International Association for Food Protection Holds 2023-2024 Secretary Election
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Des Moines, Iowa - The International Association for Food Protection is proud to announce Dr. Yuhuan Chen and Dr. Manan Sharma as candidates for the 2023–2024 Secretary. The elected Secretary will assume her or his position following IAFP 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in July and will serve a five-year term of successive positions. Electronic ballots will be provided to all Association Members, and the election will remain open through March 7, 2023. Election results will be announced in May on the IAFP website, in the May IAFP Report, and in the May/June issue of Food Protection Trends.
Dr. Yuhuan Chen is an Interdisciplinary Scientist in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Chen provides leadership and coordination for multi-disciplinary risk assessment activities to inform policy decisions, including in the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. She is a past chair of the Technical Committee of the U.S. Interagency Risk Assessment Consortium.
At FDA, Dr. Chen serves as the Agency Technical Lead for the Development of FDA-iRISK®, an open-access tool that enables users around the world to collaborate on modeling food safety risks and solutions. She has led a team to develop the “Risk-Ranking Model for Food Tracing” that informs the development of the Food Traceability Rule.
Before joining FDA in 2010, Dr. Chen was Director of Science Policy, Food Protection at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), where she worked at what was then the National Food Processors Association and held several positions over ten years.
As an active member of IAFP since 2000, Dr. Chen has participated in many Professional Development Group (PDG) activities and is a past chair of the Microbial Modelling and Risk Analysis PDG. She has continuously volunteered on committees and judging panels over the past 15 years, including IAFP’s Program Committee (2015–2018), and has chaired various Award Selection Committees. She has co-organized and presented at more than a dozen IAFP symposia, roundtables, or workshops on a variety of topics.
A graduate of Peking University with a B.S. in Biology, Dr. Chen received her M.S. in Nutrition from Eastern Illinois University and her Ph.D. in Food Microbiology from Rutgers University, where she also conducted postdoctoral research on the mechanistic action of antimicrobial peptides for food preservation.
Dr. Manan Sharma is a Lead Scientist and Research Microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS), Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory (EMFSL). Dr. Sharma’s research focuses on pre-harvest produce safety issues, evaluating factors which affect the survival of enteric bacterial pathogens in soil, manure, compost, irrigation water, and on fruit and vegetable commodities.
During his time at USDA ARS, Dr. Sharma has conducted and collaborated on scientific research in various roles. In addition to conducting produce safety research within USDA, he has collaborated with other federal agencies including the U.S. FDA on produce safety research, the Environmental Protection Agency, and with the FDA on the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Surveillance (NARMS) Environmental Working Group. He has also helped lead and co-lead several high-profile collaborative research projects on irrigation water and produce safety with a consortium of universities.
Dr. Sharma has been an active and committed member of IAFP since joining as a Student Member in 2000. He currently serves on the Journal of Food Protection’s Editorial Board, the IAFP Annual Meeting Program Committee, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council. Dr. Sharma previously served on IAFP’s Journal of Food Protection Management Committee, the Food Protection Trends Editorial Board, the Nominating Committee, Foundation Committee, Tellers Committee, and the Awards Committee. He served as both President and Vice President of the Capital Area Food Protection Association (CAFPA), the Washington, D.C. area Affiliate of IAFP, and was a founding member of IAFP’s Affiliate, the Indian Association for Food Protection in North America. He also served as a past chair of the Student Professional Development Group (SPDG). He received the Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award in 2011, the Maurice Weber Laboratorian Award in 2018, and the Fellow Award in 2022.
Dr. Sharma holds a B.S. in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia.
About International Association for Food Protection
The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) represents more than 4,500 food safety professionals committed to Advancing Food Safety Worldwide®. The association includes educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives and quality control professionals who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing all types of foods. Working together, IAFP members, representing more than 70 countries, help the association achieve its mission through networking, educational programs, journals, career opportunities and numerous other resources.