HomeAbout Us Board and Staff

IDDSI Board of Directors and Staff

The IDDSI Board of Directors is a group of volunteers from diverse professions including nutrition & dietetics, medicine, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, nursing, patient safety, engineering, food science & technology from around the world who came together to develop international standardised terminology and definitions for texture modified foods and thickened liquids for persons with dysphagia.



Board of Directors


Executive Committee

Chairperson & Chief Executive Officer
Peter Lam  (Dietitian, Canada)
Peter Lam is a Registered Dietitian and Credentialed Food Service Executive in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Peter was the project lead for the Canadian Dysphagia Diet Terminology Standardization Terminology Project.  Peter has been the Co-Chair of the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative since its inception for the past 10 years and in 2022 was appointed by the IDDSI Board of Directors to the role of Chief Executive Officer. 

Vice Chairperson
​Dr. Luis F. Riquelme
(SLP, United States of America)
Dr. Riquelme is the Director, Speech-Language Pathology at Maimonides Health system in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Adjunct Professor at Universidad Católica del Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay. He teaches, conducts research and runs an active clinical program. His clinical and research interests focus on pill swallowing, changes in swallow physiology secondary to aging or specific neurological etiologies and on the impact of diet recommendations on pulmonary status and overall quality of life.

Dr. Mershen Pillay (SLP, South Africa, New Zealand)
Dr. Mershen Pillay is the SLP programme leader at Masset University (Auckland, New Zealand) and holds an honorary associate Professor post in health sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal University (Durban, South Africa). Mershen is focused on positioning people with swallowing disabilities in relation to food sovereignty/security. 

Treasurer & Communications Lead
Janice Duivestein (Occupational Therapist, Canada)
Janice Duivestein is a combined trained therapist (Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist) who has worked for over 25 years with both paediatric and adult population in the area of dysphagia. She is an educator and believes strongly in collaborating with colleagues to improve the safety and quality of life for children and adults with dysphagia.

Dr. Ben Hanson (Engineer, United Kingdom)
Dr Ben Hanson is an Associate Professor (part-time) in Engineering at University College London. He has designed devices to measure rheology (flow properties) of fluids in clinical environments, and carries out research into texture modified food and drinks.

Josefa Kachal (Dietitian, Israel)
Josefa Kachal is a registered dietitian. Before she retired in 2021, she worked as a Public Health Nutritionist and in the last 20 years of her career served as the 'Director of the Department of Nutrition for the Elderly' in the Nutrition Division of Israel’s Ministry of Health. Her field of expertise is Geriatric Nutrition especially malnutrition and Sarcopenia. In 2015 she initiated the establishment of an interdisciplinary committee on texture modification. This committee adopted the IDDSI framework and testing methods for Israel.
Although retired, Josefa currently lectures on nutrition in the Master's Program at the Tel Hai College and contributes to the development of programs in the IDDSI, Israel IRG.

Dr Carlo Pedrolli (Nutritionist, Italy)
Dr Carlo Pedrolli is Director of the Nutrition Department at S. Chiara Hospital, Trento Italy. He is engaged in Nutrition at the Hospital and in the Community, focusing his interest in particular on artificial Nutrition and Dysphagia. Dr. Pedrolli also teaches at the Nutrition in Nursing and Dental Hygiene University in Verona (Italy).

Dr. Jan Vanderwegen (ENT, Belgium)
Dr. Vanderwegen is an ENT and rehabilitation-physician, working at the University Hospital Saint-Pieter, Brussels, Belgium and Professor at the Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Antwerp, Belgium. He is the president of the Belgian Society of Swallowing Disorders (BSSD) and member of DRS, ESSD and IDDSI. His key clinical activities are Voice and Swallowing and scientific interests are tongue strength, both from a diagnostic and a therapeutic standpoint, FEES-interpretation and Quality of Life. 

IDDSI Office Operations Team

Shannon Kendrick - IDDSI Operations Manager
Shannon Kendrick is a consultant, with key focus on communications, marketing and website management. Shannon provides executive support to the IDDSI Board and our IDDSI Global reference groups and oversees communications, marketing and website matters.

Haakon McCallum - IT Manager
Haakon oversees IDDSI's  IT operations, managing tasks such as email support, Reference Group correspondence, Shared Folder support, and graphics assistance.

Past Board Members

We formally acknowledge our past Board members. While they are no longer involved with IDDSI, we wish to recognize their past contributions:

Dr. Jianshe Chen (Food Scientist, China), 2014 - 2022
Jianshe Chen is a food scientist specialised in food texture and rheology. He is a pioneer on the integrated approaches to eating and sensory perception studies and is a leading organiser of an international conference on "Food Oral Processing: Physics, Physiology, and Psychology of Eating" and serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Texture Studies. 

Dr. Julie Cichero (SLP, Australia) 2012 - 2023
Dr. Julie Cichero is a speech pathologist and specialist in dysphagia research and research professional. Julie led the development of the Australian standardised terminology and definitions for texture modified foods and fluids (2007) and the implementation of the IDDSI framework in Australia (2019). She has research expertise in the areas of thick liquids and food texture, medication swallowing issues, and swallow-respiratory coordination. Julie is Research Compliance Manager and Clinical Trials Unit Manager at Mater Research, Australia. She is a clinical expert to the Aged Care Clinical Standards Expert Working Group, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Julie has been Co-Chair of IDDSI since its inception in 2012, moving to the role of Councillor in 2022.

Dr. Roberto Dantas (Physician, Brazil), 2014 - 2022
Roberto Dantas is an Associate Professor of the Department of Medicine at the Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil. He is involved in oropharyngeal dysphagia research and trains medical and SLP students.

Dr. Jun Kayashita (Dietitian, Japan), 2014 - 2022
Dr. Jun Kayashita is a professor at the Prefectural University of Hiroshima, Japan. Jun is a councillor of the Japanese Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and the Japanese Society of Dysphagia Rehabilitation. Jun was extensively involved with the development of the revised Japanese Dysphagia Diet Standards.

Caroline Lecko (Nurse, United Kingdom), 2014 - 2016
Caroline Lecko is a registered Nurse with background in Neurosciences and is a patient safety lead in the UK. Caroline led the development of the UK Dysphagia Diet Food Descriptors involving the British Dietetic Association, Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, National Association of Care Catering, National Nurses Nutrition Group and Hospital Caterers Association.

Dr. Joseph Murray (SLP, USA), 2014 - 2018
Dr. Joseph Murray is the chief of audiology and speech pathology services at the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ann Arbor, MI in the United States. Joe is an American Speech and Hearing Association Fellow and is a board-recognized specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.

Sönke Stanschus (SLT, Germany), 2015 - 2018
Sönke Stanschus is a speech pathologist and specialist in dysphagia service development in clinical care of patients with swallowing disorders. He has an interest in matching results of instrumental exams with diet recommendations.

Professor Catriona Steele (SLP, Canada) 
Professor Catriona Steele is Senior Scientist and Director of the Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network, and professor in the department of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on swallowing physiology and rehabilitation, with a particular focus on the impact of texture modification on swallowing function.

Foundation Committee

We would like to formally acknowledge our Foundation Committee members who were integral to the commencement of this initiative.