Secretary Schafer Welcomes Beth Johnson, Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety
Washington, D.C. September 25, 2008 – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer welcomes the President's intention to designate Elizabeth (Beth) Johnson as Acting Under Secretary of Food Safety.
"Beth Johnson steps up to the challenge, highly regarded for her commitment and my confidence in her ability to marshal the resources of dedicated people and considerable scientific research for inspection and food safety," said Schafer.
Johnson has most recently served as Chief Assistant to Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner and Deputy Chief of Staff since May 2005.
A registered dietitian, Beth Johnson joined USDA in 2002, having served more than a decade advising government and the private sector on the subjects of nutrition, farm credit and livestock. Her previous government experience includes positions at the Food and Drug Administration as a nutritionist for the food labeling division and as a research dietitian at the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
A native of Madison, Indiana, Johnson holds a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Ball State University. Beth and her husband Bill have two daughters, Sara and Hanah.
The designation is pending the October 1 retirement from federal service of Dr. Richard A. Raymond, MD, who has been responsible for overseeing the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), since July 2005.
"Dr. Raymond has maintained his decency, humility and caring from his days as a country doctor and Nebraska Chief Medical Officer throughout his responsibilities here at USDA to direct actions that prevent disease and promote the quality and safety of the food we eat," said Schafer.