The Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum (GTNF) advisory board was created in 2014. The board brings together industry leaders and experts in all aspects of tobacco and nicotine, including vital issues such as sustainability and next-generation products. Currently chaired by Michiel Reerink, global regulatory strategy vice president at Japan Tobacco International, the advisory board continues to foster the evolution of the GTNF as a world-class networking and knowledge-sharing forum. As part of its mission, the board provides insight and timely knowledge about upcoming trends to inform the conference program and to help ensure that relevant political, legislative and regulatory developments are thoroughly covered. The advisory board members for 2019 are profiled below.

Michiel Reerink chairs the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum advisory board. He is global regulatory strategy vice president at Japan Tobacco International (JTI). Reerink started his career in the tobacco industry in 1996 at a tobacco trade association in the Netherlands. In 2001, he joined Imperial Tobacco to take responsibility for corporate affairs in Benelux—which comprises Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg—and Germany. In 2004, he established Imperial Tobacco’s European Union (EU) affairs office in Brussels, Belgium, and subsequently led its EU engagement. In 2010, Reerink joined JTI at its Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters to lead the global regulatory strategy department, which directs JTI’s strategy and responses to emerging global priority issues.

Germana Barba is vice president of regulatory strategy and engagement at Philip Morris International (PMI). Previously, she held various positions in the areas of regulatory, government and EU affairs in various countries. In her current position, Barba is responsible for regulatory and government affairs for PMI’s reduced-risk products and conventional tobacco products. Before joining PMI, she worked in journalism and politics. Barba is a member of the Italian Association of Journalists, a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and an Aspen Junior Fellow. She holds a Master of Science degree in international relations and a Master of Science degree in EU studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


John Clayton is group head of government affairs at London-based British American Tobacco (BAT), and he oversees BAT’s global engagement and advocacy strategies on regulation, tax, international trade and anti-illicit trade. Over a 17-year career at BAT, Clayton has worked in Japan, Canada and the U.K., and he has held various global, regional and market roles in regulatory affairs, harm reduction, public affairs and corporate social responsibility. Clayton holds a master’s degree in East Asian studies from Indiana University and speaks Japanese fluently.


Moira Gilchrist is vice president of scientific and public communications at Philip Morris International (PMI). Prior to this role, she was vice president of corporate affairs for reduced-risk products at PMI. Gilchrist is responsible for driving the transparent and comprehensive communication of PMI’s reduced-risk product science to stakeholders across society, including in the scientific, public health and regulatory communities. She joined PMI research and development in 2006 and has held a variety of positions focused on the development, assessment and commercialization of smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes. Gilchrist has 16 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working initially in product development and subsequently in management consultancy with PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM Business Consulting Services.


Alan Hardacre is a respected global corporate affairs executive and thought leader. Recognized as an expert in public affairs structures and transformations and in designing and executing local, regional and global campaigns, he has a consistent record of positioning businesses for success. He currently serves as the director of group corporate affairs at Imperial Brands.

Prior to his career with Imperial Brands, Hardacre worked as an independent consultant for the International Trade Centre (ITC). Hardacre also delivered consultancy projects for the European Institute of Public Administration.

Hardacre earned his Ph.D. in international economic and political relations and his B.A. in modern European studies at Loughborough University. He received his DEA de Science Politique from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Lyon.

He currently serves on the board and the global leaders group of the Public Affairs Council in Washington, D.C., USA.

Graham Kayes is executive vice president for business relationship management and leaf at Alliance One International (AOI), a position he has held since July 1, 2014. Kayes served as AOI’s regional director in Africa from February 2011 through June 2014. He joined the company in 1988 and held various positions throughout Africa, including that of managing director of Alliance One’s Tanzania subsidiary, from June 2007 until January 2011.


Mark Kehaya is a past chairman of the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum (GTNF) advisory board and current chairman of AMV Holdings, a leading retailer and e-liquid manufacturer in the vapor industry. He is a member of the board of Pyxus International, formerly Alliance One International (AOI). He served as interim CEO of AOI from December 2010 until February 2013. From April 1993 to March 2000, he was employed by Standard Commercial Corp., a predecessor company to AOI, serving as assistant to the president, finance director of the tobacco division, vice president for planning and CEO of Standard Commercial Corp.’s tobacco processing facility in St. Petersburg, Russia. Kehaya remains a founding partner at Meriturn Partners, an investment firm specializing in restructurings and turnarounds of middle-market companies.


Chris Koddermann is a government affairs, communications and public policy consultant who provides strategic advice and guidance to a range of clients, including companies in the tobacco and nicotine industries.

Koddermann has held senior global public affairs roles in the consumer and industrial goods industries. Prior to starting his consulting business, he served as group vice president of communications and public affairs at ABB Ltd., and he spent seven years at Philip Morris International, where he provided regions and markets with strategic advice and support in the design and execution of government affairs and communications campaigns.

Prior to joining the private sector, Koddermann worked in Canadian politics, serving as a senior adviser to ministers in federal and provincial governments.

Koddermann has a master’s degree in international business law from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is permitted to practice law in the U.S. state of New York as well as Canada.

A global legal and compliance industry expert, and currently an independent consultant/principal at, Patricia I. Kovacevic focuses on the highly regulated nicotine, cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) industries. Her experience comprises past general counsel and chief compliance officer roles at Nicopure Labs as well as leading senior legal and regulatory positions at Philip Morris International and Lorillard, among others.

While at Lorillard, her team in 2013 obtained the first-ever premarket authorization for a tobacco product issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Tobacco Control Act. At Nicopure Labs, she spearheaded the litigation challenging the FDA’s so-called “deeming rule.”

Prior to joining Lorillard, Kovacevic was a partner at Patton Boggs. Her expertise includes global e-cigarette and tobacco regulation, cannabis regulation, compliance and all regulatory aspects of marketing/media communications, corporate affairs, criminal investigations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, trade sanctions, privacy, and product development and launch.

Kovacevic served on the board of directors of the Vapor Technology Association as well as the advisory board of the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum. She authored several articles on nicotine regulation and is often invited as a keynote speaker and presenter before global conferences and government agencies.

In the past, she was a United Nations (U.N.) staff member in the UNPROFOR peacekeeping mission, and she served on the U.N.’s Public-Private Partnership Commission focusing on transportation infrastructure.

Kovacevic is an attorney admitted to practice in New York and before the Supreme Court of the United States. She holds a Juris Doctor (doctor of law) degree from Columbia Law School in New York (1999), a Master of Arts degree in philology (1994) and has completed the Harvard Business School Corporate Leader executive education program (2009).  Kovacevic is fluent in several European languages.


Mike Ligon has been part of Universal Corp. for more than 36 years and presently serves as the company’s vice president of corporate affairs. Ligon began his career in 1982 in the management training program, and he has served in many roles for the company, from leaf buyer, North American sales director, president of Casa export and president of America’s Harvest to his current position in which he is responsible for global regulatory, government, social and labor matters.

Ligon is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He currently serves as chairman of the TMA board and as a member of the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum advisory board. Ligon also serves as vice president of the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Foundation, an organization formed nearly two decades ago by the tobacco industry to combat the root causes of child labor in tobacco growing communities. In 2017, the Virginia General Assembly appointed Ligon to the Advisory Committee on International Trade where he serves as the vice chairman. He is very active in the nonprofit world, volunteering time and serving on several other boards, including the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Communities in Schools of Virginia and LEAD Virginia.

Ligon resides in Richmond, Virginia, USA, and is passionate about family time spent with his wife, Sharon, as well as their two daughters, Michelle and Nicole, and their spouses. He enjoys golf and still competes in several local tournaments annually.

John “Jack” L. Marshall Jr. is the senior director of regulatory affairs for Altria Client Services (ALCS). In this role, he leads U.S. Food and Drug Administration-related advocacy, communication and engagement activities.

Marshall’s previous roles include serving as senior manager of procurement services for ALCS, where he led the development of strategies for supply chain sustainability and engagement with stakeholders on farm labor issues. Marshall also served as senior manager of corporate communications, a position in which he led media affairs and communications for numerous business issues, including litigation and government affairs.

