Deirdra Chester, Ph.D., RDN
Dr. Deirdra Chester is a National Program Leader for Applied Nutrition Research in the Division of Nutrition, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. Prior to joining NIFA, Dr. Chester was a scientist at the USDA- Agriculture Research Service. She provides leadership in identifying emerging issues of national importance, program reviews, and grants management in the area of nutrition, functional components of food, and childhood obesity. She also provides leadership for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Childhood Obesity Prevention and the Foundational Program - Function of Efficacy and Nutrient competitive grants programs. She provides co-leadership for a joint USDA - NIH competitive grants program. She has worked extensively with a number of inter and intra-agency projects and programs with the FDA, NIH and the CDC including Let’s Move, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), the Interagency Committee on Dietary Guidance Committee (ICHNR), the USDA Human Nutrition Coordinating Committee, the Joint Dietary Guidance Review Committee, and the NIH Nutrition Coordinating Committee. Participation on these committees resulted in the development of the National Nutrition Roadmap and the Dietary Guidelines.
Dr. Chester serves on the Executive Board and is a Past-Chair of the Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association. She is a Past-Chair of the Research Committee and a past member of the Committee on Professional Development of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is currently a member of the Dietetics Based Practice Research Network Committee. Dr. Chester is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist.
She currently holds membership in the following professional organizations: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, The American Society for Nutrition, The Institute of Food Technologist and the American Public Health Association. Dr. Chester has spoken both nationally and internationally on nutrition topics. Dr. Chester is on the editorial board of the Journal of Obesity and Chronic Disease.
Dr. Chester and holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Nutrition from Florida International University where she was awarded the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship and was in the inaugural class of the Gates Millennial Scholars. She holds a Master of Science degree in Food and Nutrition Science and a baccalaureate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Florida State University.