CHICAGO—Edelman has named Bill Layden,to lead its U.S. food and nutrition practice. Layden will relocate from Washington, D.C., where he led the food group for Porter Novelli, to Edelman’s co-headquarters in Chicago, which will be the nucleus of food and nutrition thought leadership for the Edelman network. 

Layden’s appointment will bolster the food group’s established consumer marketing and crisis and issues management expertise—it has worked on brand marketing assignments for Kraft, KFC and Butterball and handled crises for Odwalla and others—with policy, nutrition marketing and relationship management capabilities.

According to Pam Talbot, president and COO of Edelman U.S., “Bill’s understanding of and expertise in food and nutrition is second to none. His experience at the very top of the food industry will be an excellent resource for clients looking for thought leadership, strategic direction and influencer management.”

Layden has been at the forefront of many of the major issues facing food and beverage industry, including biotechnology and obesity.  He has served on several expert panels on obesity for the American Dietetic Association Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Nutrition Summit. 

Before joining Edelman, Layden was the director of the food, beverage and nutrition group at Porter Novelli. He also directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first Nutrition Promotion Program and before that served as a professional staff member on the House Committee on Government Operations conducting reviews of federal food safety and nutrition policy.