Senior Fellow, Marketing & Communications Center
The Conference Board
Jessica Adelman is a Senior Fellow in The Conference Board Marketing and Communications Center. Jessica is currently serving in the newly created role of Vice President, Corporate Affairs for Mars Wrigley North America and Global External Communications. In this role Jessica will be responsible with her team for ensuring corporate affairs strategy supports Mars Wrigley and aligns with the global and North America business strategy, and that our efforts build on the efforts already underway. She will have direct responsibility for the Mars Wrigley North America business for corporate reputation, brand communications, internal communications, issues management, social impact and consumer care communications as well as work closely with the existing U.S. Government Relations Service Center on public affairs matters. In addition, this newly created role will oversee all global external communications for Mars Wrigley.
Prior to that, she served as Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs for The Kroger Co. which was the role of Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Chief Communications Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer.
Her responsibilities included all external communications and brand public relations, financial and investor relations strategy and communications, associate communications for a six-generation workforce of nearly half-a-million employees, environmental sustainability and social responsibility (ESG), media, government and regulatory affairs, crisis management, cause-marketing, corporate philanthropy and community relations. Jessica served as President of both Kroger foundations – the private foundation with $125MM assets under management and the newly launched Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, a public charity designed to find innovative solutions to food waste in America.
She is incredibly proud to be a part of the team that developed the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan, which sets out to end hunger in communities and eliminate waste across the company by 2025. The effort has won multiple accolades, including debuting at #6 on Fortune’s Change the World List in 2018. The program has been recognized by Harvard Business Review, won 2018 PR News’ Environmental Sustainability Award of the year for CSR and won the 2019 Halo Engage for Good Gold winner. The program was also a finalist for 2019 Brand of the Year for PR News’ inaugural Purpose Award. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste won the 2019 Citizens Award from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation for best Community Improvement program.
In addition to Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, Jessica has worked on Kroger’s culture work including the evolution and branding of Kroger’s Our Purpose & Promise. Recently, she co-led as Executive Sponsor and CMO partner Kroger’s first ever agency of record search, which culminated in Kroger’s new logo design and completely refreshed master brand efforts. Additionally, she was a part of the team that developed Restock Kroger, the company’s strategic plan to create shareholder value by serving America through food inspiration and uplift.
Jessica has 25 years of experience as an executive in the food industry and retail, including as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Syngenta North America plus other companies in the food value chain, including both Cargill and Monsanto. She graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College as a Russian Area Studies major and lived in the Former Soviet Union for several years in the 1990s. She has an MBA from the Wharton School and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. She has an executive certificate in International Trade Issues from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and has done leadership course work at IMD in Switzerland. She speaks both Russian and French.
Jessica had served in numerous leadership positions within the food, retail and agriculture industries. She was named a Top Leader in Communications for 2020, to the “40 Under 40” in her field and a PR News’ “Top Women in PR.” In 2017 she was among the “Top Women in Grocery” and on Diversity Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in America” list. In 2018 she was named one of the food industry’s “Women of Influence” and as a 2019 “Game Changer” in the retail space due to Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan.