President-Elect Nominations 2022

The five nominations for our next President Elect (due to serve from AGM 2022-AGM 2023) are set out below. The President Elect will become our President from AGM 2023-AGM 2026.

Each nominee has provided a short video, biography and supporting statement to help you make your decision.

Members and Fellows eligble to vote received instructions by email on February 7. The ballot closes at midnight 6 March 2022.

Barbara Bray

Developing the capability and profile of the food industry has been my focus for over 25 years. I’ve been hands-on working across food production, safety and nutrition in many countries, striving to improve food for the benefit of human and planetary health. In the same way that I relish plunging into icy water for a liberating open-water swim, I’m ready to dive in and support IFST for the next leg of our journey together.

Resilient institutions with strong governance are vital for progress in food. I’ve navigated charity and company law within my roles as Co-chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference and trustee of the Nutrition Society. I’ve also partaken in additional charity governance training to strengthen my skills, meaning that I’m confident in the duties of the board of trustee members.

In 2021 my work with the Nutrition Society included a strategic review that ensures Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are integrated into all workstreams. Another initiative that I developed at OFC became a programme that encourages young people from non-farming backgrounds to get into farming.

Bringing people together is important. In my consultancy work, I enjoy facilitating workshops and strategy sessions for food businesses, alongside my public speaking record, which provides communication skills that I can bring to the board at IFST.

I believe in progress that is grounded in real-life impact, as well as using the best evidence available. Everything I do is supported by my professional work as an industry consultant as well as my academic research at PhD level.


Barbara elevates the food system in pursuit of safe, nutritious and sustainable food for everyone. Her work delivers food safety in food supply chains and nutrition strategy for businesses, alongside leadership and educational roles in her public engagement activities.

Prior to working as a consultant, Barbara worked in the Ugandan agri-business sector, before spending fourteen years in technical roles within the European chilled foods sector. She became a registered nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition following an MSc in Human Nutrition.

Her leadership roles have included being director of the Oxford Farming Conference and representing the Private Sector Mechanism in speeches at the UN Committee for Food Security in Rome. She is also a Fellow and committee member of IFST and a trustee of the Nutrition Society.

In 2017, Barbara was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship and travelled to Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Israel, UK and USA to study international food and farming systems.

In 2019, Barbara was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for her 'Services to Food Nutrition’.

Barbara is currently researching diets to protect health in a doctoral training programme at the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast.

If the members of IFST elect me as President, I look forward to supporting them in recognition for the work they do to keep food safe and their constant innovation, to upskill and create a diverse, vibrant culture around food science and technology.

Sterling Crew


In short, my mantra is to build member value by putting the membership at the very heart of the IFST decision-making process and to promote our profession and the important contribution that it delivers for society.

The IFST has made great strides over recent years. I was fortunate enough to serve as Vice President under three great Presidents and to work closely with the talented IFST team. This experience I believe would enable me to contribute to maintaining the successful direction of travel. I understand the Institute's governance, operational processes, finance, and what drives membership value.

I am passionate about the important role the Institute can play as a campaigning organisation in promoting the provision of safe, nutritious, delicious food and climate change management. I am committed to a diverse membership and would like to play a part in its development. Especially in helping to promote careers employment and students in difficult times. I am a great supporter of the chartership process which I initiated.

I have worked across the wide spectrum of food science and technology, across a wide range of employment sectors. I believe this gives me an almost unique perspective of the professional opportunities and membership needs.

I believe the IFST is at its very best when it focuses on being a membership organisation and uses the talent in the membership such as in committees, SIGs and volunteer groups. I have been a strong supporter of promoting our profession for thirty years and would like your support to have the opportunity to help further improve the membership offer and promotion of our profession  I hope I am a listening strategic change candidate who would focus on results and delivering for stakeholders and most importantly the membership. It would be a great honour to serve your interest.


