Allison is the vice president and director of the Global ExpertBench™ at FoodMinds in our New York office. Her areas of expertise include global food and nutrition affairs, including international thought leader and stakeholder engagement, and translating scientific and technical information into compelling communications that meet business objectives while maintaining integrity of the science. Allison helps clients navigate the global food landscape by leveraging global public health, sustainable food systems and nutrition insights, to build and manage strategic nutrition and health programs. As director of the Global ExpertBench™, she leads a team of 30+ international senior nutrition and communications experts with deep local knowledge of food, nutrition and health issues to offer strategic counsel, scientific and regulatory expertise, consumer and influencer engagements, media relations and issues management to clients. Allison received her master’s degree in food policy and applied nutrition communications from Tufts University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and English from Ithaca College.
How would you describe your role in one sentence?
I lead global teams and client programs that implement health and nutrition influencer strategies and build awareness, advocacy, and productive relationships through science and policy-based education and communications.
How did you become interested in nutrition communication?
I’ve always had a passion for nutrition, preventative health and science and a love for writing. When exploring career and grad school paths, I realized that nutrition communication was the perfect combination!
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love the problem-solving skills and resourcefulness it requires. There is never a perfect program or answer that is easy to arrive at – it’s all about critical thinking, identifying solutions, pro activeness and navigating issues as strategically and nimbly as we can for the best outcomes. Additionally, I enjoy working with my teams collaboratively to identify smart approaches that put our collective brain power to work!
Do you have any advice for someone thinking about getting into nutrition communication?
I’d recommend building a really solid background in the sciences as well as epidemiology and stats – being able to dive into research is key and to practice writing. Most nutrition communications professionals are solid writers, and it’s a craft that you improve with practice, lots of it! Lastly, get to know professionals in the field – the nutrition communications community is fantastic at providing mentorship and networking opportunities if you seek them out.
What food is always on your mind and why?
This time of the year, it’s fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and basil. I grew up in a gardening family, and this combo reminds me of summer dinners and garden harvests.
What are three things on your bucket list?
Traveling… everywhere (my list of countries is too long to list here); mastering how to cook a few favorite dishes of Indian and Thai cuisine; and learning to sail.
How do you find balance?
I try to always make time for family, friends, and carve in solo time to wind down. Even if it’s a quick meal, cooking or even running errands together, I find time with loved ones grounding and restorative. I also try to seek out quiet time alone, whether it’s for reading or just a few minutes walking outside to take in nature or the buzz of the city – it’s a calming way to balance super busy days.