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James O’Hara

Jim O’Hara is the director of the Produce Safety Project (PSP) at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.

Mr. O’Hara has more than a decade of experience in the development of public health policy. As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health from 1997 to 1999, he represented the Department of Health and Human Services on an inter-agency committee, coordinating food safety policy initiatives among the federal public health agencies and serving as liaison with the White House, the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, he was the Associate Commissioner for Public Affairs at the Food and Drug Administration from 1993 to 1997 where he developed and oversaw the agency’s communications with the public on numerous multi-state outbreaks of foodborne illness.

Mr. O’Hara was awarded the U.S. Surgeon General’s Medallion in 1999 by Dr. David Satcher for his work in public health policy. Mr. O’Hara received his BA from the University of Notre Dame in 1972, his MA from the University of Chicago in 1978 and was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 1981-1982.