Academy Names Wylecia Wiggs Harris as Chief Executive Officer
A Visionary Leader for Organizational and Cultural Change: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Names Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, as Chief Executive Officer
April 17, 2023
CHICAGO – Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, who has led membership, charitable and social impact organizations for more than 30 years, has been named incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, starting July 1, 2023.
Harris, who since 2018 has been the CEO of the American Health Information Management Association, will have oversight of all entities under the Academy’s umbrella, including management of approximately 170 employees.
Harris will have responsibility for managing nearly $55 million in revenue (including investment returns), $34 million in operating expense and nearly $97 million in total assets; and directing the Academy’s extensive and influential national and international initiatives in consumer education, nutrition science research and advocacy and public policy. Harris will also serve as the CEO of the Academy’s Foundation — the only charitable organization devoted exclusively to promoting nutrition and dietetics.
The Academy represents more than 100,000 credentialed practitioners throughout the U.S. and the world. The Academy and its members are committed to improving health and advancing the profession of nutrition and dietetics through research, education and advocacy.
“Wylecia Wiggs Harris has thoroughly impressed the Academy’s Board of Directors as an accomplished, visionary executive, and it is my pleasure to welcome her to the Academy,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Ellen R. Shanley, the Academy’s 2022-2023 President.
“Wylecia’s 30-plus years of experience and her demonstrated ability to lead organizational and cultural change, develop effective teams, increase revenue streams, work with diverse stakeholders and foster strong strategic partnerships make her an ideal leader for the Academy and the entire nutrition and dietetics profession,” Shanley said.
At the American Health Information Management Association, Harris led the organization’s domestic and international transformation with a focus on expanding its influence and impact. She was responsible for total assets of $71 million and oversaw a complex enterprise with an operating subsidiary, education and certification commissions, House of Delegates and support for 67,000 members and 100,000 certification holders.
From 2015 to 2018, Harris was the Chief Executive Officer of the League of Women Voters U.S., where she revitalized the national organization and developed and translated strategic vision into operational solutions. Harris co-created with elected leadership a transformation strategy to enhance the impact, relevance and visibility of the organization and its more than 700 affiliate units.
From 2010 to 2015, Harris worked at the American Nurses Association Enterprise as chief of staff/special projects officer, and then as CEO. Previously, Harris was the executive director of the Center for American Nurses; executive director of Sister to Sister—Everyone Has a Heart Foundation; senior vice president/executive director at the American Heart Association Mid-Atlantic Region; and held leadership roles at the American Heart Association national office.
Certified by the American Society of Association Executives, Harris was named one of 2021’s Top Diversity Leaders by Modern Healthcare, as well as one of the publication’s 10 Diversity Leaders to Watch. In 2022, Modern Healthcare recognized her on its Top Women Leaders list, and the Chicago Defender honored her as part of their 2022 Class of Women of Excellence.
Harris is a graduate of Wittenberg University. She earned a master of management degree in marketing, health services management and business policy from Northwestern University and a doctorate in organizational management with leadership specialization from Capella University.
Harris succeeds Patricia M. Babjak, who is retiring on June 30 after serving as CEO since 2009.
Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
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