Nutrition Policy Institute
Announcement from VP Barbara Allen-Diaz
Ritchie to lead Nutrition Policy Institute
I am pleased to announce that after a nationwide search we have selected Lorrene Ritchie to serve as the inaugural director of the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI), effective Feb. 18. She will also be a UC Cooperative Extension specialist.
NPI is a new institute within UC ANR, with the mission of improving nutrition and reducing obesity, hunger and chronic disease risk in children and their families in diverse settings. The institute and its director will provide statewide nutrition policy leadership for ANR’s research and education activities and will work in synergy with research and outreach efforts being conducted in Davis and Berkeley campus departments and colleges and throughout the UC system.
Ritchie brings to this new position her vast experience in applying research to policy and working with UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists, UC faculty and others involved in nutrition-related research and education. With her years of applied research being recognized for having a high evaluation standard and policy implications at state and national levels, she is highly respected in the nutrition field. She has testified before state and federal legislature with the ability to translate complex issues into realistic and necessary solutions for decision makers.
Ritchie has served since 2005 as associate researcher and director of research at the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley. She provided leadership and coordinated research efforts at the center, collaborating with an extensive network of multidisciplinary researchers, program delivery experts and policy advocates to support evidence-based policy and practice initiatives in nutrition and obesity prevention. As a principal investigator, she directed research projects funded at approximately $4 million and supervised many concurrent research project teams.
From 2000 to 2005, Ritchie worked as assistant researcher and project director for the center preparing grant proposals and conducting research. She prepared more than 50 grant proposals to federal and private funding sources at the center. She has held teaching positions including adjunct assistant professor for two years at Samuel Merritt College’s Intercollegiate Nursing Program, and lecturer for five years at UC Berkeley in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology.
Ritchie earned a B.S. in chemistry from San Jose State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in nutritional sciences, both from UC Berkeley. She is also a registered dietitian.
We are so fortunate to have Dr. Ritchie to launch the NPI. She will be based in Oakland, but she will be traveling frequently to collaborate with colleagues throughout the state as well as with federal entities. I hope you will join me in welcoming her to ANR.