Brian Folkerts is joining the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) as its new EVP of government affairs, bringing 30 years of experience with CPG companies, trade groups and government.
“Brian Folkerts brings first-hand experience working on legislative and regulatory issues for the nation’s largest consumer packaged goods companies, trade associations, government agencies and Congress,” said Pamela G. Bailey, GMA’s president and CEO. “Brian’s experience in both the private sector and the public sector will be crucial to leading the federal and state government policy efforts on behalf of the food, beverage and consumer products industry.”
“The food, beverage and consumer products industry touches the lives of American families every day and is a critical driver of the nation’s economy, with 2.1 million jobs in 30,000 communities across the country,” said Folkerts, who begins his job on Feb. 26. “I look forward to leading our industry’s work to develop positive, effective and fact-based policy and regulatory solutions that enhance the lives of consumers.”
Folkerts served as VP of public and government affairs for Mondelez International from 2012 to 2016, following five years as VP of U.S. government affairs for Kraft Foods Inc. and six years as a VP and director at Altria Group/Philip Morris. More recently, he led the confirmation effort for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, working with the U.S. Senate and the White House.
Earlier in his career, Folkerts worked at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) from 1994-2001, serving as VP of government affairs and managing the organization’s state and federal affairs program. NFPA and GMA merged in 2007.
His work in Washington D.C. began with legislative positions for two Midwestern members of Congress, Reps. Bill Emerson (R-MO) and Lynn Martin (R-IL), and he later served as associate director of the Washington office for the State of Illinois. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in agriculture.
GMA represents the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to “empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives.”