WASHINGTON — The Grain Foods Foundation (GFF) on Jan. 25 announced Erin E. Ball, longtime director of public relations and science for the GFF, has been named acting executive director by the group’s board of directors. In this role, Ms. Ball succeeds Christine Cochran, who is departing GFF to become president and chief executive officer of SNAC International.

Ms. Ball will lead the GFF while the board conducts a search to identify and name a permanent CEO.

“When the position first became available, we quickly agreed that there was really no one more ready to fill the role,” said Kirk Stehr, of Grain Craft and GFF Board co-chair. “Erin is deeply familiar with the industry and has been at the forefront of GFFs most successful research and public outreach campaigns. As we move forward in our leadership transition at GFF, we know that the organization is in highly competent hands.”

Ms. Ball joined GFF in February 2013 and Mr. Stehr said she is a “superior leader and strategist” who has successfully advanced science-based messaging to health and nutrition communicators and consumers. Since joining the GFF, she has expanded the group’s scientific advisory board to include several top nutrition experts and partnered with many registered dietitians, to elevate the foundation as an industry thought leader, and preside over the implementation of multi-year research and programming initiatives.

“I am eager to start this new chapter with GFF and excited to build on GFF’s successes,” Ms. Ball said. “GFF’s work in science-based nutrition messaging has led to an incredible scope of positive conversation surrounding the health benefits of grain foods. I look forward to continuing the work of magnifying the message that every American needs grain foods to maintain a healthy, nutrient-rich diet.”