U.S – Following 30 years of service, David Tharp, the Executive Director of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) is set to retire on April 26, 2023.

David joined IAFP in 1993 as Director of Finance and Administration, and served as Interim Director in 1995 until he was appointed to his current role in 1997.

He successfully directed and represented IAFP at dozens of key food safety meetings worldwide, helping grow IAFP’s international status.

The association also saw a significant increase in membership, as well as Annual Meeting attendance, exhibitors, and sponsors, during David’s years as Executive Director.

His leadership was crucial during the trying years of the COVID-19 pandemic, when IAFP 2020 transitioned to a virtual event for the first time in its history and the European Symposium had to be cancelled, all without any staff turnover.

He was able to manage the move of the IAFP office to Des Moines, Iowa, during this time.

During his 30-year stint at IAFP, David played a transformative role that resulted in a name change, an increase in international conferences and workshops, a greater emphasis on student scholarships, and a solid financial foundation.

He leaves the association in a great position with a staff that is quite competent, says IAFP.

“David’s role at IAFP extended beyond planning meetings and orchestrating background logistics. His work facilitated connections that sparked groundbreaking research and novel ideas, and enhanced visibility crucial to delivering meaningful food protection efforts. IAFP recognizes David’s impact and the benefits of his legacy,” stated the Association.

IAFP Associate Director Lisa Hovey will take over as Executive Director.

IAFP is a non-profit association of more than 4,500 food safety professionals based in Des Moines, Iowa, with an objective of protecting the supply chain.

It brings together educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives and quality control professionals who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing all types of foods.

Working together, IAFP members, representing more than 50 countries, help the association achieve its mission through networking, educational programs, journals, career opportunities and numerous other resources.

Last year, the Association penned an agreement with the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences (IAFNS) to address the increasing risks associated with foodborne illness.

The agreement focused on impacting public health, food, nutrition, and consumer protection through collaborations in research, training, and education.

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