The International Dairy Foods Association has named Emily R. Lyons to fill the position of director of regulatory affairs and counsel. In this role, Lyons will be responsible for working with members and government agencies on environmental, worker safety and sustainability issues, as well as food safety and food defense. She also will serve as legal counsel on issues involving contracts, antitrust, and statutory and regulatory interpretation. 

Originally from a small dairy farm in Northern Illinois, Lyons graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences and a minor in Environmental Economics and Law.

Lyons’s passion for the dairy industry inspired her to attend Vermont Law School, where she focused on the interplay between environmental law and agricultural and food issues. While in law school, Lyons was a member of the National Moot Court Team, co-chair of the Food and Agricultural Law Society and head note editor for the Vermont Law Review. She passed the Illinois bar exam in July.

Lyons has held a series of internships with agricultural organizations and companies, including the National Farmers Union, the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, the National Pork Producers Council, Novus International and Pfizer Animal Health. She also served as a summer associate with Brown, Hay & Stephens LLP in Springfield, Ill., where she managed complex environmental cases, and as a law clerk for Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC in Washington, D.C.