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Amy Kircher to lead U of M food safety center

The National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the University of Minnesota, celebrates the appointment of Amy Kircher, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., to director this week.

Amy Kircher has been appointed director of the NCFPD after serving as acting director for the last six months.

“I am thankful for Kircher’s leadership of the center over this time,” said Trevor Ames, D.V.M., dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Amy has shown herself to be a dedicated and talented leader who has a deep understanding of the center, its mission, partners and strategic priorities.”

The national center’s mission to ensure the resiliency and reliability of the food system is one that resonates with both the public at large and the private sector.

“Amy has built partnerships within the University of Minnesota, as well as with public and private organizations outside the university,” said Aaron Friedman, M.D., vice president for the health sciences and dean of the Medical School. “She has a true appreciation for the significant collaborations and interdisciplinary nature of the research that makes the center so unique.”

Amy Kircher, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.

As director, Kircher will lead the NCFPD’s research, education and outreach efforts focused on addressing the vulnerability of the food system from intentional or catastrophic contamination. During her tenure, Kircher will seek to transition the center’s research and technology to the private sector to protect the food system as well as create a network of global capabilities.

The center will continue to take a comprehensive farm-to-table view of the food system, encompassing all aspects from primary production through transportation and food processing to retail and food service. The work is accomplished through a multidisciplinary and action-oriented research consortium comprised of academic, government and private sector partners.

Kircher has previously led public health and preparedness efforts as an epidemiologist for the U.S. Northern Command and operations support roles in both Hurricane Katrina and H1N1 disasters. Past awards have included a Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Civilian Service Commendation Medal and a DOD Joint Civilian Service Achievement Medal. She concurrently serves as an assistant professor in the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine and adjunct faculty in the U of M School of Public Health, and holds a doctorate in public health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a masters of public health from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse.

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