The New York City-based CEA Food Safety Coalition has selected Marni Karlin as the group’s first executive director.

The coalition — a group of controlled environment leafy greens producers — said in a release that Karlin will work with coalition members, government agencies and industry experts to develop food safety standards for the controlled environment leafy greens industry. Karlin also will focus on expanding the coalition’s membership, managing day-to-day operations and leading all communications and advocacy work.

Previously, Karlin had held the position of vice president of government affairs and general counsel for the Organic Trade Association, according to the release. Prior to working with OTA, Karlin was counsel to Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The CEA Food Safety Coalition is working with the government, with academics and with industry leaders to strengthen what I believe are the most effective food safety standards in the leafy greens industry,” Paul Lightfoot, chairman of the CEA Food Safety Coalition and president of BrightFarms, said in the release. “Marni brings a demonstrated history of working with these stakeholders to advance positive change that improves the health of our food system. Her leadership will be invaluable as our industry grows.” 

Karlin said in the release that she is eager to lead the coalition.

“As a growing sector, it’s critical that we build a community of engaged stakeholders to advocate and educate,” she said in the release. “This community can then work together with external stakeholders to create a healthier, more sustainable food system, in part through strengthening food safety standards to reflect the realities of our sector and to best protect consumer health. It’s an exciting opportunity for our sector and for the food system in general.”