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From 2002 to 2005, Catherine E. O'Connor Woteki served as Dean of the College of Agriculture Director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station and Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University.
Dr. Woteki was the College of Agriculture's ninth dean and the first woman to hold the position. She provided outstanding leadership for the College, enhancing the excellence of its programs, ensuring the success of students and focusing on priorities of Iowans. Her dedication, commitment and service to agriculture and the life sciences, to Iowa State University and to the state of Iowa will not be forgotten.
Prior to joining Iowa State, Dr. Woteki was a Senior Research Scientist with the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland and Professor of Nutrition and Food Safety at the University of Nebraska. A nutritional epidemiologist and registered dietitian, she served from 1997 until 2001 as the first Under Secretary for Food Safety in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In that position, 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 and for the safety of meat poultry and egg products under the regulatory authority of the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Under Dr. Woteki's direction, FSIS implemented the science-based inspection system, known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, which resulted in major declines in the occurrence of pathogens in meat and poultry products.
She also served as USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Research Education and Economics and as Deputy Associate Director for Science in the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Woteki is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine and served as chair of the Institute's Food and Nutrition Board from 2003 to 2005. In 2004, she was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Woteki's research interests include food safety and nutrition policy, chronic disease prevention, and population health surveillance and monitoring.
She earned her B.S. degree in biology and chemistry from Mary Washington College and her master's and Ph.D. in human nutrition from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She departed Iowa State in the summer of 2005 to become the Global Director of Scientific Affairs for Mars Inc.
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