Mary Beth Whalen Named Chief Operating Officer of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

CHICAGO – Mary Beth Whalen, vice president for external affairs at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and executive director of the Academy's Foundation, has been named the Academy's Chief Operating Officer.

Whalen has worked at the Academy, formerly the American Dietetic Association, since 1999. She will be responsible for mission- and value-based leadership, direction, support and assistance to the Academy's external affairs, information technology, business development, strategic alliances and Foundation teams. She will also serve as the Academy's Chief Executive Officer in the CEO's absence.

"For more than 15 years, Mary Beth Whalen has provided extraordinary leadership within the Academy and our Foundation, as well as the nutrition and dietetics profession and the health care community," said the Academy's Chief Executive Officer Patricia Babjak.

"I speak for the Academy's entire Headquarters Team in welcoming Mary Beth to her new leadership position. In her expanded role as chief operating officer, she will bring her skills, experience and commitment to every aspect of the Academy's work on behalf of our members and the health of the public, in addition to maintaining her highly successful role as executive director of the Academy's Foundation," Babjak said.

As the Foundation's executive director, Whalen has been responsible for operations of the philanthropic arm of the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, overseeing the Foundation's scholarship, planned giving and annual giving programs and special events. She established the Foundation's first and largest research endowment fund and launched the Kids Eat Right national effort to address childhood obesity.

Previously, Whalen established and was the executive director of the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation. Her successes included raising $6 million for a campaign whose goal was $5 million. She introduced annual giving and planned giving campaigns and raised operating revenue through special events and corporate sponsorship.

Whalen has also worked as the director of major gifts at the American Lung Association; director of development at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing; and associate editor at the American Society of Contemporary Medicine, Surgery and Ophthalmology.

A resident of Evanston, Ill., Whalen is a graduate of Northwestern University.


The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at