Washington DC insider and former administration official John Spitaleri Shaw has been named as the new chief executive and executive director of the Natural Products Association (NPA).
Shaw's appointment comes at a pivotal time for the supplements trade, which recently saw off Senator Richard Durbin's attempt to secure an amendment to the Food and Drug Administration User Fee Act that would have required supplement facility registration and product listing .
It is also facing a major battle with the FDA over the agency's controversial new dietary ingredients (NDI) draft guidance, which critics argue could prove catastrophic for the supplements industry if it is implemented in its original form.
Media reports about the spiking of supplements with drugs, dry-labbing and the furore over stimulant DMAA have also prompted calls for tighter regulation of the sector in recent weeks, although the industry has continued to enjoy strong growth despite the tough economic climate.
The right leader at the right time
The NPA has been seeking a new boss since December following the departure of former CEO John Gay and needed someone at the helm that understood how Washington DC worked, said president Jeff Wright.
Shaw’s “extensive experience in the public policy arena” made him the ideal candidate for the job, added Wright.
“His background is perfect to elevate our advocacy and education both in Washington, D.C., and across the country.
“He has the skills, talent and vision to lead NPA into an even more dynamic future, while maintaining its commitment to provide high-quality support for our members. John is the right leader at the right time for the job.”
Extensive experience in the public policy arena
Shaw became a public policy attorney at law firm Patton Boggs LLP in the mid 1990s.
In 1997, he accepted a position with Senator Fred Thompson as a Majority Counsel, Special Investigation, United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, before returning to Patton Boggs in 1998.
A year later, he worked on the 2000 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign before going on to work for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, then returned to Patton Boggs again in 2001.
The following April, he became principal deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Environment, Safety and Health before being promoted to deputy chief of staff and White House liaison in the Office of the Secretary at the Energy Department.
He joined the Portland Cement Association in April 2006 and was promoted to the role of senior vice president of government affairs six months later.
In June, 2011, he joined Drever Capital Management as vice chair for sustainability, environmental and government affairs.
Shaw: The global demand for natural has never been stronger
Shaw said he was joining the natural products industry at a time when “the global demand for natural has never been stronger”.
He added: “Americans and people worldwide are switching to truly natural products for their daily needs like never before, so this is an exceptional time both for the industry but also for the cultural change underway.
“My top priority will be to promote and defend the amazing benefits and improvements to our quality of life that natural products can provide.”
Founded in 1936, the NPA now has more than 1,900 members accounting for more than 10,000 locations of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids.