The Department of Agriculture's current chief medical officer has been nominated to be the agency's next undersecretary in charge of food safety.
Agency officials announced in late January that Elisabeth Hagen, MD, would be nominated for the post, which includes leading the Food Safety and Inspection Service. If her nomination is approved by the Senate, she will serve under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
A USDA press release notes that President Barack Obama has tasked Vilsack and Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, with "working to upgrade our food safety laws for the 21st century; foster coordination throughout government; and ensure that we enforce these laws to keep the American people safe."
Prior to becoming USDA's chief medical officer, Dr. Hagen developed and executed scientific and public health agendas as a senior executive for the FSIS. She also coordinated between her agency and local food safety and public health partners.