WASHINGTON — The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) hired Mike Aquino to become the organization's new director of ESG (environment, social and governance).

IDFA shared that Aquino will help manage the association’s efforts in areas such as sustainability, corporate social responsibility and ESG policy and programming for the US dairy supply chain. He will team with other experts on developing and guiding regulatory, legislative and public affairs, as well as communications strategies, on behalf of dairy processing companies, with a focus on making progress on ESG issues facing the dairy industry.

Jan. 30 marked his first day on board IDFA’s regulatory affairs team, and he will report to Danielle Quist, vice president and counsel, in collaboration with the public affairs and communications team under Matt Herrick.

Aquino trained as a food scientist at Drexel University. Since then, he has worked in food and agriculture, including in roles with Danone’s research and development pilot facility and General Mills’ global sustainability team.

He earned a master’s degree in sustainability management from Columbia University and currently is working on his advanced degree in public affairs at American University. His doctoral research focuses on analysis of environmental policy and the development of the ESG space.

“We are so pleased to welcome Mike Aquino to the IDFA family to help manage and elevate our work in the ESG and environmental sustainability space,” said Michael Dykes, IDFA’s president and chief executive officer. “In a recent survey by IDFA, roughly 75 percent of IDFA members say they have a corporate sustainability and/or ESG strategy in place. Clearly, IDFA members are leading, and we must continue to set the pace to improve upon ESG markers for the entire supply chain. With Mike Aquino’s experience and knowledge of dairy and emerging ESG issues, I am confident IDFA will continue to support ambitious ESG efforts among our members and industry.”

Aquino said: “With my background in dairy supply chains and my academic training in food science, as well as ESG, I am very excited to join IDFA and begin collaborating with our members and stakeholders to sustainably grow this industry.”