Sterling is an active 30-year member of the IFST and is a two-term past Vice President, he has sat on its Scientific Committee and was previously Chair of its Food Safety SIG and sits on the IFST’s Journal Advisory Panel. He was made an Honorary Fellow in 2020.

He has served on the boards of three charitable scientific membership organisations and of a number of food-related public listed companies.

Currently, he Chairs the Food Authenticity Network and is a Strategic Advisor at Dynamic Risk Indicator and the Shield Safety Group. He is also on the audit governance board at Eurofins and Scientific Advisor to OLIO food waste and the British Egg Industry Council. Sterling is CEO of Kitchen Conversation.

He has a history of responsibility for leading and championing food science/technology, NPD, and corporate governance.

Sterling’s experience as a regulator, retailer, brand owner, and food manufacturer has given him a unique perspective of the challenges in the national and global food supply network and our profession.

He is a food science commentator, university lecturer, and regular contributor to the IFST Journal and its conferences and webinars.

Sterling was FDF Food and Drink Scientist of the year 2015/16.

Selvarani Elahi


I am a mother of two girls and a measurement scientist with over thirty years’ experience in the analysis of food and agriculture samples.

I was drawn to science from an early age because of a fascination that it could be used to both make, and break things; I’ll leave the rest to your imagination!

I joined LGC as a ‘Scientific Officer’ after graduating with a degree in Chemistry with Biology In 2011, I was appointed the UK Deputy Government Chemist; a post I am honoured to occupy, especially as I am the first female to do so. The role of Government Chemist has existed formally in law since 1875 so it has taken 136 years for a woman to be appointed as the Deputy!

I have been a long-time admirer and supporter of IFST’s work and feel very privileged to be considered for President-Elect.

As we know, the human race is facing many significant challenges such as a growing and aging world population, Antimicrobial Microbial Resistance, climate change, and food and nutrition security for all, to mention a few food-related examples. Science and Technology will play a key role in providing solutions and I believe IFST can, through its expert special interest groups, provide valuable independent guidance to food professionals to help them contribute to addressing these issues.

I seek your vote so we can work together to take IFST into the next era, as a Chartered Institute, to make it the ‘go to’ organisation for food science professionals globally.

I will serve IFST with integrity and work hard in collaboration with key stakeholders, to further embed the need for continuing professional development into the culture of food organisations and create a more sustainable long-term funding structure that will allow IFST to continue its world-leading work. 


Selvarani is the UK Deputy Government Chemist and Executive Director of the Food Authenticity Network (FAN) at LGC.

Selvarani has over 30 years’ experience, the last 15 years of which, has focussed on delivering complex food projects and working with the UK government to input into standards, regulations, and policy to ensure they are based on sound measurement science.

Selvarani is Chair of Defra’s Authenticity Methods Working Group and is part of the UK delegation for some Codex and CEN standardisation committees; she is also the UK co-Chair for a Codex working group that is developing definitions for food fraud.

Selvarani led the creation of FAN, an open-access website that is now the world’s premier source of food authenticity methods and food fraud mitigation information, helping to build more resilient global food supply chains. In 2021, over 34,000 unique users from 165 countries accessed the website.

Selvarani set up a cross government-funded knowledge transfer framework for food standards and food safety, which helps support analytical capability and continuing professional development in food science and technology.

Selvarani has Fellowships with IFST and the Royal Society of Chemistry, and in 2020, she was awarded an MBE for services to food measurement services.

Erica Sheward


I am delighted to provide this statement in support of my candidacy for IFST President-Elect.

I have been a Member and Fellow of IFST for over 12 years serving 2 consecutive terms as Chair of the Membership Committee and Board of Trustees.

I am a passionate supporter of IFST. When I first joined It was the first place I felt an accepted and important part of the food science community. Like many food professionals I never planned a career in food science (safety) it just happened. As such, I experienced as a young professional many, many challenges in engaging and networking with others like me but more importantly those wiser and more knowledgeable and experienced. The moment I joined IFST all those problems I had struggled with were solved. The commitment and dedication of IFST members and active volunteers is incredible and essential to nurture the next generation.

