November 19, 2001
AMES, Iowa — Catherine E. O'Connor Woteki, senior research scientist with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park, and professor of nutrition and food safety at the University of Nebraska, has been named dean of the Iowa State University College of Agriculture. Woteki also holds an appointment in the Joint Institute for the Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the University of Maryland where she does research in the areas of food safety and nutrition policy, chronic disease prevention and population health surveillance and monitoring. Woteki will assume her duties as dean in January. "We are delighted with the appointment of Catherine Woteki as dean of one of our most important colleges. Her background in education and government service, and her broad leadership experience within the USDA will be invaluable assets for the College of Agriculture, and the university as a whole," said Gregory Geoffroy, Iowa State president. "She also has a national reputation in food safety, an important and growing area of emphasis at Iowa State." A nutritional epidemiologist, Woteki served from 1997 through January 2001 as the first under secretary for food safety in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In that capacity, she was responsible for development of U.S. food safety policies through the work of the President's Council on Food Safety and the Codex Alimentarius Commission. She also was responsible for the national safety of meat, poultry and egg products under the regulatory authority of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Under Woteki's direction, FSIS implemented the science-based inspection system known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, which reduced pathogen occurrence in meat and poultry products. Woteki also has served as deputy undersecretary for research, education and economics at the USDA, where she led strategic planning activities. She was deputy associate director for science in the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1994 to 1996. In this position, she co-authored the Clinton administration's science policy statement, "Science in the National Interest." "The College of Agriculture at Iowa State has so much to contribute to Iowa and the nation. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to work with our students and faculty and to provide Iowa farmers with the research and support that is so important to their success," said Woteki. Woteki also was director of the food and nutrition board of the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine, and in other positions with U.S. departments and offices. Woteki received the B.S. (1969) in biology and chemistry from Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Va.; and M.S. and Ph.D. (1974) in human nutrition from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Woteki will succeed Richard Ross, who began a two-year appointment in the position in July 2000. David Topel, who was agriculture dean for more than a decade, stepped down from the position in early 2000. "This was a very important dean search for Iowa State University and the state of Iowa," said Rollin Richmond, Iowa State provost. "Stan Johnson (vice provost for Extension) is to be commended with leading this effort. We also must express our deepest appreciation to Richard Ross for his leadership during this time of transition for the College of Agriculture."