WASHINGTON – The nominations of Elisabeth Hagen, M.D., to the position of United States Department of Agriculture’s Undersecretary for Food Safety, and Catherine Woteki, Ph.D., to the position of U.S.D.A.’s Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics, have both been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

“There is no higher priority at U.S.D.A. than ensuring that Americans have access to a safe and healthy food supply, and Dr. Hagen’s background as the chief medical officer and senior executive within U.S.D.A.’s Food Safety and Inspection Service [F.S.I.S.] will enable her to successfully lead the effort to develop and execute the agency’s scientific and public health agenda and continue to build the coordination with public health partners at federal, state, and local level needed to achieve the objectives of President Obama’s Food Safety Working Group,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

“As a tireless champion of sciences power not just to create knowledge but to improve the lives and health of all Americans, Catherine Woteki brings an incredible depth of experience that will help U.S.D.A. accelerate scientific discovery and application of new knowledge to address challenges facing U.S. and global food and agriculture,” he added.” I am delighted to welcome such an outstanding advocate for science back to U.S.D.A.”

Dr. Woteki worked 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. Dr. Woteki was dean of agriculture and professor of human nutrition at Iowa State University from 2002 to 2005, where she also headed up the Agriculture Experiment Station.