USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
Dr. Rajen Anand has a unique combination of experience of university teaching, chairing two academic Departments as well as heading a Federal Agency. He has been passionately involved in public policy issues both at the State and Federal levels for nearly two decades.
He joined the United States Department of Agriculture for the second time on July 6, 2009 as the Executive Director, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). He served on the same position from1997 to 2001, after serving as Deputy Director, 1995-1997.
The mission of the Center is to improve the health of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutritional needs of consumers.
Under his previous tenure, the Center released the 1995 and 2000 editions of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, developed and issued a Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children, ages 2-6, produced a new Thrifty Food Plan, which sets the cash allotment for Food Stamp recipients, reviewed and reported the dietary Status of WIC participants, and developed a Healthy Eating Index, a measure of overall diet quality of individuals. He also arranged highly successful all-day symposia on contemporary topics The Center belongs to the Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS), an agency with two thirds of the USDA budget.
Prior to joining USDA in 1995, Dr Anand was at the California State University, Long Beach since 1970, where he taught courses in biology, human physiology, pathophysiology, and mammalian metabolism. He also served as the founding chair of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology (1985-1989) and chair of the Department of Communicative Disorders (1990-1992). As head of the Department at the University, Dr. Anand was responsible for recruitment, evaluation and supervision of faculty and staff and was a strong advocate and leader of the academic unit faculty. He managed human and fiscal resources, developed budget, and carried out other administrative operations.
Dr. Anand received his Ph.D. in physiology, nutrition, and biochemistry from the University of California Davis in 1969. He also holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine. He completed post-doctoral fellowships at U.C. Davis in metabolism, and at the UCLA Harbor Medical Center in pediatric endocrinology. Dr. Anand’s research was in the area of energy metabolism, particularly involving in-utero studies on the effect of maternal nutrition on the developing fetus. He and his colleague demonstrated for the first time that the fetus is incapable of synthesizing glucose and is totally dependent on the maternal supply. An induced hypoglycemia in the mother will lead to low blood sugar in the fetus, and thus will affect its growth potential. At USDA, his research dealt with the study of overall diet quality and its linkage to chronic diseases among Americans. Dr. Anand has lectured at the national and international professional meetings as well as at many university campuses.
Dr. Anand is a member of the American Association for Advancement of Science, American Physiological Society, American Society for Nutrition, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and many other scientific organizations.
Among the most active members of the faculty, Dr. Anand served on numerous university wide committees, including the Academic Senate; Planning and Educational Policy; College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Council, and Budget Committee; Strategic Planning Committee; and Retention, Tenure and Promotion Committee. He chaired the Asian & Pacific American Forum and was Secretary of the California Faculty Association.
Dr. Anand has been honored with several academic awards, including the Outstanding Professor Award at the Long Beach campus (for excellence in teaching, research and community service). He also was twice recipient of the Meritorious Performance & Professional Promise Award. At U.C Davis, he was bestowed with the Outstanding Student Award in 1967 and 1968, and the Hertzendorf Memorial Award in Physiology in 1969 (for academic achievements and humanitarian qualities). He is listed in a number of bibliographic volumes.
Long involved in public policy issues and community affairs, he has served as an officer of several organizations: Asian and Pacific Americans in Higher Education (vice president); National Federation of Indian American Associations (secretary, vice president, executive vice president, president and chair); Indo-American Political Association (chair); Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus (vice chair and chair), and many other organizations.
In 1994, Dr. Anand was appointed to serve on the congressionally mandated 11- member National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation. He was reappointed in 1997 and 2000 for additional 3-year terms ending in the year 2002.
A free-lance journalist, Dr. Anand has published over 350 news stories and articles in various newspapers and magazines, in addition to his many scientific papers in national and international journals.