FAAN Names Maria Acebal as CEO

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FAAN General Counsel Takes on a New Role as Julia Bradsher Joins the Global Food Protection Institute

Maria L. Acebal

FAAN names Maria L. Acebal, J.D., as the new CEO of FAAN™ (The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network)

"We have every confidence that Maria and the incredibly dedicated and talented FAAN staff will continue to expand on the legacy that Anne Muñoz-Furlong started when she founded FAAN 20 years ago.” said Janet Atwater, Chair of FAAN’s Board of Directors.

FAAN™ (The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) today named Maria L. Acebal, J.D., as its new CEO, replacing Julia E. Bradsher, Ph.D., who was recently appointed CEO of the Global Food Protection Institute (GFPI).

Acebal brings to FAAN an extensive knowledge of food allergies, including personal experience raising a daughter with a peanut allergy. Acebal initially joined FAAN in November 2009 as the Vice President of Research Administration and General Counsel. As a result of her daughter’s food allergy, prior to joining FAAN, she founded Safe@School Partners, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to helping schools, camps, and child care facilities become safer places for kids with life-threatening food allergies. When Acebal joined FAAN, the Safe@School program came with her, and in October 2010 the initiative re-launched under FAAN’s School Food Allergy Program.

Acebal learned about the seriousness of food allergies when the oldest of her three children had a severe reaction at 22 months of age and had to be taken to the emergency room. “While playing at the pool with friends, my daughter tasted her first and last bite of a peanut butter cracker. Within seconds my husband and I knew something was very wrong,” said Acebal. “Today, I am honored to take on this new leadership role as the CEO of FAAN and to continue our work on behalf of kids and adults with food allergies and their families.”

Bradsher, who served as FAAN’s CEO since January 2009, will step down at the end of May and stay on through mid-June in an advisory role before joining GFPI. The institute’s mission is to improve public health by advancing food safety. Its global initiatives include the development of training programs and novel food protection technologies, as well as facilitating the adoption of policies and practices that will lead to improved public health.

“It has been my pleasure to serve the food allergy community at FAAN. Maria’s leadership experience, her depth and breadth of understanding of food allergies, her level of respect within the food allergy community, and her personal experience as a food allergy mom make her the ideal person to lead FAAN,” said Bradsher.

“I speak for the entire Board, when I say how delighted we are to have Maria assume the role of CEO,” said Janet Atwater, Chair of FAAN’s Board of Directors. “Under Julia’s leadership, FAAN has successfully advanced its four mission points of awareness, advocacy, education, and research. We have every confidence that Maria and the incredibly dedicated and talented FAAN staff will continue to expand on the legacy that Anne Muñoz-Furlong started when she founded FAAN 20 years ago.”

Acebal holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a bachelor of arts in mathematics, summa cum laude, from Duke University, and is fluent in Spanish. Earlier in her career, she practiced law at one of the country’s leading litigation firms, Williams & Connolly, and then joined the global consulting firm of McKinsey & Co.

ABOUT FAAN

Founded in 1991, FAAN (the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) is the world leader in information about food allergy, a potentially life-threatening medical condition that afflicts approximately 12 million Americans, or one out of every 25. A nonprofit organization based in Fairfax, Va., FAAN has approximately 22,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and 58 other countries. It is dedicated to increasing public awareness of food allergy and its consequences, to educating people about the condition, and to advancing research on behalf of all those affected by it. FAAN provides information and educational resources about food allergy to patients, their families, schools, health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, and government officials. To become a member of FAAN, or for more information, please visit http://www.foodallergy.org.

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