Peta Slack-Smith, a seasoned agribusiness executive and crisis manager, will move from Australian Wool Innovation into a senior role with Meat & Livestock Australia.
She has been appointed general manager, strategic communications and corporate affairs, reporting directly to MLA managing director, Jason Strong.
Ms Slack-Smith joins MLA from AWI where she held the position of general manager for corporate affairs and international market access.
During her stint at AWI she was faced with some difficult challenges including dealing with PETA's attacks on the Merino and global fashion industries over mulesing.
In other former corporate roles she was involved with handling the crisis and organisational upheaval caused by the Australian Wheat Board's "oil-for-food" scandal.
She joins MLA at a time when livestock producers face mounting public scrutiny over their animal welfare practices, carbon footprint and environmental sustainability as well as the emergence of a rush of plant-based meat substitutes.
Mr Strong said the appointment of Ms Slack-Smith reinforced MLA's commitment to continued effective and professional communications to all stakeholders across the red meat supply chain, including red meat producers, processors, industry bodies, research partners, government and consumers.
"We need to ensure we continue to communicate the outcomes and value of this work, ensuring greater participation and adoption," he said.
"Communication and engagement activities are a crucial area of delivery for MLA. Our ability to continue to share targeted information about our work programs in what is a constantly changing operating environment, is more important than ever.
"Peta has all the skills and experience required to lead and enhance MLA's communications in this regard - working across our business to develop communications strategies to facilitate the adoption of MLA programs and research, manage MLA member services and share our story with the community and consumers."
Ms Slack-Smith has also held management and leadership positions at The Woolmark Company, worked in the not for profit sector, with ASX listed corporates, industry associations, state and federal government departments and as chief of staff to a federal minister.
She grew up on a mixed farm in the NSW central west NSW and has worked in a range of agricultural industries including cotton, dairy, grains and wool and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Melbourne University's Mt Eliza Business School and Harvard Business School.
"Her previous work with international customers will also be valuable, especially as the red meat and livestock sector continues address growing consumer trends around sustainability, animal welfare and health and nutrition," Mr Strong said.
She will commence her new role with MLA in mid-August.