The International Association for Food Protection is proud to announce Dr. Jose “Emilio” Esteban and Dr. Manan Sharma as candidates for the 2020–2021 secretary. The elected secretary will assume his position following IAFP 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio in August and will serve a five-year term of successive positions. Electronic ballots will be provided to all Association Members, and the election will remain open through March 3, 2020. Election results will be announced in April on the IAFP website, in the May IAFP Report, and in the May/June issue of Food Protection Trends.

Dr. Jose “Emilio” Esteban has worked in various public health positions for the federal government for more than 20 years. Dr. Esteban is currently the chief scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) in Washington, D.C. In this role, he ensures Agency policies have a sound scientific basis, assesses the effectiveness of strategies and interventions to ensure food safety, and contributes scientific expertise in food safety and food security emergencies. He advises the FSIS Administrator on complex scientific matters and speaks for FSIS at national and international conferences. Prior to this role, Dr. Esteban was the executive associate for Laboratory Services for the USDA FSIS, where he oversaw the operation of all laboratory activities, integrating those with the inspection activities and policy development conducted by the Agency. His first assignment with USDA was as Laboratory Director for the Agency’s FSIS, Western Laboratory, a position he held since first joining FSIS in 2002.

A native of Mexico, Dr. Esteban worked in private practice as a consultant for a Spanish-based refrigeration firm while earning his DVM and MBA from the National Autonomous University in Mexico. Upon his immigration to the U.S. in 1985, he eventually founded a small business communications firm dedicated to developing marketing messages to Spanish-speaking audiences, and soon furthered his education, completing both an MPVM and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of California – Davis.

An IAFP member since 2002, Dr. Esteban has served on numerous committees, including the Program Committee, the Nomination Committee, the Foundation Committee, and numerous Awards Selection Committees. He is also a member of several IAFP Professional Development Groups (PDGs).
Dr. Esteban delivered the Ivan Parkin Lecture at IAFP 2017.

Dr. Manan Sharma is a research microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS), Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory (EMFSL) in Beltsville, Maryland. Dr. Sharma’s research focuses on pre-harvest produce safety issues, evaluating factors which affect the survival of enteric bacterial pathogens in soil, manure, compost, irrigation water, and on fruit and vegetable commodities, along with interventions which reduce their prevalence in these environments. His research also examines sustainable water reuse in agriculture in his role as a co-project director of the CONSERVE project, a Center of Excellence at the nexus of sustainable water reuse, food, and health. He is an Affiliated or Adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland, the University of Delaware, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

During his time at USDA, Dr. Sharma has promoted scientific research in various roles. He frequently collaborates with the USDA, universities, and industry stakeholders to prioritize produce safety issues and metrics. He frequently hosts U.S. and international students at the USDA EMFSL to conduct research. In 2009, he was awarded the USDA ARS BARC Early Career Scientist Award, along with the Group Award for USDA ARS Outreach, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity Award.

Dr. Sharma has been active in IAFP since joining as a student member in 2000, and is a former Chair of the Student Professional Development Group (PDG). He is a past president of IAFP’s Affiliate, the Capital Area Food Protection Association (CAFPA). Dr. Sharma served on and chaired the Management Committee for the Journal of Food Protection and currently serves on the Editorial Board. He has also served on both the Editorial Board and Management Committee for Food Protection Trends. He formerly served on the Nominating Committee and as Teller for several IAFP secretary elections. He is a current member of the IAFP Program Committee, the Webinar Committee, and the Fruit and Vegetable PDG and has served on several IAFP Awards Selection Committees. Dr. Sharma has also judged several student competitions and mentored many students through the Student PDG as well as recipients of the IAFP Student Travel Scholarship. In 2011, he received the Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award, and in 2018 was awarded the Maurice Weber Laboratorian Award.

Dr. Sharma holds a B.S. in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida, and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia