Obama pick for U.S.D.A. post lauded by N.P.P.C.

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON – The National Pork Producers Council (N.P.P.C.) applauded President Obama last Friday for nominating Catherine Woteki as undersecretary for research, education and economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.). The position oversees the Agricultural Research Service, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Md.

“Catherine Woteki will be an excellent undersecretary, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to her job,” said Sam Carney, N.P.P.C. president and a pork producer from Adair, Iowa. “Her previous work with U.S.D.A., as well as her other experience, makes her an outstanding choice for this important job. We look forward to working with her.”

Ms. Woteki is currently global director of scientific affairs for Mars Inc., where she manages the company’s scientific policy and research on matters of health, nutrition and food safety. From 2002-2005, she was dean of agriculture and professor of human nutrition at Iowa State University.

As the U.S.D.A.’s first undersecretary for food safety from 1997-2001, Ms. Woteki oversaw food-safety policy development and U.S.D.A.’s continuity of operations planning. She was deputy under secretary for research, education and economics in 1996.

Before joining U.S.D.A., she served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as deputy associate director for science, and she also has held positions with the National Center for Health Statistics of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Human Nutrition Information Service at USDA and the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences.

Ms. Woteki received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Mary Washington College and a master’s degree and a doctorate in human nutrition from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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