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Sponsored Meetings for Academy Media Spokespeople Policy


In accordance with the Academy's vision that its members be recognized as the most valued source of food and nutrition services, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a policy of open, proactive and highly professional communication with the nation's news media. The Academy aims to be the public's and the news media's top resource for the most accurate, credible, objective and timely food and nutrition information.

Participation in Industry Sponsored Briefings and Training Events

The Academy Spokespersons Program is one of the Academy's most important and valued programs. It is an organizational asset that is highly respected and well known to the food and nutrition media in the United States. The renown the Program enjoys is the result of the Academy's more than three decades of work in developing it and the skilled and dedicated efforts of hundreds of member volunteers during those years.

The Academy has an obligation to protect this asset. This is particularly important when third party organizations offer to organize, finance and host events for the Spokespersons Program. If the Academy accepts such an offer, the Academy will in its discretion require that the organizer respect the Academy's investment in developing this asset by paying a fee to the Academy.

The Academy may turn down a third-party offer to organize a Spokespersons Program event. In the absence of Academy acceptance and approval of such an event, the Academy expects that third parties will not circumvent the Academy's rights to manage its Spokesperson Program by direct invitations to a significant number of Spokespersons and by informing other invitees and guests that Academy Spokespersons will be attending the event.

Spokesperson attendance at industry-sponsored briefing and training events requires prior approval by the Academy.

For purposes of this policy, trade associations that are organized as not-for profit associations or quasi-governmental entities that seek to promote or represent a particular product or service shall be considered an "Industry." A business entity organized as a foundation or that has received a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS will not automatically be excluded from the application of this policy.

Philanthropic and other non-commercial sponsored events are not governed by this policy as long as attendance is not perceived as Spokesperson representation on behalf of the Academy. When in doubt, the Spokesperson shall consult with the Academy's Strategic Communications Director.

  • Industry briefings and training opportunities for Academy Spokespersons that are not initiated and totally funded by the Academy must be presented to the Academy in writing for review and approval. The proposed training shall support the Academy's strategic direction, positions and philosophy. The organizer or sponsor will be required to pay a briefing or training event fee to the Academy in addition to all direct expenses of the training.
  • The sponsor or organizer must receive written approval in advance from the Academy for the location, program, topics, presenters and all individuals who will be invited to speak, attend, participate or observe in advance of the meeting. The Academy reserves the right to accept or reject the program, or any individual or aspect of the program.
  • The sponsor or organizer of the event for the Academy Spokesperson Program will work with the Academy's Strategic Communications Team in organizing the program and selecting the location, along with the Academy Spokesperson as appropriate. Proposed locations will be reviewed by the Academy for suitability and ease of travel from all parts of the country. The programs shall occur within the United States unless there is a documented need that this training can only occur in the setting chosen. Such a location should be discussed with the Academy well in advance so that alternatives can be considered. If an event is approved for outside the United States, then the sponsor or organizer should include involvement with the appropriate governmental agencies in that country, with the national dietetic association, if one exists in that country, and with the American Overseas Dietetic Association, if members are present in that area.

An Academy Spokesperson who attends an industry-sponsored briefing or training event that was not planned and sanctioned under these procedures will be considered in violation of the Spokesperson Program's conflict of interest policy. An Academy Spokesperson who violates this policy shall be advised by the Academy's Strategic Communications Director and will be given the opportunity to respond to the violation and remove the conflict. The response will be reviewed by Board of Directors' Executive Committee. If a conflict exists and is not resolved within 30 days, the person shall be removed from the Program by written communication from the Executive Committee.

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