New Faces at the FIA Secretariat  

FIA is pleased to welcome three new faces to the Secretariat this month as it continues to grow its presence in Asia as the leading voice of the food and beverage industry.

Signifying its commitment to building a strong and capable in-house team, FIA has recently appointed three new policy specialists who between them bring a wealth of experience and expertise to further drive the organisation’s success.

FIA Policy Director, Matthew Kovac


Assuming the role of FIA Policy Director, Matthew Kovac will oversee FIA’s policy and advocacy activities. Matt is a seasoned corporate affairs professional with more than 17 years of experience specialising in journalism, government and stakeholder relations, policy analysis and corporate communications. Prior to joining FIA, Matthew was the Advocacy Director at CropLife Asia where he provided strategic direction, structure and planning for government relations and stakeholder engagement programmes.

“My role at FIA is to ensure we maintain a strategic focus on policy and regulatory developments focusing on health and nutrition, food safety and harmonisation of standards to promote trade.

These focus areas require a proactive, strategic approach to stakeholder management and engagement within our member companies, national industry associations, regional trade bodies and other important groups that influence and impact the food industry across Asia. This will be an exciting area of work, given the complexity of operating in a region that is culturally, political and economically diverse.

I look forward to being part of the dynamic team here at FIA and contributing to the development of the organisation. It is an exciting time for the food industry in Asia.”

FIA Senior Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Manager, Dr Siti Noorbaiyah Binti Abdul Malek

Working alongside Matt is Dr Siti Noorbaiyah Binti Abdul Malek, FIA Senior Science & Regulatory Affairs Manager, who will coordinate the organisation’s technical activities and manage the FIA Science & Technical Committee. Prior to FIA, Dr Siti was the Chief Executive Officer of UNIPEQ Sdn. Bhd, a commercial arm of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, which offers extension services to the food industry in Malaysia in chemical & microbiological laboratory analysis, technical trainings and consultancy.

“I’m excited to be joining FIA, particularly at a time when Asia’s regulatory environment is developing at such a rapid pace. The food industry is leading significant developments such as the establishment of the ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA). I’m eager to be part of this growing organisation and work alongside members and stakeholders to achieve our collective goals.

I look forward to utilising my experience in regulatory affairs to help FIA and AFBA in its strive to promote positive efforts such as the harmonisation of food standards across ASEAN. I believe there is tremendous potential in the food industry community and I am confident that harnessing the collective expertise and working together with various stakeholders will help to better the health and lives of consumers.”

FIA Business Development Manager, Dr Keith Alden

The FIA Secretariat also welcomes Dr Keith Alden – FIA’s new Business Development Manager – who will be in charge of developing FIA’s growth and development opportunities. Keith is a seasoned Science Business Professional with several years’ experience in the development and management of industrial, academic and clinical collaborations. He has had extensive experience in Singapore working with local and regional universities, EDB, SPRING, MOH, MOE, local hospitals and research institutions.

“I see FIA playing a key role in the growth of the food industry in Asia. The potential for economic expansion in the region is considerable but to be realised fully and sustainably, a unified approach to regulation, food safety and public health is needed. FIA is a champion of these causes. It proactively engages industry, governments, healthcare professionals and the media to help shape policies that are relevant to the region and that will lead to positive impacts on society.

My role as business development manager is to help grow the organisation and strengthen its voice. In order to do this we not only want to bring new members to the table, but also develop lasting partnerships between them, research organisations and partner agencies in the region. We want to stimulate non-competitive dialogue between companies that will lead to new approaches to complex problems. To my mind, a collaborative approach is the best way to foster sustainable goals on innovation and I’m excited to play a part in working with my colleagues to make sure this happens.”

Earlier this month, the FIA Secretariat relocated to larger premises in the centre of Singapore. From this new, purpose-designed headquarters, FIA will continue to forge partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders in Asia as it seeks to become a valuable knowledge partner for policymakers in solving the region’s most complex food challenges.

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