Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today announced the appointment of H. Scott Hurd as Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the USDA agency which protects public health through food safety and defense by ensuring that the nation's supply of meat, poultry and processed egg products are safe and wholesome.

"We are pleased to welcome Scott Hurd back to USDA as a senior member of the nation's food safety team," Schafer said. "He has extensive experience in a wide range of food safety and animal health issues that will greatly serve the Food Safety and Inspection Service's mission to protect public health."

Hurd comes to FSIS from Iowa State University where he has served as an epidemiologist in the College of Veterinary Medicine for the past three years. At Iowa State University, Hurd has led important research of epidemiology and food risks affecting human health. Hurd specializes in Salmonella, Campylobacter and antibiotic resistance risk assessments. Hurd was selected in 2007 as a U.S. delegate to the Codex Alimentarius Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Prior to becoming an Associate Professor at Iowa State University, Hurd served in the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) from 1989 to 2004. At ARS, Hurd managed research programs and laboratory initiatives focusing on Salmonella in turkeys and swine.

At APHIS Hurd provided expert assistance to the USDA chief veterinary officer and other officials to develop animal health programs to protect against Salmonella, tuberculosis and avian influenza infections. He led the design and analysis of APHIS' National Animal Health Monitoring System which today still conducts national studies on the health and health management of domestic livestock and poultry populations.

 Hurd is a native of Pensacola, Fla., and received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where he played football as a defensive tackle. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University and completed his PhD degree in Epidemiology from Michigan State University.