Denise Riordan Eblen, Ph.D.

Photo of Denise Eblen
Deputy Director
2460 Waterfront Center
Phone Number:
(202) 720-5004
Fax Number:
(202) 401-4888
As Deputy Director at USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in Washington D.C. Dr. Denise Eblen leads NIFA’s Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (IFSN), which supports research, education and extension activities in food safety, food quality, nutrition and obesity. IFSN manages a budget of about $225M annually for competitive and capacity grants.

Prior to joining NIFA in 2015 she held the position of acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Public Health Science at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), working her way up from her introduction to FSIS as the agency’s first Food Safety Fellow in 2001. At FSIS she led the staff responsible for providing the agency with the scientific leadership necessary to support the science-based food safety programs and policies implemented by FSIS to reduce foodborne illnesses and deaths. Prior to joining FSIS she held a research associate position at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Wyndmoor, PA, studying the safety of produce.

A native of Ireland, Dr. Eblen is a naturalized U.S. citizen. She holds a B.S. in Human Nutrition from the University of Ulster at Coleraine in Northern Ireland, an M.S. in Food Science from Queen’s University, Belfast, and a Ph.D. in Food Safety Microbiology from the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern Ireland.