Well, my flight to DC was delayed – no pilots – and this press release landed in my inbox.  I have known Dr, Esteban for a long time and look forward to his leadership.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2021 — “Dr. Esteban has a deep understanding of USDA’s commitment to protect the health of the public by providing food safety. Having held several leadership roles in USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), he has a proven, and extensive, track record on this key issue.

Dr. Esteban started his tenure at USDA FSIS in 2001 and held the roles of Laboratory Director for the Western Laboratory, Scientific Advisor for Laboratory Services and Research Coordination, and Executive Associate for Laboratory Services. In 2018, he was appointed Chief Scientist of the Food Safety and Inspection Service. In his role, Dr. Esteban provides scientific advice to support Agency policies including the disciplines of microbiology, chemistry, and pathology. Prior to joining USDA, Dr. Esteban worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Staff Epidemiologist, and Assistant Director of the Food Safety Office.

He currently serves as the Chair for the Codex Alimentarius Commission Committee on Food Hygiene, the committee where international food hygiene standards are defined for international trade. He is also currently vice president of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).

Trained as a veterinarian in Mexico, Dr. Esteban supplemented his training with an MBA, a master’s degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, and a PhD in Epidemiology from University of California, Davis.

As we continue to push forward our commitment to create a safe, sustainable, competitive U.S. food and fiber system, Dr. Esteban’s leadership will be invaluable to our team.”

Dr. J. Emilio Esteban was appointed as Chief Scientist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in August 2018. In this capacity, Dr. Esteban serves as the primary scientific advisor on matters of public health and food safety that affect the mission of the Agency, with primary responsibility for scientific initiatives within the Office of Public Health Science (OPHS). Dr. Esteban’s efforts directly support FSIS’ Strategic Goals 1: Prevent Foodborne Illness and Protect Public Health, and 2: Modernize Inspection Systems, Policies, and the Use of Scientific Approaches.

In 2002, Dr. Esteban joined OPHS as the Director of the Western Laboratory. In this role, he directed the implementation of the sampling program and was responsible for the physical plant, equipment and personnel infrastructure. In 2008, he was appointed as the FSIS Science Advisor for Laboratory Services, where he harmonized the operation of all three FSIS laboratories, maintained operations to meet with the ISO17025 standard and coordinated emergency response.

Prior to joining FSIS, Dr. Esteban worked in several positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 1994 to 2002, he was as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer; a Staff Epidemiologist in the National Center for Environmental Health; and an Assistant Director for the CDC Food Safety Office.

He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Mexico’s National University, a Master of Business Administration Degree from the Panamerican Institute, and a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine Degree, as well as a Doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of California at Davis.