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April 23, 2010 -- President Barack Obama has nominated Catherine E. Woteki to become the next under secretary for agriculture, research, education and economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Woteki will fill the vacant position previously held by Rajiv Shah, who left last fall to become the administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Woteki currently serves as 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 to 2005, she was dean of agriculture and professor of human nutrition at Iowa State University.
“We are absolutely pleased with the President’s nomination of Catherine to this important post at USDA,” said Ian Maw, A۰P۰L۰U vice president for food, agriculture and natural resources. “She brings a wealth of experience in academia, government and business that will enhance the great work already underway in research and education at the department.”
If confirmed by the Senate, this will be Woteki’s third rotation at the department, having served in the Clinton administration as deputy under secretary for research, education and economics at USDA in 1996. She then went on to become USDA’s first under secretary for food safety from 1997 to 2001, where she oversaw the nation’s food safety policy development and USDA’s continuity of operations planning. Prior to joining USDA, Woteki served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as deputy associate director for science from 1994 to 1996.
Woteki has held positions in the National Center for Health Statistics of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1983-1990), the Human Nutrition Information Service at USDA (1981-1983), and as director of the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences (1990-1993). In 1999, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, where she has chaired the Food and Nutrition Board (2003-2005).
Woteki earned a M.S. and Ph.D. in human nutrition from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a B.S. in chemistry from Mary Washington College.
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