Following my departure from the IFST Board of Trustees, after my tenure ended, I have been looking for a way to meaningfully re-engage. In my role as GFSI Director, I have facilitated IFST membership for my team and provided through GFSI networks and resources a small bursary for young professionals who have been enabled to connect with some of the greatest minds in food safety for the purpose of sharing experiences and learning. I hope to be able to do more.

I am a passionate advocate for all things IFST. I believe we are the true voice of the food profession and I would be honoured to support and further advance our work at a time when there is an unprecedented need for great food science professionals to be developed.

Thank you sincerely for your consideration.


Erica Sheward is the Director of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) at The Consumer Goods Forum, a global industry network working with its 400+ member companies to support Better Lives Through Better Business.

Leading the CGF’s work in product safety, Erica is responsible for defining the strategic development roadmap of GFSI, steering Working Groups and Local Groups and overseeing collaborations with key private and public partners. Ultimately, Erica’s vision for GFSI is to further expand and strengthen its ability to lead food safety advancements globally, working towards GFSI’s vision of safe food for consumers everywhere.

Erica is an internationally-renowned expert in food safety management. Prior to joining the CGF, she spent 14 years working for a UK food manufacturer, six years in food safety academia as both a lecturer and researcher and five years in the UK government’s Office for Product Safety & Standards, among other roles. She puts her rich experience, leadership skills, and commitment to continuous improvement at the service of GFSI.

Michael Walker


Early in my career I was in awe of the breadth of knowledge and integrity of the senior IFST people I knew. I still am; only now it’s my younger colleagues. IFST attracts enthusiastic, able and diverse volunteers to branch and central committees, and a competent, helpful and insightful executive team. The results are marvellous, open information and guidance material on our website and publications. MIFST is a valued qualification in the food industry. I hope as you read this you too see IFST in the same light (let me know if not). Of course, there are problems – IT issues, exchange of information to and from members, and barriers to participation that may deprive us of some of the best talent in our membership.

We face challenges that seem far less tractable than before -  net-zero, eco-labelling, supply chain difficulties, COVID (still), COavailability, allergens, regulatory divergence, geopolitical instability … IFST can help members with some of these, for others we struggle to give you the guidance you need, and some are outside our remit. Our trajectory towards Chartered status depends too on increasing our impact on and value to wider policy development and society.

Into this mix, with a philosophy of the ‘leader as servant’ and my scientific, governance and media experience I invite your support as President-Elect. I don’t have all, or any of, the answers. But I have experienced time and again the benefit of gathering diverse views, experience and expertise together to seek the best ways forward. I want to facilitate this process in our Board, committees and groups. I’m keen to know our membership better, and hear your views so we can increase our help for and relevance to our members, the food sector and society.


As Public Analyst in Northern Ireland (1985-2004) I greatly valued my membership of IFST for the knowledge exchange and networking. I was elected Fellow in 2006 and honorary Fellow in 2017. I was NI branch chair 2010 – 2015, involved in event organisation culminating in a one-day event at the NI Assembly, Stormont, showcasing food science and IFST’s contributions to society. I am an active member of the IFST Scientific Committee, leading on several Information Statements. I serve on the IFST External Affairs Committee.

I am honorary professor in the Institute for Global Food Security in Queen’s University, and run my own chemico-legal consultancy. I retired as Head of the Office of the Government Chemist in March 2021. I am incoming chair of BSI AW/34/46 Food Authenticity, co-chair of the ILSI-Europe quantitative allergen risk assessment expert group, a member of the Office of Product Safety and Standards Consumer Safety Expert Advisory Group, and the FSA Joint Expert Group on food contact materials, a sub-committee of the Committee on Toxicity. I was a founder board member of the Food Standards Agency between 2000-2004, holding various non-executive positions prior to and since. Further information is openly available on my ORCID ID