David B. Schmidt, president and CEO of the International Food Information Council (IFIC), has elected to step down after 23 years of leadership, including 10 years as CEO at the Washington, D.C.-based communications association. He will remain president & CEO of IFIC and CEO of the IFIC Foundation to ensure a smooth transition through the end of 2015 or later, depending on the timing of his future role and the selection of a new CEO.

Korn Ferry, the leading global people and organizational advisory firm, has been retained to search for the new president and CEO. Interested candidates may contact Korn Ferry directly for more information by sending an email to Lorraine.Lavet@kornferry.com.

“I am very proud of the work we have done at IFIC to connect with many audiences on consumer issues with food safety and nutrition – to inform, to clarify and to educate about our incredible and complex food supply,” said Schmidt.

“The opportunities and challenges are great, and I have been privileged to lead a talented team of professionals that has reached more consumers this year than ever. After 10 years at the helm of IFIC, however, it is time for a new leader to move us ever forward.” Schmidt is in discussions regarding his next role and affiliation and an announcement is expected in the near future.

The immediate need for credible, science-based information to inform food conversations consumers can trust continues to be the centerpiece of IFIC’s strategy, and the organization has begun an immediate search to continue that momentum.

“Dave has been an integral part of IFIC for more than two decades, and the organization has benefited from his knowledge and leadership on food issues and opportunities regarding health, nutrition, food safety and food production,” added IFIC Chairman Roger T. Lawrence.

“During Dave’s tenure as president and CEO, IFIC and the IFIC Foundation have launched critical programs to advance the knowledge and understanding of food science, edify a broad range of audiences from around the world, and establish IFIC as the go-to source for credible, science-based information by developing a strong platform for social and traditional media. We thank him for his service.”