WASHINGTON —The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has named Matt Herrick as senior vice president of public affairs and communications and executive director of the IDFA Foundation. As senior vice president, Herrick will lead IDFA’s communications and public affairs activities with a particular focus on advancing advocacy priorities, coordinating organizational strategy, and leading media and marketing. Herrick will also launch and lead the new IDFA Foundation this summer, serving as the entity’s executive director responsible for supporting research, grant-making, and strategic collaboration for social impact. He will report to Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA.
Herrick most recently served as director of communications at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Biden-Harris Administration under Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Prior to USDA, Herrick served as senior vice president of executive and strategic communications for IDFA from April 2019 until January 2021.
“IDFA continues to set a high bar for advocacy, strategic communications, and thought leadership among food and beverage trade associations,” said Michael Dykes. “It is essential that we create a shared vision for the future that includes growing markets, supporting innovation, contributing to a more sustainable food system, sharing dairy’s positive story on health and nutrition, and building a diverse and inclusive workforce. With more than two decades of experience and leadership in food and agriculture communications and social impact, Matt will help us do that.”
Once established, the IDFA Foundation will support efforts to enhance health and nutrition outcomes related to dairy foods and beverages, support the dairy industry’s efforts to address environmental sustainability, and offer research and educational tools to efforts focused on building a more diverse and inclusive workforce within the food and beverage sector.
“I’m excited to bring my experience back to IDFA to work on behalf of our innovative members who are investing in a healthy, inclusive, more sustainable future,” said Herrick. “It is an honor to launch and lead the IDFA Foundation to enable efforts in nutrition, sustainability and workforce that will make a positive difference in the lives of consumers.”
Before joining IDFA in 2019, Herrick served as managing director of communications for The Rockefeller Foundation. Prior to that, Herrick was senior vice president with Story Partners public affairs in Washington, D.C., where he founded and managed the agency’s food, nutrition, and trade practice, working with trade associations, food companies, and foundations. He served in the Obama Administration, first as press director and spokesperson for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and then as communications director for USDA under Secretary Tom Vilsack—a role that he reprised in 2021 for President Biden’s administration. Herrick also led communications and media relations for Oxfam America and served as a speechwriter and spokesperson for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. He holds a BA from the College of the Holy Cross and an MA from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.