such an unprecedented time was one of the highlights of my career. It was a rewarding experience to collaborate with a talented, diverse team to successfully address our enormous challenges while creating the path to a bright sustainable future for IFT. It was a truly transformative experience."

- Noel Anderson, PhD, President 2020-2021,
Institute of Food Technologists
Noel Anderson