WASHINGTON -- President Obama has nominated Catherine Woteki, Ph.D., as U.S.D.A.’s Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. Woteki served as the first Under Secretary for Food Safety at U.S.D.A., oversaw the U.S. government's Office for the Codex Alimentarius Commission and coordinated U.S. government food safety policy development and U.S.D.A.'s continuity of operations planning from 1997-2001.

Woteki worked for two years in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where she co-authored the Clinton Administration's policy statement, "Science in the National Interest," and served as the Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics in the USDA. From 2002-2005, Woteki was dean of agriculture and professor of human nutrition at Iowa State University, where she also was the head of the Agriculture Experiment Station.

Since 2005, Woteki has served as global director of scientific affairs for Mars, Inc., a multinational food, confectionery and pet care company. In this role she has managed the company's scientific policy and research on matters of health, nutrition, and food safety.

In response to the announcement, James Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation, said, “We look forward to working with Dr. Woteki to align U.S.D.A.’s research activities with the meat and poultry industry’s food safety research priorities. A cooperative effort between government and industry is necessary to focus limited resources on addressing the most important issues facing the industry.”