Dr. Roger Cook assumed the presidency of the International Association for Food Protection at the conclusion of IAFP 2020, A Virtual Annual Meeting.

Dr. Cook is principal adviser (Strategic Science and Risk Assessment) to New Zealand Food Safety (a branch of the Ministry for Primary Industries) based in Wellington, New Zealand. He is also the principal food microbiologist, a position he has held since 1995. Dr. Cook now advises those who lead New Zealand’s regulatory microbiological food safety risk assessment initiatives, specifically those for STEC and Campylobacter, and to those who design research projects to support development and verification of food safety regulations and evaluate outcomes and consequences of overseas market access requirements; develop monitoring programs for domestic and export assurances (the equivalent to the U.S. PR/HACCP and STEC programs); and provide microbiological advice to the vast array of New Zealand’s domestic and export food industry. Dr. Cook has a close working relationship with overseas regulatory authorities and science providers, is a member of the ICMSF, and represents New Zealand on Codex Food Hygiene, on the Food Regulation Steering Committee of the Joint Australia-New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation, and as a member of the FAO/WHO JEMRA Working Group on STECs in foods.

Dr. Cook has presented and/or chaired symposia at most IAFP Annual Meetings since joining the Association in 1997. He was honored to present the Ivan Parkin Lecture at the IAFP 2011 Annual Meeting. He has served on the Awards Committee and Foundation Committee, as well as the Journal of Food Protection (JFP) Management Committee, including as Chair. Dr. Cook served on the JFP Editorial Board 2005–2016. He is a founding member and former Delegate of IAFP’s Affiliate, the New Zealand Association for Food Protection (NZAFP).

Dr. Cook received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Microbiology (majoring in sexually-transmitted diseases) from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. After graduation, he spent five years in North America, carrying out postdoctoral research at Toronto General Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and as Assistant Professor at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. He returned to New Zealand as a Research Scientist for the Meat Industry Research Institute of New Zealand, where he successfully transferred his human microbial ecology skills on meat safety and spoilage.

In addition to Dr. Cook, other members of the Executive Board include:

  • President-Elect, Ruth Petran, Ph.D., Ecolab Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota Vice President, Michelle Danyluk, Ph.D., University of Florida, Lake Alfred, Florida
  • Secretary, Jose Emilio Esteban, Ph.D., USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service, Washington, D.C.
  • Past President, Kali Kniel, Ph.D., University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
  • Affiliate Council Chair, Julie Jean, Ph.D., Universite of Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada