Merton V. Smith, Ph.D., J.D.
Director, International Programs and Product Standards Team,
Office of the Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM),
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Dr. Smith is the Director of the International Programs and Product Standards Team within the Office of the Center Director, CVM, FDA. He represents FDA and CVM in several international standard-setting organizations, including as the FDA Delegate to the International Cooperation on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products (VICH), as the Special Assistant to the Chair of the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods, and as the U.S. Contact Point for the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Collaborating Centre for Veterinary Drug Regulatory Programmes.
He received his undergraduate degree in liberal arts from the University of Virginia and his early career was as a chemist and inspector of food manufacturing facilities working at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Commerce in Richmond. He was awarded the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in microbiology and food science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI), completing research in the area of foodborne infections and intoxications. While at VPI he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society and Gamma Sigma Delta Agricultural Honor Society. Dr. Smith earned his J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America, focusing on trade and administrative law. He has been a member of the District of Columbia Bar since 1984.
Prior to coming to CVM, Dr. Smith worked in the Office of International Programs in the Office of the FDA Commissioner, where he held a number of positions including the Africa and Near East Desk Officer, the Americas Desk Officer, the Multilateral Programs Desk Officer, the Associate Director for International Harmonization and Trade Affairs, and the Associate Director for International Agreements. For two years Dr. Smith was detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in the Executive Office of the President where he assisted in finalizing both the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, the latter establishing the World Trade Organization. At USTR Dr. Smith held the position of Special Assistant for Health and Safety and served to advise senior U.S. Government officials on sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade, among other issues. Earlier, Dr. Smith worked for nine years in FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in a number of technical and regulatory positions within the Division of Food Technology, the Division of Food and Color Additives, and the Office of Compliance.
Dr. Smith has published numerous technical and regulatory articles and has received several honors while at FDA, including twice receiving the agency’s highest award--the FDA Award of Merit.