Prior to that, Marshall served as the manager of government affairs for Philip Morris USA. In this position, he led the identification and development of legislative positions, programs and strategies for the company. Before joining Altria Client Services, Marshall was a partner at McSweeney, Burtch and Crump, P.C., a law firm based in Richmond, Virginia, USA, where his practice focused on civil litigation, land use matters and government affairs. Marshall received his Bachelor of Science degree in commerce from the University of Virginia in 1991 and his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1995


Joe Murillo serves as senior vice president of regulatory affairs for Altria Client Services. He leads U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-related regulatory strategy, engagement, communications and advocacy for Altria’s tobacco operating companies. He also develops regulatory and research strategies related to Altria’s pursuit of tobacco harm reduction and FDA authorization of modified-risk tobacco products.

Before being appointed to his current position, Murillo served as president and general manager of Nu Mark. In that role, he led the company’s development and marketing of innovative tobacco products for adult tobacco consumers.

During the course of his career, Murillo has developed extensive knowledge of the marketing, sales, distribution, regulatory and communications aspects of bringing tobacco products to market. He started his career as a commercial litigator in New York City before joining Altria as an in-house attorney.

Murillo is a graduate of Columbia Law School and of the University of Miami, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


Mike Ogden is senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at Reynolds American Inc. (RAI), based in North Carolina, USA. Ogden is responsible for all regulatory submissions and scientific and regulatory advocacy and engagement for all Reynolds American tobacco operating companies. Previously, Ogden was in charge of various research and development programs for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., including those related to environmental tobacco smoke, measuring smoke uptake in smokers through the use of biomarkers, smoking behavior research, clinical studies, regulatory compliance activities, and scientific and regulatory strategy.

Chairman emeritus, GTNF advisory board

David O’Reilly was appointed to the Management Board of British American Tobacco (BAT) as group scientific and R&D director, in January 2019. He graduated from Imperial College, London in 1991 with a Ph.D. in molecular virology. He continued to pursue this area of research when he joined Advanced Technologies Cambridge, a subsidiary of BAT.

In recent years at BAT, O’Reilly has been a driving force behind the creation and growth of BAT’s multidisciplinary global R&D effort in consumer-led, science-based innovation in next-generation tobacco and nicotine products. He has also led the company’s programs in corporate social responsibility, tobacco harm reduction and scientific and public health policy and engagement. He is co-founder of the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum and chairman emeritus of the GTNF advisory board.

Christopher Proctor is British American Tobacco’s Office of Science group head of potentially reduced-risk products. He oversees a multidisciplinary research program that investigates the reduced-risk potential of a range of novel tobacco and nicotine products. He is an author of numerous scientific papers related to tobacco harm reduction, and he has published a book that looks at the importance of the interaction between science, policy and consumers.


Jim Solyst is vice president of federal regulatory affairs at Swedish Match North America. He directs the company’s modified-risk tobacco products process and engages the tobacco control, public health and scientific communities.

During his time in Washington, D.C., USA, Solyst worked with agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget. He has also worked with the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Solyst is a member of the Food Drug Law Institute Tobacco Committee and the American Chemical Society Committee on Environmental Improvement.


Huub Vizee is Delfort’s head of regulatory affairs. Based in Austria, he is responsible for dealing with all of the company’s tobacco-related regulatory issues worldwide. Vizee is also the president of Coresta. Prior to joining Delfort in September 2011, Vizee worked for Van Nelle, Douwe Egberts and Imperial Tobacco, where his last position was serving as the head of group regulatory development. In this role, he was responsible for leading Imperial Tobacco’s regulatory engagement as an active participant on a global, regional and market level.

Vizee also represented Imperial Tobacco on the boards of the Confederation of European Community Cigarette Manufacturers, the European Cigar Manufacturers Association and Coresta. Vizee has worked in the tobacco industry for 31 years in areas such as leaf, research, engineering, quality assurance, product development and corporate affairs.