James “Jim” Jones joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September 2023 as the agency’s first Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods.
In this new executive position, which reports directly to the FDA Commissioner, Jones leads the charge in setting and advancing priorities for a proposed, unified Human Foods Program (HFP), which includes food safety, chemical safety and nutrition activities. He will exercise decision-making authority over all HFP entities, including resource allocation, risk-prioritization strategy, policy, major response activities involving human foods, and related Office of Regulatory Affairs activities. He currently oversees the leadership of the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and Office of Food Policy and Response until the proposed HFP reorganization is implemented.
Jones came to the FDA with intimate knowledge of the foods program, having served on the Reagan-Udall Foundation’s Independent Expert Panel that evaluated the program in 2022.
He has decades of leadership experience and a track record of forging partnerships among diverse segments of stakeholders and achieving dynamic results to improve public health.
Jones spent most of his career as a federal regulator of pesticides, toxic substances, chemical safety, and pollution prevention at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and spent much of his more than 30-year tenure involved in leadership and decision-making related to food safety. He held positions of increasing responsibility at EPA and made public health-based decisions grounded in sound science, public policy, and law. As a principal architect of the 2016 overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act, Jones led discussions with members of Congress, industry and environmental groups that resulted in a law reshaping how chemical safety is managed in the U.S. He also led several national level sustainability programs, including the Environmental Preferable Purchasing Program and the Presidential Green Chemistry Awards Challenge.
From 2017 to 2020, Jones worked for the Household and Commercial Products Association as Executive Vice President for Strategic Alliances and Industry Relations, forging relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders and leading sustainability and green chemistry efforts. He then ran his own company advising clients on issues related to chemical safety and sustainability.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland, and a master’s degree in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.