Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

2-12-08

Contacts:

Scott Hurd, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, (515) 294-7905, shurd@iastate.edu

Dan Kuester, News Service, (515) 294-0704, kuester@iastate.edu

ISU associate professor named U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Ag for Food Safety

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University Associate Professor Scott Hurd was tabbed today by the U. S. Department of Agriculture as the agency's deputy undersecretary for food safety.

Hurd, a senior epidemiologist in the College of Veterinary Medicine who has performed extensive analytical research on food risks and food safety, was surprised by his selection.

"I got this call out of the blue from a person from the Presidential Personnel Office," said Hurd. "I was surprised. Before I agreed to do it, I asked to see a job description."

He then sent his resume, traveled to interviews, went through background checks and security screenings, and finally received a job offer.

Hurd said his responsibilities will be to advise the undersecretary of agriculture on food safety issues, and deal with "risk-based inspection, which is right up my alley," he said.

Risk-based inspection is performing inspections when there is likelihood of food borne illness.

Hurd also had the veterinarian credentials the USDA was looking for. Hurd's new boss at the department, Dr. Richard Raymond, is a medical doctor. The USDA was seeking a veterinarian to get "the other side of the food safety issue," Hurd said.

Hurd's appointment will expire on Jan. 20, 2009, when the next president takes office. Hurd has no plans to continue after that date.

"I like what I'm doing at Iowa State," he said.

Among his duties at Iowa State, Hurd is a guest lecturer for a course in science and public policy, and the knowledge he'll gain from a year in Washington will be beneficial to him and his students, he says.

"After this experience, I'll just be able to do my job better," he said.

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Scott Hurd

Scott Hurd

Quick look

ISU Associate Professor Scott Hurd has been named the U.S. Department of Agriculture's deputy undersecretary for food safety.