Caswell Appointed to National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Julie A. Caswell
Julie A. Caswell

Julie A. Caswell, Distinguished Professor of resource economics and associate dean for education and student development in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has been appointed to the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The Food and Nutrition Board is a part of the academies’ Health and Medicine Division, and has a long history of examining the nation’s nutritional well-being and providing guidance to policy makers and the public about the application of nutrition and food sciences to improve human health.

Caswell is internationally recognized for her work on the safety, labeling, certification and regulation of food. Her three-year appointment became effective this month.

With a joint doctorate in agricultural economics and economics, Caswell joined UMass Amherst in 1984 as assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics.

She is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, has been named UMass Amherst Spotlight Scholar, awarded the Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity Award, named Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer (2009), was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal, and named an Outstanding Teacher in the former College of Food and Natural Resources.

Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has noted her influence on regulatory decisions, citing her reputation as a world-renowned expert in the field. In nominating her for Distinguished Professor, the chancellor wrote, “External reviewers consistently cite Dr. Caswell’s preeminence as a scholar in her field, often describing not only her influence on other scholars’ work but also her influence on regulatory decisions made by governments and other policy makers.”

Caswell says, “It is an honor to serve on the Food and Nutrition Board and to bring the perspectives of the social sciences and applied economics to its work.”

The Food and Nutrition Board was established in 1940. Its mission:

  • Provide visionary leadership in the effective application of the full range of nutrition and food sciences to improve human health
  • Contribute at national and global levels to the enhancement of child growth and development
  • The prevention of diet-related deficiencies and chronic diseases and the improvement of physical and cognitive function, health, and well-being
  • Decrease the incidence of foodborne disease to improve human health nationally and globally
  • Apply scientific knowledge to advise on policies and approaches to eliminate, reduce, or control the natural, inadvertent, or intentional contamination of the food supply