Russell Cross named interim head of Animal Science

COLLEGE STATION – H. Russell Cross, Ph.D., has been named interim department head of the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University effective Sept. 15, 2010. The announcement was made by Mark A. Hussey, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences.Cross, who most recently worked as a professor in the department, will serve as interim until a permanent replacement for former head Gary Acuff, Ph.D., is found. Acuff is leaving this position of five years to become director of the Texas A&M University Center for Food Safety.

Cross brings with him more than 35 years of management experience, holding numerous positions in government, academia, and the private sector. Before returning as professor to the Department of Animal Science, he served as executive vice president for operations and chief of staff to Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano. Prior to that appointment, Cross served as deputy vice chancellor and associate dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences.

In the academic sector, Cross was head of the Department of Animal Science and the meat and muscle biology section and holder of the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chair in Meat Science. Additionally, in 1994 Cross was the founding director of Texas A&M’s Institute of Food Science and Engineering.

His service in government included the role of Administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service under Presidents George Bush (41) and Bill Clinton. At the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., (largest animal research center in world), Cross served as USDA’s Research Leader within the Meat Research Group.

Cross also pioneered the International HACCP Alliance, serving as its founder and Executive Director. The International HACCP Alliance represents 24 food associations, 40 universities and the governments of 13 countries.

Within the private sector, Cross was the CEO and Chairman of Future Beef Operations, L.L.C. Furthermore, he served as Director of Food Safety for IDEXX Laboratories. Within National Beef Packing Co., Cross served as Executive Vice President of Food Safety/Government and Industry Affairs. In addition, he was Vice President of DuPont Food Industry Solutions.

Cross is published extensively, with more than 235 published works on meat quality and safety.

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