The American Beverage Association (ABA) has boosted its senior team by appointing a former USA Today journalist as its policy chief. 

William Dermody, who was the paper’s world news deputy managing editor, has been installed as the trade body’s vice president of policy, it said this week. The role is a newly-created one, an ABA spokesperson confirmed to just-drinks. 

Dermody’s remit will include developing policy on “environmental sustainability, health, science and taxes”. 

The US soda industry is facing the threat of increased regulation as health campaigners continue to point the finger at CSDs in relation to the country’s obesity crisis. A legal bid to ban large sugary soft drinks in New York City resumed in court yesterday.  

Susan Neely, the ABA’s president & CEO, said: “At a time when our industry is facing new challenges here and abroad, we look forward to having William onboard to help develop strong leadership policies that positively impact the communities we serve.”

Dermody, who began his journalism career in 1992 with the Associated Press, said. “I look forward to helping guide this iconic industry toward lasting policies that will have a meaningful impact on challenging issues.”