Former Codex Chair Joins International Advisory Council, Deepens Firm’s Food Safety Expertise
APCO launches food safety, product recall offering to support clients in communicating commitments, actions surrounding food policies
Washington, D.C. (June 18, 2012) – Karen Hulebak, former chair of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the international food standards and safety body established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), joins APCO Worldwide as a member of the company’s International Advisory Council (IAC), Founder and CEO Margery Kraus announced today.
Hulebak brings more than 20 years of food safety and agricultural policy experience to APCO and will play a key role in APCO’s new food safety and product recall offering. The offer brings together APCO’s policy, communication and science experts to offer counsel and tactical support to companies that wish to effectively communicate food-safety commitments and actions to key audiences, including customers, consumers, suppliers, and regulators.
"Karen’s extensive expertise in food safety builds on APCO’s strong bench of industry knowledge of food safety and product recalls,” said Kraus. “At a time when the regulatory landscape is quickly changing and news flow is instantaneous, her understanding of current policies, challenges and opportunities will be highly relevant for clients faced with a food- or product-related crisis."
While serving on the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Hulebak developed and managed new operating policies that produced a substantial increase in efficiency of standard setting and proactively mediated and resolved more than 50 disputes for standards presented to the Commission for adoption. She introduced wider use of formal negotiation and mediation in Codex and is collaborating on a Codex-specific manual on negotiation and mediation skills for delegates and chairs.
“The consumer is more educated today than ever about threats to their food supply, and this sophistication is growing as information becomes readily available from a multitude of sources,” said Hulebak. “At the same time, regulatory authorities are becoming more stringent in their oversight of food safety and recalls, leading to more food recalls that are highly visible to the public. I look forward to collaborating with APCO’s strong team of accomplished food safety and agricultural policy experts to help clients handle this complex environment.”
Prior to her work with Codex, Hulebak served as chief scientist and assistant administrator to the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Office of Public Health Science. She designed and implemented major multi-agency environmental food contaminant monitoring programs and provided scientific analysis for critical policy development and regulations. Earlier in her career, she held senior policy advisor roles at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
She is a principal at Resolution Strategy, LLC., a food-safety consultancy that provides policy, scientific, technical, and strategic advice to clients within the public and private sectors, as well as mediation and negotiation assistance to resolve conflicts with respect to a wide range of issues, including those related to Codex standards development.
APCO has a strong history of helping clients manage a range of product recalls, and Hulebak joins a dynamic group of experts, including: Stig Albinus, former head of Burson-Marsteller’s European and U.S. health care practice; Dan Glickman, former U.S. secretary of agriculture; Eliot Hoff, issues management and crisis communication expert; Melissa Musiker, former director at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA); Richard Raymond, former undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); Blythe Reiss, former vice president of communications, Americas, for Electrolux Group; and Wayne L. Pines, former chief spokesman and chief of consumer education and information for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.