Christopher Downs takes charge as Institute of Food Technology’s President

U.S – The Institute of Food Technology (IFT) has named Christopher “Chris” Downs, Ph.D., as the new President of the Institute.

IFT is a nonprofit scientific institute committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system.

Downs is the organization’s 83rd president and takes over from 2021-2022 President Vickie Kloeris, MS, CFS.

Based in Australia, Downs currently serves as General Manager for Crop & Food Science with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in Queensland.

Previously, he led the Food Program at Australia’s national science agency, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Throughout his 30-year career, Downs has worked with governments, universities and industry partners around the world to bring the latest food system innovations to the market and consumers.

“Since the moment Chris became an IFT member in 2015, he has enthusiastically brought a global perspective and extensive knowledge as a science of food professional to IFT.

“With the curiosity, compassion and commitment to supporting the global science of food community Chris exudes, we’re confident he will make a significant impact in his role as president of IFT this year,” said Christie Tarantino-Dean, CEO, IFT .

As an IFT member, Downs has served in various roles including the IFT Board of Directors, the IFT Strategy Working Group, the IFT Audit and Risk Committee and IFT’s Cannabis Content Review Panel.

 He has been a strong supporter of IFT’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and notes that he is passionate about IFT engaging with food professionals from around the world.

“IFT has played a significant role in my career and life’s work, so it’s an honor to serve as president this coming year,” said Downs.

“We are a passionate and knowledgeable group of professionals, spanning academia, government and industry, committed to embedding the voice of science into our global food system. I look forward to working with our talented board of directors, dedicated volunteers and members to promote and advance our work on a global scale,” he added.

IFST’s new President

UK’s professional body the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) also recently announced a change in its Presidency. Sterling Crew Honorary Fellow and FIFST replaced the former President Helen Munday who has served the organisation from 2020.

Crew has over 35 years of experience in the food sector and currently holds a portfolio of positions including Chair of the Food Authenticity Network. He is the Independent Scientific Advisor at Campden BRI and sits on its board. He is also Strategic Advisor at Shield Safety Group and Dynamic Risk Indicator.

He will serve as President-Elect for one year before being automatically elected as President and Chair of the Board of Trustees in 2023 for a term of three years.

“It is a great pleasure and privilege to be elected to be the next President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology; especially as the selection was by my professional peers. The IFST is a fantastic organisation with a marvellous membership at its very heart.

“I pledge to play my part in adding further value to membership and promoting the organisation’s worthy charitable aims. This is an exciting time for the IFST as we approach our 60th Diamond Jubilee and with chartership potentially on the horizon,” he said.

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