Former Chief Science and Health Officer, Coca Cola
Dr. Rhona S. Applebaum is a widely recognized and deeply experienced leader at the nexus of industry, government, and civil society, acquired from 40 years of distinguished activity in the food and beverage sector. Based on her insights and ability to identify emerging issues, knowledge of evidence-based science, regulatory policy and dedication to their fair application, Rhona excels at building strong relationships across public and private sectors alike.
Serving most recently as The Coca-Cola Company’s first Chief Science and Health Officer, Rhona developed and executed the Company’s global health and well-being strategy. She served as a credible and effective public voice for policy, using her expertise in food safety, nutrition and health and her ability to engage diverse audiences, to build understanding and consensus around critical health and industry issues. Previously Rhona was Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer for the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), where she was responsible for the overall direction of NFPA’s three laboratory centers, the Office of Food Safety Programs and NFPA’s Research Foundation. Earlier she held leadership positions with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, the American Cocoa Research Institute, and the National Confectioners Association.
Rhona has held numerous high-level public assignments, with service on the Dept of State’s Advisory Committee on Int’l & Economic Policy, CDC Foundation’s Roundtable on Global Health Threats, the Harvard Medical School Global Health Advisory Council, Center for Strategic & International Studies Commission on Smart Global Health Policy and various Advisory Boards for the USFDA and USDA. She has also held significant Board and Executive Leadership roles including the International Life Sciences Institute, the International Food Information Council, Georgia Governor Deal’s Advisory Council on Childhood Obesity, Georgia Shape and Health Connect South. She received her BA from Wilson College in history and biology, a Master’s degree in nutrition and food science from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in food microbiology and food safety from the University of Wisconsin.
Rhona currently serves as a member of several international and science advisory boards including The Rollins School of Public Health-Emory University, ANCORED Communications, The Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation, and Radicle Science. Through FairHaven451, an LLC she founded in 2016, she also provides regulatory science insights, guidance, policy advice and strategic solutions to the food and supplement sectors.