Food company Mars Incorporated has hired Catherine Woteki, dean of the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University since January 2002, and formerly Under Secretary of Food Safety at the US Department of Agriculture, as global director of scientific affairs.

"This is an exciting opportunity for me," Woteki said. "I am eager to bring my experience to Mars, a company I have admired for years for its principled application of science to issues of nutrition, health and sustainable agriculture, and it will allow me to be closer to family in the Washington, DC area." She will be located at McLean, Virginia.

Woteki is a nutritional epidemiologist, and prior to becoming Dean, she served as a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park, and professor of nutrition and food safety at the University of Nebraska. From 1997 to 2001, she was first under secretary for food safety in the USDA.

"We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Woteki to Mars Incorporated," said Mars president Paul S. Michaels. "She has advanced the scientific and public health agenda for this country in her many leadership roles within the US government and academia. We very much look forward to her translating her vision through the opportunity to direct Mars scientific research programmes."

"Dean Woteki has done an outstanding job at Iowa State, in directing the College of Agriculture, developing important ties with public officials and agricultural interests around Iowa, and providing leadership in a number of campus projects," said Iowa State University president Gregory Geoffroy.