Deirdra Chester, PhD, RDN

Director, Office of the Chief Scientist

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U.S. Department of Agriculture

What has had the greatest impact on your career path in nutrition?  

The greatest impact on my career path in nutrition is a course I took in college, Man’s Food. This course changed my focus from medicine to nutrition.  I always had a love of food; but this course intrigued me because it was the first time I saw the science of food. From there, I changed my major to nutrition and have never looked back. Once in the field, I had amazing mentors in the federal government, and this was where I could see a place for myself in a federal job.  My work as a public servant has been so fulfilling. Each day is exciting because I know the work that I do impacts everyday Americans. I have been fortunate to have been mentored by amazing women in nutrition and science. The most rewarding part of my job is mentoring our next generation of scientists.