Taylor2014_406x250I will miss Mike’s steady hands in food safety.  From his years at FSIS – his historic decision to deem E. coli O157:H7 and adulterant – to his tenure at FDA during the run-up and roll-out of the Food Safety Modernization Act.  Thanks Mike for what you have done and best wishes for your future.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Since I announced my plans to leave FDA, a number of you have asked what I will do next.  With my departure from FDA now complete, I’d like to let you know my plans.

My passion remains food safety but also food security, which means people having ready access on a sustainable basis to the safe and nutritious food they need to thrive.  Food security in Africa was the focus of much of my work in the decade before I rejoined FDA in 2009, and I want to make food security in the broad sense of the term, in Africa and elsewhere, a major focus of my future work.  My experience at FDA over the last seven year has broadened my understanding, however, of what it will take for the global food system to succeed in meeting human needs.

We all know how strongly the public and private spheres intersect – and sometimes clash – around food policy, but perhaps the strongest lesson I learned through our work enacting and implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act is how much we can achieve when the fundamental interests of consumers, industry and government are aligned, as I believe they largely are when it comes to the broad goals of food security and the long-term success of the food system.  I will be seeking opportunities to apply that lesson, and contribute to expanding public-private collaboration on food security, as a senior fellow at Freedman Consulting, LLC, in Washington, D.C. (www.tfreedmanconsulting.com).

The founder of this firm, Tom Freedman, is a long-time friend and colleague and one of the most public spirited and effective people I know.  He has worked for many years at the intersection of policy and politics, and his firm engages in what I think of as social policy entrepreneurship, working with a wide range of foundation, non-profit and corporate entities to solve problems. I am eager to work with Tom and his team.

I will also be spending time in the coming months as an advisor to the Aspen Institute’s Food and Society Program.  Led by Corby Kummer, a distinguished food writer and thought leader, this program brings people together to find solutions to food system problems. I look forward to collaborating with Corby and the Aspen Institute’s many partners as they address food system challenges and pursue opportunities to better meet the needs of consumers and society at large..

I am excited about this next phase. I will be taking a fair amount of time off in June and July, but, if you need to reach me, please contact Kyla Koboski at Freedman Consulting (koboski@tfreedmanconsulting.com).  You can also call me at 240-781-9944 or email me at taylor@tfreedmanconsulting.com.

All the best,