Catherine E. Woteki

Cathie Woteki Headshot
Distinguished Institute Professor


Dr. Catherine E. Woteki is a Distinguished Institute Professor with the Biocomplexity Institute at the University of Virginia. Dr. Woteki is a well-respected scholar and a leader in science policy. She is known nationally and internationally for her wealth of knowledge of agriculture, food, nutrition and health from her years of leadership in government, industry and academia. She also is currently a Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University where she served as Dean of the College of Agriculture from 2002 to 2005.

Dr. Woteki was Undersecretary for United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area, as well as the department's chief scientist from 2010 to 2016. Her responsibilities included oversight of the four agencies that comprise REE, the Agricultural Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Economic Research Service, and National Agricultural Statistics Service, as well as the National Agriculture Library and National Arboretum.

She has held other prestigious positions, including Deputy Associate Director for Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from 1994 to 1996. At OSTP, she co-authored the Clinton Administration's policy statement, Science in the National Interest.

Dr. Woteki was director of the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences from 1990 to 1993. During her tenure as director of the Food and Nutrition Board, she had direct responsibility for 27 studies and co-edited a nutrition book entitled Eat for Life, which became a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection. She has also held positions in the National Center for Health Statistics from 1983 to 1990 and the Human Nutrition Information Service at USDA from 1981 to 1983.

Dr. Woteki is the recipient of many awards for her contributions to science and society, and was inducted into the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Hall of Fame in 2017.

Full CV

Research Interests

Nutrition, human health, agriculture, science policy


  • B.S. Biology and Chemistry, Mary Washington College, 1969
  • Ph.D. Human Nutrition, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1975

Awards and Honors

  • Elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 1999
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2004
  • Fellow of the American Society for Nutrition, 2014
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Phi Sigma
  • Phi Tau Sigma
  • Outstanding Young Women of America, 1975
  • Elijah White Award, National Center for Health Statistics, 1987
  • Outstanding Alumna, College of Human Resources, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1987
  • Staff Achievement Award, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 1991
  • Lenna Frances Cooper Lecture, American Dietetic Association, 1997
  • Hazel Stiebeling Lecturer, Florida State University, 2001
  • Honoree in “60 and 60” commemorative book, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, 2003
  • Outstanding Alumna, Mary Washington College, 2009
  • Henry A. Wallace Award, Iowa State University, 2017
  • Ellen Swallow Richards Award, Board on Human Sciences, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, 2017
  • Hall of Fame, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, 2017


  • How to Put Data to Work in Your Neighborhood PUB
    The Conversation (Dec. 10, 2017) S. Shipp, C.E. Woteki, S. Keller, S.M. Nusser
  • Using Data to Make Better Decisions PUB
    Issues in Science and Technology (2018) S. Keller, S.M. Nusser, S. Shipp, C.E. Woteki
  • Science, Politics and Food: Slashing Food Research Funding Is a Mistake PUB
    The Hill (Sept. 26, 2018) C.E. Woteki and G.A. Buchanan