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Press Release

Truth Initiative Board Announces Appointment of Kathy Crosby as New CEO and President

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Kathy Crosby

Truth Initiative, the nation's largest public health organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all young people reject smoking, vaping, and nicotine, has named Kathy Crosby as its new CEO and President effective October 2, 2023. Crosby is succeeding Robin Koval, who has served as CEO and President since 2013 and is retiring after a decade of transformative leadership and significant advancement of the organization’s lifesaving mission. In making the announcement, Truth Initiative Board Chair Mike Moore said, “Kathy's impressive background, extensive experience and passion for public health make her an exceptional choice to lead our organization.”

Kathy Crosby joins Truth Initiative from the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) where she served as Director of the Office of Health Communication and Education for the past 12 years. In this role, she spearheaded impactful public education, research and evaluation, and regulatory communication programs that have been instrumental in advancing the successful implementation of the Tobacco Control Act. With a distinguished 25-year career in behavior change marketing and advertising, Crosby brings a wealth of experience from both private and non-profit sectors where she held various senior leadership roles; prior to her tenure at FDA, she served as Senior Vice President, Group Campaign Director of the Washington office of the Ad Council and as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Arnold Worldwide, where she helped launch Truth Initiative’s iconic truth® campaign.

Crosby's illustrious career at the FDA includes pivotal roles within the executive leadership team responsible for shaping national policies aimed at reducing tobacco-related disease and death. Her contributions encompass diverse areas such as policy development, cutting-edge social science research, regulatory actions, communications, and strategic outreach. Notable accomplishments under her guidance include her involvement in the formulation of health warnings for cigarette packages and advertisements, groundbreaking research on health equity, regulations for emerging tobacco products, and the implementation of stringent marketing restrictions on newly authorized tobacco products.

As the first Director of Health Communication and Education at FDA's CTP, Crosby oversaw vital initiatives that contributed significantly to reducing tobacco use. These include the creation of a comprehensive communication office, development of tailored advertising campaigns targeting at-risk populations, establishment of the Tobacco Education Resource Library, execution of a robust conference exhibit program, and the launch of FDA's Vaping Prevention & Education Resource Center.

"I’ve dedicated the last 25 years to using public education communications as a means of creating behavior changes that will help people live healthier lives – a passion that began when I worked on the first truth campaign,” said incoming CEO Kathy Crosby. "Leading Truth Initiative feels like I’m coming home, and I can’t think of a better time or place to continue advocating for positive change. The opportunity has never been greater to help people leave tobacco behind, and I eagerly look forward to the work ahead.”

Robin Koval, outgoing CEO, and President, expressed her confidence in the leadership transition, stating, "Kathy is an exceptional leader with a proven track record in public health communication, social science research, and tobacco prevention. With her highly relevant experience and accomplishments, Kathy is well-poised to lead Truth Initiative into the future, build on the organization's lifesaving legacy and continue to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of our nation's youth."

On behalf of the Truth Initiative board, Moore expressed gratitude for Robin Koval's exemplary leadership during her tenure and shared his enthusiasm for the future with Crosby at the helm. He stated, "Robin's dedication and vision have propelled Truth Initiative to unparalleled success in achieving our mission. We thank her for her immense contributions and look forward to Kathy's leadership over many years to come.

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