The Animal Agriculture Alliance board of directors this week announced that Hannah Thompson-Weeman, currently serving as the Alliance’s vice president, strategic engagement, has been named our new president and CEO. Hannah will assume the role on May 1 prior to the departure of longtime president and CEO Kay Johnson Smith later that month to join the staff of Dairy MAX, an Alliance member organization.

Hannah joined the Alliance in 2014 as director of communications and since that time has been promoted to vice president of communications before assuming her current role leading strategic engagement. She has led the Alliance’s issues management, crisis communications, animal rights extremist monitoring and influencer engagement work, as well as played an integral role in connecting with supporters and developing Alliance programs such as the Stakeholders Summit, Animal Ag Allies and College Aggies Online. Hannah’s expertise and passion in these areas has made her a sought-after columnist for various publications and speaker for national and even international events, helping to build the Alliance brand.

After dedicating nearly 28 years of commitment to the Alliance and recently relocating to Fort Worth, Texas, Kay is joining Dairy MAX as chief operating officer. Headquartered in Texas, Dairy MAX is one of the leading regional dairy councils in America representing more than 900 dairy farmers and serving communities in eight states. Kay is looking forward to remaining in the animal agriculture community and continuing to be the Alliance’s strongest advocate, now from a new perspective as part of a member organization.

“Hannah’s history with the Alliance and energy for taking its mission to new heights make her the ideal choice for both a seamless transition and a bright future for the organization,” said Zoetis’ Christina Lood, chairperson of the Alliance board. “The board of directors offers Kay the deepest gratitude for her nearly 28 years of commitment to the Alliance. The organization would not be what it is today if it weren’t for her pouring limitless time and energy into growing the Alliance’s resources, team and programs. We wish her all the best in her new role and look forward to continuing to engage with her both personally and professionally.”