Catherine Adams Hutt, PhD, RD

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Catherine Adams HuttFollowing a career in the public and private sectors, Dr. Adams Hutt is a consultant to the industry on food safety, regulatory compliance, and health and wellness. She is head of RdR Solutions and Food Regulatory Solutions (FRS); senior advisor for Leavitt Partners; and Founder of The Rialto Conference, a not-for-profit organization for matters of regulatory and food policy interest.

Catherine has had senior leadership roles in the manufacturing and food service industries, and in government. She led quality and food safety programs for HJ Heinz, Campbell Soup Company, and YUM! Brands.  She was Chief Quality Officer for McDonald's Corporation and Coors Brewing Company, and led McDonald's nutrition strategy.   Catherine was formerly Assistant Administrator for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the regulatory agency for meat and poultry.  There she led global development for HACCP as we know it today.

Dr. Adams Hutt received her doctoral degree from the University of Illinois, MS from Michigan State University and BS from Pennsylvania State University.  She is a Registered Dietitian.  Dr. Adams Hutt is recognized as Distinguished Alumnus of Penn State and as Fellow of the University.  She is also an IFT Fellow, Board member and was Chair of the Food Laws and Regulations Division.  She serves to support IFT as member of the Divisions Task Force, Food Regulations and Policy Advisory Panel that organized the inaugural Food Policy Impact event in 2011, and was Co-Chair of the Senior Food Officials Engagement Program. 

Catherine is married to Peter Barton Hutt and lives in Washington, DC and North Texas.  She owns and operates a working horse and cattle ranch. The ranch uses wind energy.

What do you feel you can contribute to the growth and advancement of IFT?
I will contribute my time, my energy, my thought, and attention to the needs of IFT and its members. I've benefitted from a broad set of experiences across multiple disciplines of food safety, quality assurance, nutrition, and regulatory; and experience in the global private and public sectors.  I will bring my experience, vision, and personal dedication to the growth and advancement of IFT, so that we may continue to serve our members for the long-term.

What are the three most important strategic issues facing the profession and the industry that align with IFT's goals and how would you address these as a member of the Board of Directors?

  1. The role of technology in defining the type and source of food supply for the future
  2. The positive role of social media
  3. Ensuring a talent pool aligned with business needs

The role of technology in defining the type and source of food supply for the future:  Population growth, changing demographics, and evolving demand for protein products put pressure on the food supply that depends on available land and water resources.  The global food supply of tomorrow will be defined and provided through food technology.  The human and intellectual capital needed to supply food for the future will come from academia and the food industry.  IFT has a vital role in the development of food professionals who will have the knowledge and create the tools we will need.

The positive role of social media:  Consumer perceptions of our food are created in large part by what is read and heard.  Consumer confidence in the safety and integrity of the food supply, today and tomorrow, is critical.  Perceptions are created through social media networks in seconds and the rules have changed for the ways that communications get crafted and information gets verified.  IFT has made important and timely steps moving into social networks through  IFT will continue to find ways to communicate accurate information about food in this contemporary forum.  We'll also need to engineer a path in the social media community so that we may always be relevant for our members.

Ensuring a talent pool aligned with business needs:  Knowledge to define and answer our business needs is attained through academic and professional learning.  IFT is working at the forefront to ensure food science academic programs are aligned proactively to meet business needs.  We must continue to provide leading-edge education programs, and continuing education for those needing to hone existing skills and learn new ones. 

Why do you want to serve on the Board of Directors and how has your work and volunteer experiences prepared you to be a strategic board member?
I am serving my third and final year as IFT Board member.  It has been an enriching experience and one where I believe I've given back to the professional organization that has served me for over three decades.  I serve IFT and other organizations in leadership roles.  Strategic vision, personal integrity, and an ability to communicate issues clearly are my strengths. I've been honored to be able to offer these skills, along with my passion for the profession, to the IFT Board. 

What defines a successful board and how would you contribute?
A successful board is strategic and purposeful.  It leads the organization with innovative thinking and a sense of “one” – acting for the members and with other board members. There is attention to details, without getting lost in them.  There is big picture thinking, while we as individuals are humble and happy to serve.

Formal Education 
University of Illinois: PhD, Food Science, 1986
Michigan State University: MS, Food Science and Human Nutrition, 1981
The Pennsylvania State University: BS, Food Science, 1979
Registered Dietitian (RD): 1986

Career History

Organization Position(s) Held Dates of Employment

The Rialto Conference

Founder and President


Leavitt Partners

Senior Advisor


RdR Solutions



Food Regulatory Solutions



McDonald's Corporation

Chief Quality, Food Safety and Nutrition Officer


Coors Brewing Company

Chief Quality Officer


HJ Heinz Co.

North America Quality Lead


Tricon Restaurants (now YUM! Brands)

Director Restaurant Food Safety and Supply Chain Quality


Campbell Soup Company

Director Quality Systems


Grocery Manufacturers of America

Director Scientific Affairs



Assistant Administrator


ILSI-Nutrition Foundation



Leadership Experience

Organization Position Dates Held

The Rialto Conference

Founder and President


Institute of Food Technologists

Board of Directors


Institute of Food Technologists

Divisions Transition Task Force


Institute of Food Technologists

Food Laws & Regulations Division, Chair-Elect


Institute of Food Technologists

Food Laws & Regulations Division, Chair


Institute of Food Technologists

Food Laws & Regulations Division, Past Chair


Ready by 21

Board Member


Centers for Disease Control

FSMA Surveillance Working Group


Pennsylvania State University Advisory Committee to the College of Agriculture

Advisory Committee to the College of Agriculture


Pennsylvania State University Advisory Committee to the College of Agriculture

Volunteer Fund Raising Committee


Conference for Food Protection

Delegate and Council Member


Institute of Food Technologists

Food Executive Leadership Forum and Senior Food Officials Engagement, Co-Chair


Institute of Food Technologists

Food Regulatory and Policy Advisory Panel (planned 2011 Food Policy Impact Conference)


Institute of Food Technologists

Continuing Technical Education Committee, Co-Chair


Institute of Food Technologists

Long-Range Planning Committee


International Food Information Council

Board of Directors and Executive Committee


AgriCapital Investments

Advisory Board Member


International Journal of Food Control

Editorial Board Member


NFPA-SAFE Supplier Audit Committee



Conference for Food Protection

Chair, Council III (Science & Technology)


FAO-WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission

Committee on Food Hygiene, US Delegate


FAO-WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission

Committee on Import/Export Inspection & Certification